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, March 24, 2007

New Morning

Hi. Greg here.

The moment I awoke from surgery, I rejoiced. It is scary going under, as this surgery is serious enough that some don't make it through. I was reciting Psalm 23 in my mind as I drifted into the deep sleep and the next thing I know I was emerging from the valley of the shadow of death.

I hear that it went very smoothly. The surgeon estimated I only lost about 5% lung capacity from this surgery. And that he got all four mets. With nothing else on the CT scan, I am now, really for the first time in four years, clear of any visible signs of cancer. I don't know if they'll want me to take more chemo. Time is the only way now to find out if there is any more cancer. OK, I'm getting ahead of myself.

With the epidural working, this has been a completely different experience than last time. Carefully and calmly, they adjusted the medicine to get me comfortable. I came into consciousness gently. No screaming or hitting. By the afternoon, I was in my standard room up on the 7th floor. I was determined to walk and did so later that evening. I also got special permission, unlike last time, to eat. They say that with the anesthesia wearing off, eating can make one nauseated or even vomit. What do they know? I asked (begged?) the resident and he said OK. I ordered dinner, had a few bites, then threw up. Hmmm. Maybe there was something to that warning.

I didn't get much sleep from the pain, discomfort, and tangle of tubes running in me from all directions. The pain is not too bad; it is just there. This morning, the nurse rolled in her laptop station to show me an instructional powerpoint presentation on how to breathe. I watched then took the opportunity to write you all.

Thanks for your support everybody! And thanks, Mark, Rollin, and Christine, for the blog entries to keep everyone up to date.


Denise said...

I was so relieved to hear that you made it through yesterday. I thank your friend Mark for the update. Now I am even more grateful to hear from you personally that your recovery is progressing. It is truly a miracle that you have come this far. I will send prayers for you and Christine. Love to you both.

Richard Steenson said...

Good morning Greg. We are joyful in how well the surgery went. If the nurses say not to eat, you might want to listen next time.
After going 8 for 8 in the regional semi-finals, it looks like you are about to move past your sister into first place in your own NCAA pool. I know you're smiling at that, but also you will not forget that God in is control.

Brian Marquis said...

Hi Greg!
Glad to hear you are doing better! I pray that God will bless you all with some good, quality rest.

Fran said...

Hip, Hip, Hooray!!!
Love, Fran

Carl said...

Thank You Lord for this new morning and thank you Greg for having the courage to survive to see it. Fathers with daughters appreciate and value good husbands. I'm thanking God for the gift.

sarah said...

Greg, we are soooo happy in NJ today to hear that you feel so well (considering what you have been through) and the forecast is sunny! We can't wait to see you guys in April!

Willeyne Berger said...

Oh my, how happy we are and I know how your parents feel that this is all behind you. You are some guy--a miracle one who keeps chugging along. We are asking for more prayers for Christine so keep us up on her progress as well. Love to you and your entire family, Willeyne

James Williams said...

One more day, one more day,
I thank God for just one more day.
One more day to do the very best I can.
I thank God for one more day!
May the blessings of the Lord be sufficient to see you through ONE MORE DAY!
Jim Williams

Wayne Bowman said...

I is so good to get your message (and hear that sense of humor!) We thank God for the good news. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Andrew said...

This is awesome news. see you soon.

maria bradenbaugh said...

Greg, we are so happy for you and the out come of the surgery. Praise God! We will continue to pray for your recovery of the surgery And no more cancer!!! Maria and & Craig

Jan said...

Congratulations, Greg, on getting through so much with God's hand guiding the surgeons. God is good. Just to update you, Laurel, Ken and Terri's baby girl also had successful surgery on March 13th to try to fix one of her arms. Next surgery on June 12th. They had to go to Baltimore. Our family has had a great month with the two of you both having successful surgeries. As you know, she also has a seriously low platelet count so hers could also have been different. Get well soon. Love, Jan

Rosemary Cromer Boustany said...

Great news Greg! Thanks for having the strength and thoughtfullness to keep us all posted on your progress. I know how Judy and Jim feel; there is no greater joy for a parent than good news about one of their children.........You are an inspiration to everyone. I certainly hope to meet you in person someday!

Jay said...

Wonderful news, Greg. May God grant you perseverance through the remainder of this ordeal.

Annette said...

I am thrilled that the surgery went so well and that they seem to have your pain under control. You are truely an inspiration and "the toughest guy" I know.
Much love,

Georgan said...

It "made" my morning to read about yours! Praise God indeed! Tom and Georgan Reitmeier

Bud and Suzanne Hopkins said...

Again, Bud and I watch in amazement at your courage and sense of humor. God wants you here to give us all courage to face the demons. You are a wonderful inspiration to us all. May God continue to bless you, your sweet wife and your family.

Whitney & Judy Credeur said...

Have tried to keep up with your progress. So very happy for you. God has blessed us with meeting you at our time of need.
Whitney got a clean bill of health on the 6th. Has to return in August. For CT and blood work.
Tell you folks we said Hello. We send you many prayers.
Your neighbor for the 6th floor (Blackie)

Mark said...

Really glad to hear this Greg!

Roland Lindh said...

Back here at Gwynedd Valley Presbyterian Church, we are all very thankful for the results thus far. Again I remind you that my mother lived a very full life through to near 80 and did so through two bouts with cancer - breast and lung (breast cancer in the lung, plethora); the first in her early 40's and without drugs (surgery only) and the second in her 60's. So be assured that the cancer can be troubling but not always determining.

Mark Peck said...

As a Cardinals fan I am always glad to hear about four Mets getting taken out.
Regrettably, it sounds like the throwing up incident indicates you didn't get your lunch capacity back as quickly as I had thought.

Roacbh said...

Beautiful! So glad to hear it went well. "clear of any visible signs of cancer" - I like the sound of that.

BoB E said...

Sir Greg:
Just Super News! You and Christine's consistency of faith and sharing of your challenges encourages us to look forward to the joys and challenges of each day. You both are sincerely appreciated.
God Bless,
BoB E.