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.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Not what we expected

The nodules have grown. Still small, but significant growth. My new oncologist, Dr. Cathy Eng, tells me the cancer has spread to the lungs. One of the nodules is just big enough to biopsy -- 11mm. We could wait some more to observe, but she wants to stay aggressive and get right to finding out exactly what we are dealing with. Lung biopsies can be tricky, but she assured me that young healthy people - I guess that's me(?) - usually tolerate them with not much problem.

The biopsy will be in 1-2 weeks. We're probably looking at more chemo soon after that. But that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. In one of the many lighter moments we had during the day, Christine reminded me how to eat an elephant - one bite at a time.

I had stayed with the Rasmussens Wed night and Sally came with me for the appointment. It has been great spending time with them at this time. Christine has been right there with me - she teleconferenced in for the appointment, and talked me through the landing as I drove back from Houston last night.

Yes, quite the bummer.

There have been some exceptional cases where such nodules hold steady for a long time. In at least one of Dr Eng's cases, she saw them go away completely with chemo - three years out now. We hope that will be the case for me and look forward to that. But regardless, Christine and I have been having a good time reminding each other of the plan...

I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
(Ps 34:1-3)


Dan And Syd Christen said...

Dan and I pray for you constantly.
We haven't posted a lot since his heart attack in Sept--but you are in our prayers and thoughts,as you battle this monster.
I read your posts out loud at work here at Verizon--people are amazed at your strength and humor !
You'll never know how many lives you touch.
You two ;continue to love and cling to each other,knowing that God is in control and you are loved.
Dan and Syd

Gay Bethel said...

As always, you and Christine are in my prayers. What an inspiration you are! May the Lord be with you both.
With love in Christ

Miriam Patterson said...

Hi Greg & Christine,
We will be praying for you!!! I was just telling your story to someone in our church Home Group here in London a few weeks ago. He is also young (in his 20s!) and is going to have some nodules removed from his lungs next month (his original cancer was in the saliva glands)--he has actually had to wait awhile for the lung nodules to get large enough to be operated on! He is also a man of great faith, and he was encouraged to hear about your story, too. Please would you be encouraged to know that the story of your perseverance before the Lord is an encouragement to others.
Thank you for your honesty--your willingness to share your ups and downs with us--it is a great encouragement to us to trust in the God who has been sustaining you, and who ultimately sustained our Lord Jesus Christ through his suffering and affliction--not for nought, but for His heavenly purpose. We will keep praying that our God, who raised Jesus from the dead, continues to keep, guide and sustain the both of you.
Much love,

Mark Horne said...

Greg, I am so sorry to read this. Our prayers are with you.

leyla said...

Dear Greg,
This is disappointing news indeed, however your oncologist is right to want to follow a proactive line of treatment . I will continue to pray for you, and it may sound strange to you but you are in our thoughts frequently out here in Istanbul . Mehpare- my sister in law who is battling crc stage 4 with liver mets - asks me about your progress from time to time, as your story was quite an inspiraton to her at the start of her journey & ordeal.
She now has finished 12 sessions of Folfox plus avastin and is currently in remission following a clear scan - however, as we all know and must face up to- this road is full of up and downs. We just have to remember to enjoy the ride at all times , that's all!
With all my best wishes ,
ps- A 50 year old friend of mine just had a lung biopsy, and said afterwards that the procedure was quite uneventful, contrary to what he had assumed . Hope yours is a breeze, also.

Cody and Julie said...

We love you both so much and are grieved to hear about more cancer. We are comforted to know that you rest on the Rock. It sounds like Christine is doing a wonderful job as your helpmeet, despite her own continuing trials. We thank God for her. Give her our love.
Cody and Julie

Karen said...

From my experience, the "elephant" really did not taste very good however, be encourage to know that your Lord is with you as you feast.

Judy Wu said...

Thanks for continuing to keep us informed. Amen on the passage from Psalm 34. Let me know if I can ever help you and/or Christine with anything on any of your trips to MDA.
Love and prayers in Christ,

Judy Wu said...

Thanks for continuing to keep us informed. Amen on the passage from Psalm 34. Let me know if I can ever help you and/or Christine with anything on any of your trips to MDA.
Love and prayers in Christ,

Shannon and Josh said...

My hear is heavy to read your news. Thanks for the Psalm, "... let the afflicted hear and rejoice...." It takes on different depth and meaning when you and Christine quote it right now. And thanks for the bad hospital jokes from yesterday. Thanks for all of it and for all of you both. Will certainly continue to pray for the Lord to heal you and continue to meet you.

Roach said...

Very disappointed to hear this, but thankful for God's faithfulness to you and in you. Will pray.

Al Groves said...

