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, February 10, 2004

Thank you Dr. Heiderberger

In 1957, Dr. Charles Heiderberger discovered 5-flourouracil, otherwise known as "5-FU", at the University of Wisconsin. This drug remains today as the most effective chemotherapy for use against colorectal cancer. Xeloda, which I am taking now, is the oral form of 5-fu. The poem below reflects some of my own thoughts about 5-fu, which I use here to represent all chemo I have had to take. (Because I am now only taking Xeloda, I am expecting the full force of the symptoms below will not appear. But this still reflects how I feel about chemo)


Having met Sir C-name,
I'll never be the same.
For he forced me into a battle
I call the chemo game.

A conspiring of radiology with cohort oncology
And - who knows - microbiology
Employing a well-intentioned dimented psychology
Turned loose a rabid shrew
I never before knew
My body was attacked by 5-fu.

"For my own good" everyone else understood.
The mean lifetime increases a year or two
If I'd be a good boy
And take my 5-fu.

Hamburger tastes like a rotting yak
Intestinal revolt
Gastronomic attack.
Developing a gut-wrenching gurgling lump
The posture curling into a slump
Schlop and glop from the rump
(I'm sorry to use the terms I do
But I'm left with no choice by 5-fu)
Gagging, cringing. What's a good boy to do?
Paste on a smile and take more 5-fu.

I do not want it in a box.
I do not want it with a fox.
I do not, do not in a tree.
Not in a car, you let me be!
Not with a pig or kangaroo
I do not want my 5-fu.

Tumor retractibility? 5-fu.
Metastatic possibility? 5-fu.
Microscopic activity? 5-fu.
Perhaps curability? 5-fu.
Even longevity? 5-fu.

He who works under, behind and through
Ordinary means like 5-fu
Is free
O so free.
Dimly I yet see
The author of life and of 5-fu
Guarantor of peace making all things new
And ridding the world of 5-fu.


Fran said...

God bless you for your many attributes, but most importantly for your sense of humour.
Love, Fran

Maria & Craig said...

Greg- we really enjoyed the poem, do you think a career change? Maybe writing books? Or just writing? We keep you in our prayers daily.
Maria & Craig

susan said...

Your poems are getting better as the chemotherapy continues!
We miss you all...

Willeyne said...

You are truly a remarkable person. Remember the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. what a family!!!

curtis Frodge said...

hey man very nice. hope things are going well for you as a whole. just want ya to know i love ya man, hope to see you soon!

Katy Garrett said...

Greg--have been following your war with cancer with interest and sympathy. I am back on old 5FU mixed with Oxaliplatin. Spent 9 months on it last year and cancer recurred 12/03. So.....Mink oil for the sore hands and feet, salt/soda rinse for the sore mouth if either of those plagues plague you (may they not.) Also, though MD Anderson certainly has a reputation for knowing what they're doing, do have your CEA checked monthly to make sure 5FU doing its job. Hang in there.

Joan Leadbetter Hughes said...

You are so amazing as is your whole family. Keep up your spirits and the battle with your great poems.