The Struggle Has Ended

Greg Hewlett passed away on January 17th after nearly eight years of battling colon cancer. While we grieve his loss, we are comforted to know that he is with his Lord.

If you would like to leave your thoughts on Greg, please see this thread.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Greg's honor, please see this thread.

Monday, June 2, 2003

No surgery this week

�Now wait just one cotton-pickin� minute�, my dad likes to say. It turns out that we were getting so much information at such a fast rate that not all parties had received all the data by the time it all came in at the end of the day Friday. (No resentment here - I am quite thankful that Dr. Oeffinger is so helpful in expediting and pulling strings to get all the tests moving quickly.) So first thing this morning, when the doctors put their heads together to assess the right direction, it was obvious to them all that immediate surgery was not the right path. The surgeon, who had originally worked me into his schedule Wednesday, had not yet seen the CT Scan showing the liver problem. And the oncologist, Dr. Perkins, wanted to talk with me today about our options.

Christine and I met this afternoon with Dr. Perkins. I keep telling Christine she has the day off to rest and then I wake her early and tell her we�re heading back down for another test or meeting. I am remembering that flexibility is one of the best traits to develop when you�re involved in battling cancer. She's been a great trooper - more than that a great support. Anyway, we actually came away slightly encouraged from the meeting. After a couple of radiologists examined the CT Scan, doubt arose as to whether there are many small lesions on the liver or one big strange one. The latter could be liver cancer, instead of spreading colon cancer. (Believe it or not, this would be good, as �two primaries are easier to deal with the one primary that has spread�). In addition there is what looks to be a large mass in the bladder. The problem with that is that I have absolutely no symptoms there, and colon cancer does not spread there. So he�s not really sure what that is. On top of all that, Dr. Perkins is perplexed that I am presenting in such a healthy state. If this is all cancer spreading like wildfire, then my health should reflect that. I am merely weak and that is attributable to my low red blood cell count. He indicated this was a good sign, as it improves chances of survival when cancer like this is caught when in my current state of health. The colon cancer is still clearly in the picture. But since it is not interfering with my digestive function, then there isn�t a huge rush to get it out of there.

So briefly:
(1) No surgery yet as we need a much better diagnosis. Wednesday surgery plans are nixed.
(2) More tests this week including liver biopsy and visit to urologist.
(3) I�m going to get intravenous iron later this week to restore my strength.
(4) The best path may indeed be chemotherapy first for several months to stabilize or shrink the tumor(s) so that surgery can accomplish more.
(5) I�m going to MD Anderson later this week or next week to talk with GI specialists there to see what they think once all the tests this week are complete. Dr. Perkins is setting up the appointment.

Sorry this is dry and medical. I�ll write more later about what is going on in our hearts and our community as we cling to Christ during this time. For now, I wanted to let people know the change of plans.


bob bagwell said...

Good to see the updates. I spoke with Jim tonight and he filled me in also. I called your phone and got "mail box full"- a tremendous number of people care and are praying for you.
Nancy and I are available to do anything you and Christine need. Nancy's e-mail is
Our prayers are with you.

Bill Peck said...

Greg and Christine,
Both of you, and the rest of your extended family, are in our multi-daily prayers. There is nothing you can ask for from us that we will not try to achieve for you and/or your family.

The Murray Clan said...

Greg and Christine,
Melina and Sarabeth always ask me on our way to see Christine and you whether you will play your guitar so they can sing and dance. In Parkton, you were strumming your guitar for the children as they sang Christmas songs and danced to your music. Greg, know that all that joy you created is directed now toward you and Christine through our prayers each and every healing day. So when we�re coming to see you later this year, and the girls ask me "Will Uncle Greg have his guitar", I�ll answer as I always do. "Yes, Greg will have his guitar, girls, and he�ll play for you."

Wes Hauser said...

Greg and Christine,
Sorry Cindy and I haven't been over to see you both and just found out about your medical situation. Karen gave us your website and it is great that you have updates regarding your prognosses. The Hauser family will keep you both in our prayers and will be in touch to come by and see you and Christine if she is up for the visit.

Judy Wu said...

Greg and Christine,
I'll come find you guys when you're at M.D. Anderson. I'm glad you're coming here. I was definitely hoping. I'm usually on the 9th floor of the clinic building, and the GI Center is on the 7th floor - just a heartbeat away! I'm praying for you. Much love...

Obi Ibeto said...

Hi Greg my name is obi Ibeto I am a friend of your father. I just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers. I will be going to morning mass all week and will keep you in my prayers. I have sent word to my mother in London to pray for you, she is in church almost every day of the year, so your in good hands. Lots of love Obi.

Jean Curtis said...

Greg, I am a friend of your mother. Just a note to tell you I am praying for you and things seem to be "improving". You and you family are in my thoughts. Glad to see the updates and I will keep up with you. God bless