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.

Saturday, July 3, 2004

"Good news"

When Dr. Vauthey opened the door to the examination room, it ended a nine-day grueling wait. "Good news", he said. All six biopsies tested negative for cancer. I sat stunned, overwhelmed with relief, gladness, and thanksgiving. After the short conversation and departure of Dr. Vauthey and his cohort, Christine and I sat there quietly for a moment. There were no words. Together we whispered "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."

Around here, there always seem to be cautious nuances to be made, and this case was no exception. It is possible that the six biopsies missed the nodule. As you may recall, it was nearly impossible to see the nodule with the ultrasound. But that is why the doctor took six shots at the area. Also, there was an odd finding of scar tissue in the area. This area happens to be one of the places where I have actually not had surgery before, so that remains an unresolved question. Because of these two issues, my case will once again be presented at the weekly GI oncology conference next Tuesday to determine whether further investigation is needed. Dr. Vauthey indicated that he is content that we are not looking at a recurrence and that I will most likely not need any further investigation at this time.

We will stay here through Monday, when I will meet with Dr. Hoff to chart out our plan of attack from here and decide whether more preventative chemotherapy should be taken at this time.

The past week has been one of intense struggles deep in my soul. Parts of my mind were constantly in combat with others. Trains of thought were stopped by reminders of truth, which were in turn undercut by chaotic deconstructions. The dark cloud of death, which is ever present in all of our lives, seemed so close to me. Engaging in intentional distractions or platitude thinking only seem to make things worse for me. I need something stronger. Scripture was usually the place where stability could be found. Additionally, my wife and my dear friend pastor Robert Cook from Christ the King Church helped me in my deep tactical maneuvering. Also helpful were expressions of support from those sharing my burden - the Jonssons and Ragans, my family, and many others of you. I believe that I reached a rare quiet point of spiritual victory the morning of the appointment. That morning was quite sweet even though I did not know the outcome of the test.

It is only after the battle that I realize just how difficult the struggle was. In the hours since the appointment, every ten minutes or so, I breathe a hearty sigh and drink gladness that this particular battle is over. I look back on this week with great thanksgiving. I believe I have a greatly improved arsenal of applied Christian truth. I believe it was a very cathartic week... a time of getting to know myself clearer and my Lord closer. This is a good thing, as there will be more battles to come.


curtis frodge said...

praise God indeed!

Pete & Sally said...

Great News! All our love.
Pete & Sally

Bruce & Bert Grantham said...

Greg & Christine:
Jim called me with your incredible news just before I left work yesterday afternoon. I think the news "felt" incredible because of all that has preceeded it, beginning with your osteosarcoma. Yeah, baby.
Bert has been osteosarcoma free since her surgery late last year. In bed at night, I find myself captivated by the beauty of her face while she sleeps. Last night, I watched her walk across our bedroom and was caught by the imagine of a "train" of stardust spreading out behind her, like a comet or an elaborate wedding gown. Each sprinkle of dust is a life she has touched with her sweet spirit.
You are a bright comet Greg.
Love in Christ,
Bruce & Bert Grantham

josh Geiger said...

Yes, praise God indeed! We share your joy in this great news and tremendous testimony of God's mercy and grace. Thank you for sharing some of the "arsenal of applied Christian truth" with us. Love, Josh & Shannon

Dave Thom said...

Kurt L & I will eat at Chili's Thursday and remember you in utter and total Thanksgiving with Chili's excellent Tex-Mex fare, remembering you on the border. Perhaps we should toast you in some way. Err, toast The Lord in connection with your good news. Must be you're keeping the Rangers in 1st place. "I'll have a Hewlettzer, thank you." Blessings, Greg.

Brian M said...

Great news! Praise the Lord for the mercies and loving-kindness that he shows toward his children!

Adam said...

Thanks for the testimony - you two never cease to amaze me in the encouragement you provide to us all. Enjoy true freedom this weekend.
- Adam

Craig & Maria said...

Greg and Christine we rejoice with you and the good news. I know there have been alot of prayers lifted up for you. Praise God!
Maria & Craig

Coco and Jim said...

Great news!!! You continue to inspire all of us with your strength and depth of character.
God's Blessing....

Willeyne Berger said...

Praise the Lord, Greg. Your mom and dad were just here and she called me with the good news!! You are indeed a miracle.!

Andrew said...

Nice. There's a really good Chinese buffet I discovered in Plano. If we are ever both there at the same time I'd like to take you to lunch. That seems much more likely to happen if you are alive.

Carl said...

We too "Praise God from whom all Blessings flow..."

Roland Lindh said...

Get a copy of "Ben Hogan; An American Life" by Jame Dodson (not the Samson book). You will be extremely encouraged, not a little amazed, and I think very surprised. Put away Hodge, Barth, and Berkhower long enough to read something that will capture you entirely. I can not put it down! It's made me see some things very differently about life and death...and that God still draws straight lines with crooked sticks...and sometimes with golf sticks.