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, June 15, 2006

Round five

Tuesday, I began round five of the irinotecan. We added Avastin to the mix, hoping for some additional effectiveness. I'm having to rest a lot, but seem to be doing a bit better than the previous rounds. They unhook me today. The next two days are typically the roughest, but I think I have a good start here.

I have some new members of the no-hair club. Pictures coming soon.

Rice is once again in the College World Series. They are seeded #2. Would be fun to go if I were healthy. Maybe next year.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

CT results - stable

The lung nodules are "stable". No reduction, no growth. I have taken, I estimate, around 75 rounds of chemotherapy in my life between this cancer and the bone cancer I had as a teenager. These rounds consisted of around 8 different chemo protocols. With all this experience, this was the first time that a scan revealed that the chemo treatment had not significantly reduced the size of the tumors. Disappointing. Could be a lot worse, I suppose.

Dr. Eng says stability is a good thing in their business. The chemo is holding back the tumors. The largest nodule doubled from 0.5 to 1.1 cm in two months from January to March. In the three months since then, it has not grown at all. So she wants me to continue the protocol I've been on. Six more rounds is the plan, starting this week. She also added, "and let's throw in some Avastin to the mix." This struck me a bit odd - like Emeril throwing in some garlic based on his spur-of-the-moment logic that garlic always is a good idea.

Avastin is a drug that I took last year. It is technically not chemo - it does something to the tumor blood vessels. Adding it now, she said, cannot really hurt anything and it might help some. I sure hope so. If we continue to see stability or some reduction, then she will send me for a lung surgery consult. It is a long shot, because the nodules are in different places. But that would be the best option of getting rid of the tumors. I am used to praying for long shots.

I called my oncologist in Dallas and spoke to his PA about the news. She told me that a stable CT scan report is "excellent" when it comes to colon cancer lung nodules. "Excellent"? I feel like I just won a free room upgrade on the Titanic.