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.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

One year mark

So what was this recent rise and fall of my CEA? Apparently, CEA can do that due to a lot of reasons and no one seems to understand or trust it that much when it bounces around at these levels. The important thing for now is that it went back down and is certainly not on a continued rise, which is when it does mean something. I am so deeply relieved that it went down. When the lab technician called me I made her spell it out about three times - "Four, as in four calling birds? Yes, four... F-O-U-R" I cannot describe the feeling of relief those letters gave me.

This week, I paid a visit to my Dallas oncologist, Dr. Perkins, who I hadn't seen in about a year. Dr. Perkins said if he were me, he would take Xeloda for at least for the rest of the year to do everything possible to kill off any microscopic cancer left in my body. (And he also indicated he wouldn't be off it right now). This makes me think Dr. Hoff will recommend I be put back on it when I visit him in Houston in a few weeks.

Dr. Hoff did not say much to me about the CEA or my treatment plan (he had his P.A. call me this week). The message there is just to enjoy the next few weeks and then go down to Houston to discuss where to go from here. The week of June 21 I'll be taking the CT scans, x-rays, a bone scan, and another CEA reading. Then I'll meet with my surgeon, Dr. Vauthey, and finally with Dr. Hoff.

All of this talk about CEA this week reminds me of the meanness of this disease. Less than 50% of people at my stage of treatment ultimately survive the disease. That is why the doctors want their patients to take chemo even when they don't feel anything wrong and when tumors can no longer be seen on the scans. On the other hand, this reminds me of how far I've come. A year ago yesterday I was diagnosed and it looked quite bleak. Step by step I made it through this year with you all at my side and with my God giving me strength. I am so deeply thankful even to be writing this today. My prayer is that he who sustained me will spare me from this disease.

I spoke with a friend this morning who was asking when I'll know that the cancer is not coming back. Depending upon who you ask, I hear that I can be pretty confident I am cured after 5 or 10 years. This cloud will be following me for a long time - I hope!


Judy Wu said...

I can't believe it has been a full year since you were diagnosed. Praise God for how He has sustained you and Christine. Not just sustained - carried you. I pray that your spirit would continue to grow strong in the power of His unchanging love. Rock on!

Adam K said...


Jerry McFarland said...

We continue to pray and praise God for His work in your life here up north at Westminster!
It's great news and we look forward to a visit from you sometime!
Jerry McFarland

Carl said...

Sounds like You and the Lord have your arms around this issue. It's a good place to be. Thank the Lord!

Richard said...

Can't help it man, there are tears in my eyes even as I read this. Your courage and faith through all of this is a lesson for us all. I am sure that you have some degree of skeptisism (sp?) from your relapse of twenty years but I can certainly say I know someone who has " run the good race". I believe that the Lord has tested your faith and that you have passed the test with flying colors my friend. I count it as a true blessing to know you!! Richard

Craig & Maria said...

Greg we rejoice with you and Christine and the good news. I think God has great plans for you. And I praise him for taking of you this year. Our GOD is good.