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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The report and plan

Greg_blogging.jpgI never reported here the report and plan, so here is an update.

- My July 23 3-month remission check-up revealed 2 lymph nodes that had grown relatively quickly (to 2.2 and 4.0 cm) as well as a small lung nodule

- The plan was to aggressivly pursue chemo (FOLFIRI protocol), then check after just a few rounds, to not put me through too much without having some indication whether it was working.

- After three rounds, I had a scan, which brings me to what I have reported so far.

- The scan after those three rounds (scan was two weeks ago) showed the lung nodule shrunk, but the 2.2 went to 2.7 and the 4.0 showed "slight increase". Recall that CT slices are .5 cm, I believe, so everything is +/- some uncertainty. The chemo has slowed things down, but we'd like a reversal.

- The plan was to continue the chemo - "not enough response either way to really tell." Also, we are adding Avastin to the recipe (Tee "FOLFIRI+Avastin" protocol). After 3-4 more rounds, they'll check again and maybe continue or change to a new chemotherapy approach (I've got one, maybe two more drug rotocols I have not received).

- At my initiative, I continue to bring up surgery and my surgeon has said he is not ruling it out. But I cannot tell how likely it is he will do it. Surgery is the only known current medical approach to get rid of it completely. But due to lymph node activity, they suspect a liklihood that after surgery, more can simply pop up. Like a very painful and risky process of whack-a-mole. And they cannot remove all lymph nodes preemptively, as that will cause a lymph node system backup. I actually prefer to keep playing whack-a-mole, enjoying extended life and continuing to try new treatments they come up with, hoping for the long shot that we finally get that last piece.

- So without delay, they kept me on the chemo with added Avastin. The chemo is administered for 48 continuous hours at 14 day intervals.

- Yesterday I began my second round since the scan (fifth since July 24). I am currently hooked up to the pump, which I take home with me.

- We'll do a few more before re-scanning.

- I am generally quite weak and feeling sick all the time. That is not to say I am always down emotionally. I am enjoying very simple things - reading, limited interactions with friends and family, and spending time with Christine. I have not been able to work as much as the past in the "good days."

- Many of you ask if I am able to work. I am doing so a little - about a day a week on average - not as much as during treatment in the past. I'm eating up my disability pay, but that is rarely on my mind - too far down on the care-about list. My managers are patient and adaptive and continue to work with me however possible so that I can best contribute with the resources I have.


Kristi Iachetta said...

Thanks for the update, Greg. You continue to be in our prayers. I pray now for you to have more good days and praise God for your good attitude and humor.

Sarah said...

Thanks so much for letting us know how you are doing. We are encouraged by your news and glad that you are finding strength to enjoy the things that you like. Keep up the positive attitude and we look forward to seeing you and Christine soon if possible.

Sue Hui said...

I am glad that you are well enough to update this site again. I would like to let you know that you continue to be in our prayers. We are looking forward to your quick recovery and speedy return like many times before. I know you can do it as long as you keep up the good spirit!

Dave Belicheck said...

Greg, Try not to stress too much; and especially, don't turn on your TV between 4 and 7 pm on Sunday. You're no lily, but you are the brother who let's God clothe him in whatever way He wishes...
Matthew 6:25-30
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? [27] "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? [28] "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, [29] yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. [30] "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?

Andrew said...

i miss you man.

Denise said...

I appreciate the update on your current status. When we don't hear, we assume you are too weak to write, so it's good to hear from you at all. I will continue to keep you and Chris in my prayers. I marvel at your patient acceptance of your situation you of all people know that there is so little over which we truly have control. Please keep up your positive attitude. It is good for the soul. I miss you and Chris and hope we can see you before the New Year.

Fran said...

Terry and I continue to keep both of you in our prayers. Glad to hear that the simple things are giving you pleasure. They are a lifeline when the seas are roiling.

Ann said...

God give you comfort and strength, Greg. With you in thought and prayer.

Josh said...

Hello Greg & Christine! Thanks for the update. We will continue to pray for both of you - the whack-a-mole illustration gives me a vivid image to pray with. We love you guys! Josh for the Geigers

Jim Williams said...

On September 24, I had Prostate Implant Surgery. They inserted 76 rice size Palladium permanent radioactive seeds into my prostate to erradiate the cancer found in May. We are praying that it was found early enough and is contained in the prostate. My Dad (1993), and at least two of his brothers, died from Prostate Cancer. When my Dad was diagnosed, over 30 years ago, they did not have the PSA Test or the Implant Treatment. I am blessed to have benefitted from both.
On September 28, we were told that my Mother had a bowel obstruction caused by a cancerous tumor on her pancreas and that it had spread to her liver. They recommended Hospice Care. Over this past weekend, my Mother began to have bowel movements and her pain subsided. On October 8, the attending Physician reported that the tumors had not acted like cancer and he had no explanation. However, he now doubts his first diagnosis. My Mother is now recuperating in a Nursing Home and we are praying and believing the Lord for a complete recovery.
Your courage has helped me to get through these tough times. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless and to use you and that He will continue to get the glory!
Jim Williams

Scott said...

The Rogers' Family has been, and continues to, pray.

Annette Yudizky said...

Greg, you are one STRONG sole. Hang in there with the FOLFIRI, I know it is hard on you. At least the Avastin has really no side effects. You are in my prayers. Miss "sticking" you!!(he he)! Best wishes.
Love ya,

Carl said...

Allow me to add my Amen to all these wonderful prayers and comments

Jamison said...

It hurts me to know that you feel sick all the time. We think and pray for you often and I really hope you have a restful night tonight.