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 27, 2004

Procedure today for Christine

Christine_bw.jpg While my health improves the further I get from chemo, Christine's condition continues just as it has this past year of cancer. And just as it has since long before. She is affected by migraine headaches several times per week and almost daily suffers from other body pain. Last week, a migraine as bad as she ever has had sent us to the E.R. so she could get an intravenous treatment called in by her neurologist. It knocked her out for 24 hours and got the pain back to a manageable level.

An MRI taken several months ago revealed a bulge in between two vertebrae in her neck. Her doctor thinks this may be a trigger for her many headaches. This afternoon, she will be having an epidural steroid injection into the spot under the guidance of a CT scan. There are no guarantees it will do anything, and if it does the relief is not permanent. Nevertheless we are hoping this will help. The improvement takes around ten days to kick in. She has had to keep canceling this procedure due to accommodate my ever-changing medical calendar.

Chronic pain such as Christine's is an odd thing. It does not have the urgency of deadly disease such as cancer. But often in the past year I have thought that it is in many ways worse than cancer. To be sure, cancer can kill. But it usually lasts a relatively short time before it is gone - one way or another. And it makes you into a hero. Chronic pain, on the other hand, just lingers quietly and mercilessly for years, trying to break the will required for daily living while the active world around you seems to just leave you behind. (Christine jokes that she was going to title her autobiography "Left Behind" until someone stole the title).

My heart is broken over Christine's condition. Perhaps the reason I have not said much about her pain in my entries is because I have not been thinking a whole lot about anything beyond my own serious condition. Or maybe I just don't know what to write -- there is not much about another day of migraines that can be said to be "news". In any case, I hope that those who are praying for my cancer to stay far away might also ask the Lord for relief for Christine. She really needs a break.


Rosemary Cromer Boustany said...

Greg, you can be sure that all of those Kappa Deltas (who so enjoyed seeing your Mom and Dad this summer in St. Louis!) who have been following your progress and praying for your recovery, and sending positive thoughts and good wishes your way, do include Christine in these prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes. Your words above are moving and true, and I hope Christine realizes that, despite her pain, she is a fortunate woman to have a husband who loves and appreciates her so much!
Good wishes to both of you now and in the future.

Syd And Dan said...

No one understands migrains or constant pain unless they deal with it on a regular basis. I have a migraine about one every 5 or 6 weeks and it outs me out of comission. My brother deals with so muchc pain all over his body that he actually is under the care of a "pain specialist"that helps him with "pain management".
It is so real and needs so much prayer--you feel like: at times;when you say "I have a headache" that people look at you and think "A headache ? How bad is that?" IT is bad and we are all praying for your pain Christine.
Be encouraged about the procedure. I've known people that have had it and it works.
We will be praying !!!

Madeleine said...

Greg, I quite agree with your assessment of Christine's situation: its realities and implications. I've had a few migraines and I know that they cancel all your plans and are an enemy of the spirit as well as the body. Yes, Lord, please use this procedure and whatever else will be effective to deliver Christine from this life stealing condition. Your Hand of healing be upon Christine. In Jesus' name and for His glory, I pray.

Steve Taylor said...

A hearty AMEN to Madeleine's prayer above. Christine's condition remains very much in our prayers.

Brian M said...

Don't worry, Christine... we certianly haven't forgotten you and what you go through. I can sympathize a little bit on your trials. I don't have the constant pain that you suffer from, but Greg's description of the insidious nature of chronic pain could just as well be used to describe my condition, and I have very often felt left behind, too. My heart goes out to you, Christine, and my prayers go up for you.
I know that words seem like "mere" consolation when all you hope for is relief, but we know that somehow... Christ's strength is made perfect in our weakness, even though it certainly doesn't *feel* that way when we're weak. Know that the perserverance of your faith in the face of such adversity is encouraging to us all, and an ongoing testimony to the world of the power of God living in you.

Carl said...

In Jesus's Holy Name we pray for Christine's healing along with your prayers and the prayers of all these other prayer warriors. After seeing God's work in your recent struggle, I know more than ever before, God will answer.

Carolyn Cotta said...

Greg, Christine has always been in our prayers for you. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgi and was in pain(tho not intense) for 15 years. I finally had acupuncture and tho it didn't cure the pain, it localized it and they found that I needed a new hip. New hip--no more pain!! The medical field is still practicing! Carolyn Cotta

Corvino Family said...

Greg & Christine,
Still praying, waiting, hoping, rejoicing & praising God for every good thing.
Vince, Helen, Theresa, Joe & Christina

Craig & Maria said...

We will pray for Christine and that the prodcedure will help. I know Christine has had pain for a long time and yet carries on.
Maria & Craig

Richard S said...

I have been praying and will continue to pray for Christine. I have a migraine every now and then. I can't even imagine what she must be going through because I know how bad they affect me. I feel confident that God will heal her. God has blessed you with many miracles. Keep the faith and Brenda and I will keep praying for you and Christine.
Your brother in Christ,

John and Debbie Ciavola said...

Our prayers are with you and Christine, as always.

Nara said...

I would like to offer a word of encouragement for Christine. I suffer from chronic pain throughout my body, whether from the osteoarthritis in my knees and shoulders, the bulging disks in my neck (C5-6 and C6-7), or the fibromyalgia that gives me headaches and the feeling that my body is being ripped apart, I must say one thing... the Lord is Lord of all those things and He can heal them or He can use them for our growth and benefit. Please never think that He has fosaken you just because the pain does not go away. His ways are not our ways - they are greater than our ways. Don't lose your focus on the Lord in this time.
I pray for Christine's benefit that the Epidural Steriod Injection works, but it may take more than one, so don't get discouraged. For me, it took 2 of those, about 3 1/2 months apart to get rid of the debilitating pain in my neck, but it did work. What I have found, though, is that the pain will return with stress, so I try to find additional quiet time with God during the day to help de-stress, refocus, and get Christ-centered again.
Keep the faith. Hold on the the Lord. Even more now than before, you may find that the Lord is your Strength, especially when the pain is so overwhelming that you feel powerless against it. Use those times to refocus on Christ and take it one minute at a time.
In Christian Love and Understanding,

Steve said...

Sorry Christine is in so much pain. Has she talked with any surgeon about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome ?
Although i do not get migraines, i have almost total body pain every day. Degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, bursitis, and chronic tendonitis. Have had surgeries for neck, lower back, both knees, and 1 shoulder, so far.
Dr Harry Orenstein at Baylor Hospital wants
me to sign-up for 2 and maybe 4 outpatient
surgeries. He believes that some of my upper
body pain and upper extremity pain is caused
by Thoracic Outlet syndrome.
The surgery basically involves cutting Sensory
Nerves to stop the endless cycles of pain. The
surgery also involves inserting tiny amounts of
body fat in between Motor Nerves and Muscle Fibers to stop spasms.


We hope to see both of you when we arrive in Dallas on Aug. 9. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you and Christine because you and your family are very special to us. Hang in there and hope everything goes okay with both of you. Give your parents are love.