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 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.


Rick & Sonya said...

Greg, You do have such friends! Thanks for sharing this journey with all of us. Your trust in Jesus encourages and convicts us. We love you! ~Rick & Sonya

Mark Horne said...

Thanks for the update Greg. We continue to pray for you.

Debbie Peck said...

You are loved so much, Greg. There are only a select few that the Father uses in the way He is using you. He will continue to uphold the son He loves and bring to fruition the wonderful works He has planned.

Beti said...

Weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice...I experience that with you, and the longer I live, with every relationship.

Fran said...

So good to hear from you again. We'll keep praying and trust in God.

Dan & Syd said...

Greg--The fact that you have endured so much for ;what seems to be such a long time;is a magnificent testimony to your faith,and the faith of two wonderful christian parents.
Dan and I continue to pray for you and Christine.No one ;untill they walk in your shoes: could begin to understand.
The time during and shortly after Dan had his heart attach last year--on 09/11,gave me a little insite of feeling helpless and waiting . And you have been doing it for so long--you are so brave and have such an incredible sense of humor.
God has used you and blessed us all --just reading your posts. Thank you --

Carl said...

I thank God for your strength in all the things you describe. With reference to the Gospel story of the paralytic, not only do you have friends like that but you also have the same God that healed that paralytic. It is my opinion that you are in His Hands, not the doctor's. Rest easy. Love and God's infinite support to you and Chris through this difficult hour.

Richard Sherard said...

Greg, great to hear from you again. I was afraid I had just somehow been thrown of the list. You know since I am getting old I seem to tire a lot more easily. I can't imagine how tired you must be yet you keep your purpose. Be sure and know how you have ministered to me in the midst of your suffering just by your attitude and perserverence. I hope to get to see you soon.

Shannon said...

So glad to see you back in print. I have missed having your updates as a partial devotional for me. Our family is praying for you. Lots of love.

sarah said...

Greg, We are so impressed that you have made the 10 weeks and understand that it has not been an easy time. We will be thinking about you and Chris every minute next week. Mati and Mia send kisses and hugs!

Ann said...

So good to hear from you. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Richard Steenson said...

Greg - We have been checking for updates as we keep you in our thoughts and prayers every day. You have maintained an inner strength despite being tested beyond anything that most of us can ever imagine, much less experience ourselves. Our comfort comes from knowing that God is with you and being assured that you know He is always there.

Bruce & Bert Grantham said...

Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus,
like the sea at the flood of spring tides,
cover all my powers, drown all my sins,
wash out all my cares,
lift up my earth-bound soul,
and float it right up to my Lord's feet,
and there let me lie, a poor broken shell,
washed up by His love, having no virtue of value;
and only venturing to whisper to Him
that if he will put His ear to me,
He will hear within my heart
faint echoes of the vast waves of His own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie,
even at His feet for ever.
C.H. Spurgeon

John & Debbie said...

Greg, It's so great to hear from you again. Thank You for continuing to find the strength to keep us all updated. You and Christine continue to be in our prayers.

araceli said...

The Jonsson six are looking forward to seeing you this week! We'll be praying for easy travels to Houston.

Denise said...

It's been a while, but I think about you and Chris everyday. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Beth Black said...

Greg, your comment about meeting with Dr. Eng, how odd it seems to be meeting with someone who is involved in planning your very life. Yet, the attitude, the fortitude you have displayed througout this whole ordeal exhibits that you actually meet with the very One Who really does plan out your life. We pray for your regularly. Our love to you & Christine--Beth & Byron

Ruth said...

Your comments about losing control really hit home. The only answer, I'm still learning, is to cling to our Lord, who truly controls all. You both are daily in our prayers.~John & Ruth