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.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Preparations for tomorrow

I hoped for a quiet week after meeting with the surgeons on Tuesday. Instead, I found myself with a full schedule of more tests. The surgeon wants to double check some things and make sure there are absolutely no signs of cancer anywhere else, in which case he will cancel the surgery.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a colonoscopy-like test with Dr. Ross. He wore a playfully confused grin and asked, "Now why is it do you need this test?" Knowing it would be an uncomfortable and somewhat painful affair, I replied quite seriously that I did not need it. He stepped out for a few minutes to review my chart and check with the surgeon. He returned and gave me his conclusion, "I think he's trying to torture you." And he proceeded with the test.

I began fasting on Tuesday evening. I will not eat until I can do so after surgery. They want my system completely clean. I think it is part of the torture plan.

I laugh about all of this because such matters are ridiculously insignificant compared with the magnitude of what will happen tomorrow. There are so many different possibilities as far as the direction the surgeons will go. The problem is, they do not know what they will do until they get in there. I have never experienced such a sense of helplessness and vulnerability. There are no bulls' horns for me to take hold of. I can do nothing to affect what they will do tomorrow, and when all the life-affecting decisions are made, I will be unconscious. They could find diffusely spread cancer, in which case they will close me up and do nothing. There is a significant chance this tumor has invaded key organs, which would have to be removed with the tumor. They may have to cut and reconstruct key parts in order to pull out what they need to get. And of course, the tumor may be cleanly isolated and easily removed. I get the feeling the decision points will be fuzzy so I hope they are alert, wise, and in top form tomorrow.

There have been a couple of good signs. My CEA blood level is down. This can indicate the cancer does not have much momentum. If it were spread about in assault on my guts, the CEA would probably be rising. Also, the various tests so far this week have turned up negative. This is why the surgeons are still all go for the surgery. Finally, I am as strong as I have been in some time. The time off the chemo (and perhaps the biking...?!) have done good for me. My white blood cell count is healthy and ready to fight. The extended fasting doesn't exactly help my strength, but overall, I think my body is ready for the recovery process after the trauma of surgery.

I have been so thankful to my Creator for all of your support and prayers. He has answered your prayers (in ways I have desired) in the past. I desire as much as I have desired anything that the same will be true this time. I ask if you might take a moment (or take an hour!) to plea with the Lord that tomorrow, (1) they will effectively remove the cancer towards a complete cure of this disease, (2) there would be no collateral damage that would adversely affect my future life, and (3) that I might have the strength to endure the pain and whatever results may come.

As slow as I physically trudge from appointment to appointment, my mind races as it confronts so many unknowns. At the same time, these simple words from the book of Hebrews have quitely, yet doggedly, come to mind.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


John and Debbie Ciavola said...

Our Thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and Christine. It is amazing how The Lord is working through you to inspire so many. May Peace Truly be with You.

Carolyn Cotta said...

You and Christine have never been out of my prayers. I will double my efforts as you undergo this operation tomorrow. God be with you and His will be done.

Darren said...

My family will pray for you tonight as well as my men's church group at our meeting tonight.
As far as strength, you have more than anyone I know. And we know where it comes from...

Dan And Syd Christen said...

OH Greg---Your strength amazes me--it can only come from God.
He will continue to give you what you need to endure this; and we will continue to take hours and lift you up.
Love you!!!

Avery and Jordan said...

we will be praying for you. We love you. Hope you feel better soon! avery and jordan

Colleen said...

Greg, I have never known anyone so young with such a mature sense of how to exercise strength in areas you can't control. My prayers will be with you.

Ann Strauss said...

Let go and let God, Greg; I'll be thinking and praying for you.

Pidge Yeager said...

Our family is praying for you and Christine. You two are on the front lines of battle and we are back home on our knees. May our victorious Saviour be your strength and comfort.
Russ and Pidge Yeager

Miriam Patterson said...

You and Christine will certainly be in our prayers tonight and through the recovery period. I am reminded of advice I was given a long time ago: The least we can do is pray, and the most we can do is pray. Amen!
Miriam & Andrew

Brian M said...

Hang in there Greg... you're in my prayers.

Bill Peck said...

Greg and Christine,
The Denton County Pecks are on their knees tonight in prayer for you. God is good, all the time, and we are sure He has you in the palm of His hand.

Georgan Reitmeier said...

Tom and I are praying Ps. 32:7 & 31:14 for you are indeed in the Healer's Hands.
Love you,
Tom and Georgan Reitmeier

John and Kelly Ma said...

Greg and Christine,
We will be praying for you.
In Him,
John and Kelly

Tammie B. said...

I am praying for you this morning and will continue to lift you throughout the day.