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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Doctors, nerds, and pneumonia

Things have been going great. I am still in disbelief about how small the pain is this time compared with last. I still have discomfort and some difficulty sleeping, but this is nothing compared with last time.

One issue, however, was that my chest tube incision was still oozing this weekend. I went to the ER at Richardson hospital Saturday night because it had become greenish and this could be due to a problem with the air pocket. As I walked in the door, I was confronted by a packed room full of crying and coughing. This was not the place I needed to be. I immediately left and called the surgeon on call at MD Anderson. He agreed that I should not be in an environment like that for six hours, but that I did need to get this checked out. He recommended I go to the local urgent-care-ER facility first thing Sunday to get evaluated and get an x-ray, which I did. I was bummed to miss worship with my friends, but hey, there's always Easter(!). The doctor examined the xray and saw that my lower right lung seemed to be developing early stage pnemonia - not good. The on-call surgeon said I'd probably have to go to Houston to see my surgeon. And they put me on antibiotics.

To speed things up and get better info to my surgeon in Houston before driving down, I wanted to send the x-ray images electronically to MD Anderson. The urgent care places said they did not have the capability to send images electronically, but gave me a CD that the xray machine spits out. The CD was an autorun diagnostic image software with unrecognizable image format files. And it was huge - 30Mbyte. The doctors and nurses at MD Anderson aren't computer geeks, nor are they patient with computers, even if I could send them a bunch of raw files. So I called up my high tech Houston buddy Nils and we came up with a plan. I copied the CD directory structure onto a temporary ftp server Nils set up on his home PC. Nils then burned an exact duplicate CD, which he delivered to my surgeon the next morning. No FedEx needed. Pretty cool, huh?

Long story a little longer, Dr. Hofstetter evaluated the x-rays and determined that this should be fine on its own and that there is no need to go to Houston. So I'm happy at home and back on track recovering.


John said...

Way to go Greg! Find a way and get it done. Still trying to figure out what life after TI means.

Sarah Hazel said...

Go Nils.

Annette(TCA) said...

As an X-ER nurse (longer than an oncology nurse) this awsome!!!! Speedy recovery.

Glen Ragan said...

No wonder the price of stamps keeps going up.
God Bless,
Glen Ragan

Araceli said...

So is Nils the nerd in this entry? Because he definitely isn't the doctor... :)

Belle Petkas said...

Greg and Nils - quite a pair! Where there's a will there's a way! Staying home with Christine is definitely better than coming to Houston for another visit at MDA.

Suzanne Hopkins said...

Not only are you smarter than most of us; I believe you have outsmarted cancer. It's no match for you!

Roland Lindh said...

I just saw the "smoking the bong" picture. I also caught the flap in the newspapers about the sign (Smoke a Bong for Jesus)dispute that went to the Supreme Court. I had no idea it was about you. Live and learn!