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, March 22, 2007

Scans complete, with some tinkering

Today I meet with Dr. Hoffstetter to discuss tomorrow's surgery details. Yesterday I went to the CT Scan, which was again only for the lungs. I got to thinking that I had not had an abdomen CT since November. So I brought it up to the nurse. I have not had chemo since November and no one has scanned my abdomen since then, even though that is where the primary and one met was. Even in remission, they will do a scan every three months. Four seemed a long time. I figured this lung-only scan order could have been due to a gap in coverage. Dr. Hoffstetter focuses on the lungs, so he is going to order chest scans. Dr. Eng, who would have ordered the ab scan, has not seen me in a long time because I've been doing lung surgeries. Then there's me.

One part of me did not want to bring this up. If there is no scan, there can be no bad news. And the thought entered my mind that if something showed up on the scan, it could jeopardize even having the surgery. Not to mention, the abdominal scan is quite unpleasant (they fill the intestines with barium from both directions) and causes problems the rest of the day. On the other hand, I figure that more information can only help. Not scanning is not the same thing as being clean.

My pesky questions resulted in the radiology nurse calling my doctor and getting the order changed to be my whole torso. Did they just humor me, or was this a good idea? Was this an institutional slip-through-the-crack, or were they merely satisfying the customer. I'll never know.

The extent to which I can affect my own care is unnerving. Most people, including me, assume that the doctors call the shots and the patient follows. My treatment path has been significantly affected by my proactive tinkering. Since I know just how little I know about this stuff, it makes me wonder. At times like these, I appreciate more sharply the Biblical idea that I can exercise the will and affect things, and yet at the same time trust that all the days ordained for me were written by God before I was born.


David & Liliya said...

Greg, we are praying that the abdominal scan will be clear, surgery will be successful, and that Christine will be able to come down to join you. You have been a light in a deep, dark valley.
If you get an opportunity to write again, can you let us know for what time is your surgery scheduled?

Carl said...

Your reflections and introspections stated above resonate 100% with me. God Bless you and keep you as He has to date, and I know He will.

Margot Thibodeau said...

Greg, I have had tomorrow marked on my calendar for a long time and have had you and Christine in my prayers. If there is anything I can do to help Christine I'm only a block away so please feel free to let me know.
Also I appreciated your comment about "proactive tinkering" and will pass it on to my daughter.
Thank you for your openness with your process. I'm sure it is a gift to many, even those you have no idea about.
God bless you. Say hi to your folks.
Margot Thibodeau

Belle Petkas said...

Greg, We are praying for successful surgery and for a clear abdominal scan. You are such an inspiration. God bless you and Christine. Belle

martha gessick said...

Greg and Christine, many many prayers for you both especially tonight and all day Friday and w/e. PTL for so many who are such a comfort and help and special blessing to you. How I pray Christine can also be healed from this extreme pain and headaches and that somehow God will work a miracle so she can join you part of the week while at Houston. PTL for John Rawley and his love for you to help you Greg to/fro and while at Hospital and Hotel for this surgery. I pray all the scans go smoothly and minimum discomfort for you. Love from me, and my girls Rhonda and Robin. In HIS great love and mercies, martha gessick