Sorry to hear the latest news!
I saw another post about someone's over-50 friend having a biopsy of a lung tumor. Let me also speak as a 50-something who recently had a biopsy of a lung nodule. I found it was actually almost painless. In my case the procedure was a needle biopsy for a 3cm tumor aided by a CT scan. It was a pretty impressive procedure, I must say. Because your tumor is smaller, you may be looking at a different procedure, however. I don't know. But I was surprised at the minor discomfort it produced--during and after. Many people did pray for me, and that makes all the difference.
I pray that God will bring a good result. So many of us have prayed for you for some time now. I cannot say it strongly enough how much you have been a constant example to me of courage and faith, particularly as I now face my own battle with cancer. (You may or may not be aware that my own lung biopsy showed stage 4 metastasis of melanoma, which is incurable. I am currently undergoing treatment. Your blogsite has been an inspiration to begin one for myself. If you are interested you can look at
The hope we have in His love and His resurrection is great. May you and Christine see the Lord's hand in this time!
I join you in singing Psalm 34. Thanks for pointing the way, as you always have!
Blessings, Al Groves

Willeyne Berger said...

Dearest Greg and Christina,
We are continuing our prayers in hopes that you are better soon. You certainly are an inspiration to us all. I am still having problems that the radiation and chemo has been done but I hope to hang in there like you, Greg. You certainly are a strong person that we all need to reflect on. God is certainly in control of both of our lives. Willeyne

Vince, Helen, & all the Corvinos said...

Greg & Christine,
I'm sure glad God doesn't get tired
of hearing our voices.
We'll keep on calling on Him and holding you guys
up to Him.

Martha Gessick said...

Dear Greg and Christine, may I ditto the sweet note from Dan and Syd Christian...I love you, my children love you and I continue to pray for healing for both of you. If there is anything (at all) that I/we can do, please let me know. In His great love and mercy, martha gessick, Robin, Rhonda, Rod and Rick

Glen Ragan said...

Dear Greg,
Cancer is so inconsiderate.
We've prayed for you every evening (except 3), and will continue to do so.
The LORD bless you and keep you. If only you didn't have to go through this roller coaster.
Chin up,

Darren McCosky said...

This sucks.
I know we don't always know why things happen and God's plan but the engineer in me still tries to figure it out.
I will reiterate what many of your friends say, that in the face of these many challenges you are an amazing inspiration.
My 7yr old reminded me that we will have to start praying harder, adding prayers in the morning to our evening prayers for you. He's not worried...
The McCosky family

Jim Williams said...

Not what I expected when I saw that there was a posting. I have recommended your Web Site to other Cancer Patients and they have found encouragement in your faith and courage. I pray that the Lord will continue to give you and Christine the strength to hold on and to praise Him even in the midst of your trials. For when He has tried you, you will come forth as "pure gold."
Your brother in Christ,

Jim and Coco said...

Stay encouraged. Like som many many others out there we are praying for you and will continue to do so.
GOD bless now and forever.

Jim and Coco said...

Stay encouraged. Like som many many others out there we are praying for you and will continue to do so.
GOD bless now and forever.

Deb Peck said...

Oh, Greg, how can it be that one can read news like yours and be uplifted so? Because you are the reflecting pool in which God (and those blessed to observe) sees Himself in your faith and absolute trust in Him. What a witness to Christ's love and faithfulness is your union with Christine. As I read the posts, I see His mighty plan at work. May you be sustained in the knowledge of the multitudes praying for both you and Christine as we rejoice in the faithfulness of our God.

DJ Segler said...

Stay strong - God's in control and works all for the purpose of good - His purpose.
I have a very good friend who was born with only 1 kidney functioning at about 25%. Now that he's 8, his kidney has failed completely and he has been on dialysis for the last year. In the process of testing for a kidney transplant, the doctors discovered that he had a serious heart malformation that would jeopardize any chance of a kidney transplant.
The heart malformation consisted of some basic plumbing errors and could cause serious issues even if surgery were to be pursued. Either the heart or his chance to survive without a kidney (while waiting for a transplant) were both very risky options and there has been alot of debate over which surgery to pursue first. Also, the heart condition itself could result in death under high stress / exercise conditions and was not somthing an 8 year old wanted to hear.
After months of prayer and faithfulness by many, they decided to make a decision on which "issue" to pursue first - heart or kidney. With one last round of tests, the experts were suddenly surpised and amazed. The doctor who repeated the test placed the old films next to the new films in a room with all 8 or so experts who had been involved with the case so far. He said, "tell me what you see". The doctors clearly confirmed that the first film indicated a major heart defect where plumbing was misaligned and in fact had arteries on the wrong side of the heart. They went further to verify that the second film appears to be a perfect heart with no sign of any issue or defects. The lead doctor then explained that the films were from the same boy. Every doctor in that room was astounded and certainly moved - with the only explanation being some form of miracle.
Hang in there, trust, and pray - God has power way beyond anything we could understand and He's got it all under control. I can't tell you the number of lives that this little boy has touched with his testimony and it all works within God's ultimate plan.
Pray, stay strong, and be faithful - God's got it all under control and touching lives with your testimony.
We'll be praying right along with you...