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, September 14, 2006

Quick note about result of scans and scope

Since many have been calling and I know several of you want to know how it went today, here's a brief report.

The scope was normal as expected. The CT scans of the lungs showed things are "stable". The largest tumor, which is about 1-1.5cm, is the same length, but "may be slightly narrower." The full report wasn't even ready, so I won't have the details until next week. It was enough, though, for Dr. Eng to decide that I should keep doing the same chemo I have been doing, maybe get a little more shrinkage - at least squeeze this chemo for what it is worth as long as it holds things at bay. Only she wants me to do a lower dose or lower frequency because the side effects are beating me up. Then we'll reevaluate after some more rounds. I'm going to call and try to discuss in more detail with Dr. Shapiro in Dallas tomorrow to find out what this means and how we'll proceed. The meeting today was rather short.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

I'm Back

I finished round ten. It has been quite grueling, but I pressed through all ten even though along the way there were times when the doctor (and Christine) thought I needed a break. Maybe they were right. But I had scheduled out all the weeks and planned accordingly. There was my work schedule. And there were the three different families (Julie's Susan's, and Anne's) who visited and it would have messed things up badly had I got out of sync in the weeks by skipping a week. What a silly reason, you might think. Putting my body at risk, just to keep a schedule? My only response is that a person suffering seeks to hold on to something - anything - to control. Something to accomplish. You cannot just let go of all goals when you have cancer. I have let go of so much. I still mourn over all the goals and hopes I have left behind these past few years. It feels like just about everything got tossed overboard to keep this ship afloat, in fact. But I still hold to a few goals. This was one of those I held to ... and kept.

I want to thank the many of you who have written, emailed, and called to check in on me. It is apparent that I am blessed with a strong group of people who are collectively lifting me though this. So many of the calls and notes I have left unanswered. I hope I have not lost these friends by my silence. One of the notes reminded me of this story:

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

I think I have such friends.

So how am I and what's next?

I have been pushing along day by day. Most of the little energy I have had, I have used going to work - to keep the bills paid and because it is another one of those purpose things, and one I happen to enjoy. The problem is that when I get home, I pretty much collapse on the sofa like I ran home from the office instead of driving. Sound unbalanced? It is. Even though they say that all you need to know you learn in kindergarten, the truth is that nobody taught me how to fight cancer.

This weekend, we head back to Houston. This time I get the full round of tests: colonoscopy, full CT, you know, the works. That's going to be a big one-two punch for this weak body. But I don't think much about the difficulty of a few days. I am more focused on Thursday, when I meet with Dr. Eng to find out the results and chart out what is next. It is odd meeting with someone to find out about your very life. I have had dozens of such appointments. I am still not used to it.

For this one, I have no idea what to expect. I am not thinking too much about the what-if's this time because there are many different possibilities, and many treatment plans that could be recommended for each. I'm praying for good results and wisdom in the direction to go. We'll worry about the details of making the plan once we hear the results and Dr Eng's recommendation. "Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Several brave souls have joined the no-hair club since I last wrote. I need to tell about them, but I'll save that for another post.