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.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Schedule for surgery, etc

The surgery is confirmed for February 18. I am (relatively) very glad to be having this because the way cancer works (in my amateur yet ever increasing understanding), chemo can shrink and stabilize cancer and can kill very small tumors. But in order to be cured, you have to get rid of it all. In many types of cancer, such as mine, this means physical removal of all cancerous cells. As horrible as surgery is, it is minor compared with the alternative. Come to think of it, I guess that's the whole idea.

The area of concern is physically located within the pelvis. Dr. Rodriguez-Bigas says it is like trying to do surgery in an ice cream cone from the top. The problem is that there are so many important organs, nerves, and miscellaneous anatomical tubes crammed into the cone. That is why he will be doing it together with an extra pair of hands - those of Dr. Wood, who is another surgeon at MD Anderson. They way I understand it, he is a specialist in these ice cream cone surgical techniques.

On another note, Dr. Hoff's team has decided to continue my chemotherapy to keep hammering on the tumor, increasing the chance of success of the surgery. While I have always decided in the past to do my chemo at MD Anderson, I have decided to do the next two rounds at UT Southwestern in Dallas. In the case of trouble and complications, I believe it is important to stay "on the radar" of the team at MD Anderson. But I'm going to do it here because these rounds are going well in terms of any odd reactions, and because I am getting very fatigued and sick and the travel is getting difficult. The MD Anderson and UT Southwestern people have agreed to this arrangement.

While I am quite frustrated due to my lack of strength and my feeling sick these days, it will be better to be at home for these coming holiday weeks than driving back and forth on I-45. So I am glad this plan has worked out the way it has.

Here is the plan:
December 28 - chemo round 5 in Dallas with backpack chemo hookup for 48 hours
Jan 10 - chemo round 6, same deal
Feb 8 - CT scans to get final look before surgery. If no surprises or new cancer, surgery will go forward
week of Feb 15 - set of meetings with lead surgeon Dr. Rodriguez-Bigas, Dr. Wood, and Dr. Hoff
Feb 18 - Surgery. Recovery is 5-7 days in hospital, followed by 5-7 days in Houston area
Feb 19 - I turn a hard-fought-for 37.


John Slaughter said...

Hang it there Greg, we are pulling for you.

Bruce & Bert Grantham said...

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Isa. 55:12 NIV

Rosemary Boustany said...

All the "old" Kappa Deltas from Drury are praying for the success of the chemo and the surgery. Keep the faith!

Andrew Russell said...

I had surgery once. They took out my apendix. They said I didn't really need it anyway. I guess it is very simular to your cancerous tumor. I'm sure you don't really need it. I know several people who have lived long happy lives without any cancerous tumors... so don't feel too sad about loosing it. In fact, while they're in there, you could ask them to remove your apendix as well. They say you don't need your apendix... so you might as well get rid of it as quickly as you can.

Carl said...

We remain locked in prayer for healing for you in Jesus's Holy Name

Veta Taylor said...

I am glad to hear that Dr. Rodriguez has agreed to do the surgery. But, I am sorry to hear that you have to get more chemo during the holidays. I know it is best for you but since you have not felt well, it would have been nice to have a break from it. We hope Christine and you have a wonderful, blessesd Christmas and know that the Lord is always beside you.
Veta and Dallas Taylor

roy brown said...

will contine to pray for you and update the NTP candidates committee. Have a Merry Christmas.

Mike Fennell said...

Greg, my prayers are with you. Please enjoy this holiday say hello to your family for me.
Mike Fennell

Craig & Maria said...

we're praying for you and the days ahead. Rest and then Rest more. You are in God's hand and that's the best place to be. Rest in Him.
Maria & Craig

Sarah Edmonson said...

Greg, I'm sure you don't remember me - we were at Wiess together. Someone passed on the news of your struggles, and I've just been reading up on your last couple of years. My thoughts and best wishes are with you and I will join the many people who are hoping this surgery will do the trick. Meanwhile, if you need some practical support from the Houston end, drop me an email!