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, May 27, 2006

Chemo break

Dr. Shapiro postponed my chemo a week. My white blood cell count was too low. Also, he was concerned about the intestinal pain, which is likely due to irritation caused by the chemo. He said to me, "I'm going to try to talk you into taking a week off." He thought I would resist. It is true, I didn't want to give the cancer the week off, but the doctor didn't think it would make a big difference and he wanted me more healthy to hit me with the next dose. Sounded reasonable to me. The past few days the pain has indeed subsided, and the mid-week blood count showed the white blood cells climbing quickly. So we'll start the fourth round Tuesday. I'll then go to Houston the following week for CT scans and meeting with Dr. Eng at MD Anderson.

In other news, we have three new members, bringing to 15 those who are feeling the breeze...

currytop.jpg john airtop.jpg andrew vesttop.jpg scott

Check the members page to see who they are.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Membership hits a dozen

Greg's No-Hair Club for Men is gaining momentum. The satisfied membership is growing. And the entries are beginning to get creative...
DavidClemmons_aTm.jpg A true Aggie.
DavidPagan_before.jpg So David, is your boss going to join?

Click to see all the members.

I was asked yesterday, "How does it feel that all these people around the world are uglier because of you?"
"It feels great!" I replied.
Of course, the secret that we club members understand is that there is only beauty in hating cancer and feeling the breeze.

All of this a a fun blessing to me, distracting me from the growing pain I've been having lately in my lower intestines. They say it is due to the chemo irritating where the radiation was. The pain lollipops they are giving me (same as back during the radiation) makes it tolerable, which is a good thing because I want to keep this chemo coming so it can do its job in my lungs. Round four is Monday morning. Ugh. Daily I must look to the Lord for strength to go another day. Thanks for your prayers and support. I believe this is how I find that strength to keep going.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Three new members

Three new satisfied members are feeling the breeze: Charles & Michael Burck and David Ray.

From my sister Julie in San Fransisco...

Dear Greg,

This morning, we went over to Chinatown to see Ann at our favorite place, Charmante Beauty Salon. It is described by SF Weekly as the �best cheap haircut for Men in the city!� It is located across the street from the famous Washington Square, (a park, playground, and big cathedral) and he posed for you on a tree in the park. He did climb up himself�he wanted you to know!

I�d like to say that Charles was really excited to be a part of your club. I am confident that the lollipop and playground across the street had nothing to do with his excitement about getting his haircut!

While he was getting his haircut I was reminding him how we were going to get it cut and then Uncle Greg would put his picture on the computer for all to see�and he says, �Like in the Bible. We�re going to cut off all my hair and I�ll lose all my strength!�

Mike was on a business trip and got back this afternoon. He hadn�t heard about your club and wanted to join too, and Charles was very excited about Daddy joining with him.

Love ya, JuJu

Pics of Charles, Mike, and David and all the other satisfied members is here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New member!

Greg's No-Hair Club for Men announces their first new member since going public. Can you guess who it is?

MarkPeck_top.jpgDear Mr. President,
It would be a great honor to be considered for membership in your club. I have attached before-and-after pictures as proof that I have in fact taken the necessary steps to qualify. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Sincerely, ???

Click image to find out.

I'm having a no hair day

I've been noticing my hair falling out. The irinotecan has a knack for doing that. I decided I'm not going to keep brushing hairs off my desk, picking them out of my food, fretting about whether the thinning is noticeable, etc. I'm not going to give the chemo that pleasure. So I cut it all off. Chemo is my servant, not the other way around.

Check out how you can become a member of Greg's No Hair Club For Men.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Resurrection Oranges

One of my quiet joys in this cacophonous world is receiving Image Journal in the mail. It's one of those things that is infrequent enough -- quarterly -- that I forget about it until I discover the surprise at the mailbox. Then I sit down and am ushered inward and upward as artists, writers, and poets contemplate life and faith.

In the issue I just received I enjoyed the following poem by Irish poet Eamon Grennan. I thought it was fitting to share given my post on resurrection tomatoes.

Resurrection Oranges
Eamon Grennan

Shouldering the late snow aside, the snowdrops and tight
green fists of skunk cabbage thrust up and up. Likewise
nameless threads of pale green, each with a tiny leaf-cap,
have started to shine all over the dark-drenched mulch

of dead leaves. Transparencies of air! In which the world
starts happening, taking shape from almost nothing (nothing,
and just look at us!
), and how light, that is a cataract of quiet
astonishment through the dining-room window, Cezannes

a bowl of fruit before our eyes: green pears and pale red
yellow-speckled apples, oranges lit like lamps in their own
sanctuary, all take a sudden swerve (nature mort as they are)

into resurrection, it seems that easy, so even the word
home, a fugitive bluebird, closes its wings and settles like
a native come to roost, to ripen, quiet, in one sunlit corner.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Better second round

The horrible first round must have been an anomaly. I think I had a stomach virus underneath everything that pushed me over the edge requiring me to be hooked up at the clinic every day. It had to be something like that because I am doing much better this second round. Dr. Shapiro reduced the 5-fu some this round, so maybe we'll be able to go back to the full dose next week. This week, I have been able not only to stay out of the hospital, but go to work the last few days. This is a relief, as I have been sick it seems for a very long time and I have not been able to work or do much of anything for four weeks.

Speaking of work, some of you have asked if I have been able to work through all of this. These past three years of treatments, I have been working about 3/4 time. I work at Texas Instruments designing DLP technology (go #96!). Much of my work during treatments has been from home (or wherever I am). I am very fortunate to have the kind of job where I can do this. In fact, I actually do some of my more productive work alone from home. I think this goes back to my education - I spent two-and-a-half years in high school doing what they called "home bound school" due to the bone cancer that I had at that time. This struggle has been very rough in a lot of ways, but I am very thankful to have a job that I enjoy. I know not many people get paid to do what they enjoy. So I count this blessing.