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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

All I want for Christmas is my liver out

Dr. Vauthey has made his decision. One, I'm ready for surgery. Two, he is "quite confident" that my liver can handle the single-stage surgery. And three, he thinks we should do the surgery as soon as possible. That means Monday.

To avoid having to go down there and back and down there again (although that is the pattern these days), we moved the appointment with him from tomorrow to Friday morning. So Thursday, Christine and I will leave for Houston and we'll stay there until I recover from the surgery.

The surgery will be Monday, Dec 22. It is a highly technical surgery, requiring 6-8 hours on the table. Dr. Vauthey is planning on removing 76% of my liver - all of the larger right lobe and some of the smaller left lobe. The surgery is followed by one to two days in ICU (usually just one night). I will be in the hospital for a week to a week-and-a-half, so I'll probably be out by New Years Day. I then have to stay in Houston for at least one more week before I can leave the area back to Dallas.

Needless to say, our already chaotic holiday plans are now scattered in pieces on the floor. Hopefully all the kings horses and all the kings men can work out the logistics. Christine's family from Maryland and New Jersey are all planning to fly to Dallas for Christmas because we couldn't travel up there. The new problem is that when they get here - we won't be here! I'm sure we'll all figure it out. Bottom line is that this is good news.

After surgery, my body will suffer from missing out on a significant portion of liver function. Steve Wei described it to me as "extreme fatigue". Sounds like I will be a weak rag for a while. I hope to be well enough to enjoy my family and Houston friends and to keep up with email.

Dr. Vauthey prepares himself for many contingency plans on how to deal with any discovered cancer when they go in. (e.g. radioactive burning of small lesions in liver remnant, removal of cancerous areas of diaphragm, etc) Please join me in praying that he won't find any such problems in there, that the surgery will be clean, that there will be no major complications, and that my body will be hereafter be void of all cancer. Also, please lift up Christine for strength and relief from pain and for our entire family as we go through this together while celebrating Christmas in a hospital away from home.

There is a curse on my liver. But at Christmas, we remind ourselves, "He comes to make his blessings known far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found."


Shannon said...

We have been praying for you, and now we will specifically pray for the surgery to be clean and no more cancer hereafter. Will you e-mail to let us know if you are up for visitors after surgery? We'd love to come see you. I miss Christine. Praying for her, too.

Dave said...

Yeesh. Greg, Christine, youz shoulda got the Heisman. The Heisman should be won by the toughest SOB to bring down. Yer both on your feet and y'ain't been dropped yet. (flag) I see holding! Don't worry, I think they'll let it go.

Madeleine said...

The first Christmas was away from home under certain "medical" conditions, too. Will pray for all the above . . . and remember, you are all ON PLAN!! Much love and many prayers, Madeleine

Jim and Coco said...

We will continue to pray each and every day for strength, healing, wisdom, success, competency of the med staff, courage......
And HIS will be done.........

Jerry McFarland said...

Your updates are uplifting yet the situation is somber. I thank the Lord for His daily watchcare over you and how He is ministering through you during this time. You're an encouragement to my own soul as I'm sure for many others.
We're praying for the "Prince of Peace" to be very present with you at this time.

Syd And Dan said...

Greg and Christen,
We are thankful that the doctors can give you this gift of hope for Christmas.
We will certainly have you at the top of our prayer list (without ceasing.)
Merry Christmas Precious Children.
Love , Dan and Syd

Jim Loughrey said...

Dear Greg,
Positive action is good. I will pray for you during this operation. I feel a closeness even though we've never met. You are my kind of guy. Good luck.

curtis frodge said...

well buddy i will certaintly be praying for you sure miss seeing you. i came home this week and went to church but didnt see you or christine there :( maybe some other time after your surgery then. give me a call if you could get together before you leave but if i dont get to see you then best wishes man and ill see you after. love ya

Abdul said...

WZUP dude... maybe u know me maybe not, oh well who cares. Hope everything goes well, and may GOD protect u.
p.s. i saw u at work, mmmm, last week, and u do look younger bald-->er. Bless u maaan hang in there

obi said...

Hi Greg,
I wanted to wish you and your family all the best over this christmas period. I am praying for you and your family and believe with all my heart that this christmas and the unpcomming new year will be a joyous one. You have been in my prayers for most of this year and I know that the good Lord will carry you through your time in Houston.
I wish you all of God's Blessings,
Obi Ibeto

Judy Kovacs said...

I'm praying for you and Christine and you're entire family. I think it's a sign of God's blessing that your healing surgery will be at the time we celebrate God's healing provision for all of His creation. A Very Good Sign. Love to you all.

John & Debbie Ciavola said...

Our prayers remain with you, especially during these next few weeks.
John and Debbie

Maria & Craig said...

Greg, You can count on us to lift you up in prayer daily. We will pray for your Dr.'s, for wisdom beyound their age in the surgery. What a Christmas!!!! YOu and Christine will remember for years.