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, July 6, 2004


I met with Dr. Hoff yesterday and he has decided that I will take no more chemotherapy. Thus, I am done with treatment and am considered to be in "complete remission". The term he used for my status is "Stage IV cancer, NED". (No evidence of disease). It is an oxymoronic term, as Stage IV is cancer at it's worst, but NED indeed starts with a capital "N". I shall bear the label gladly.

I now begin a period of returning to MDACC often so that they can watch carefully for any recurrence of the cancer. This will be something I will be doing for a long time to come (hopefully!). At the start, I will go down there two months from now. I went through a similar process after I had bone cancer as a child.

As for the lower abdomen nodule that seemed to grow, they have no explanations. The biopsy showed some scar tissue, which was perplexing because I did not have surgery there. This is something they just want to keep a close eye on.

I was a bit surprised Dr. Hoff decided against chemotherapy. The bottom line for him is that there is no good evidence that more chemotherapy at this point would make any difference in long term survival. Some doctors give as much as they can get away with -- "just to be sure". (Reminds me of the motto of a certain father-in-law - "anything worth doing is worth overdoing.") Dr. Hoff's response to this is "show me the data." If there were no detrimental effects of the chemo, he said he might be inclined to give me more. But the Xeloda I took after liver surgery was really wearing on my liver. Not only did the CEA climb, but my liver enzyme numbers were telling a story that the drug was damaging my body. To Christine and I, he seemed overall to be making the most life-affirming decision.

Dr. Hoff tells me that there is about a 50% chance that I am cured. We will not know until years have passed. This is far better than the dismal numbers (under 10%) I started out with. I thank you all for your earnest prayers for me. Would you continue praying that this will not return?


Fran said...

terry and fran

nancy brunone said...

Praise God!!!! I have been so blessed by your faith and will continue to pray for you and Christine.
Nancy Brunone

Carl said...

I am now singing " Praise God from whom all Blessings come..." I do not want to stop.

Shannon said...

So, do we get to have parties and some cool music???

Henry Chu said...

Yet what a thrilling ride. Suffering is such a myth to us, but in view of all the saints in the Bible, trials, tribuations, and eventual restoration has always seemed to be God's way of molding those He loves the most, so that they can be of real effectiveness in the suffering kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (paraphrase, Revelation 1)
The second half of Acts 17:26, might apply:
From one man He made every nations of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determines the time set for them and the exact places where they should live.
Since He determines the time set for them (Chinese translation is the span of their life), our life span is out of our control. So we will take on the advice of Jesus, and worry not.
Praise the Lord,

The Hausers said...

We rejoice with you in this great news! And of course our prayers will continue for you and Christine. God is so good!

Glen Ragan said...

Wow! Your emotional roller coaster has ended on a high. Praise God!

Madeleine said...

Yes!! This is all such good news! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

Bill Peck said...

What great news!!!

Corvino's said...

Greg, This is great to hear "Praise God from who all blessing flow" But will this mean no more E-Mail up dates on "The Life And Times of Gerg and Christine? :)

Brian M said...

Praise JESUS! That is great news.
Hey, maybe that mystery scar came from the Thai food? ;) Eeek! I hope not!

Maria & Craig said...

Greg, we will continue to pray for you and Christine each day.We Praise God that he has brought you and Christine through this trials in your life. I think you should write a book on the yourney of your cancer.
Love, Maria & Craig

John said...

I promise to keep praying.

Nils said...

I don’t know if the name Ned suits you, but I’ll call you anything if it means you’re officially in remission.
   Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
      let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
   Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
      let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
   For the Lord is a great God,
      and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1–3)

Cindy said...

Wonderful news!! God be with you.
From a fellow survivor.

Karen Clayton said...

I love you both so much and I rejoice with you over this great news.

Richard Sherard said...

What can be said of your faith during all of this. As I have said before, you are and continue to be an inspiration for me. I hope you don't mind that I use you as an example to many I talk with who are having problems to show them what true faith on their Lord can do. God bless you and Christine. I pray that Christine can find a solution for her migraines. Please keep in touch.
Your friend in Christ,

Byron Black said...

Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! Halleluia!!!

Carl said...

Are my eyes playing tricks or did I read the heading of this comment page to be God's Place vs. Greg's Place.

Andrew said...

This is wonderful news. My advice to you is that you should stop having cancer. It is really bad for you.

Jim and Coco said...

Ain't it fun to see what GOD can do.....
Thanks for letting us come along side the two of you during this time.

Dan & Syd Christen said...

My Lord--what an awesome statement.
PRAISE GOD--He is so good ! and yes! We will constantly pray it does not EVER return!
Love IN Christ, Dan & Syd

David said...

I PRAISE the LORD with you at this great news!!!

Catherine Brown said...

Greg and Christine, this is such wonderful news! I can't think of anything profound to say, so I'll just say that we are praising God with you re: this news!