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.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Surgery Cancelled

I got the results from the PET scan (which looked for signs of cancer around whole body) and pathology (which examined biopsy samples from hilar lymph nodes).

PET: No signs of cancer outside the two lymph nodes. In other words, the pulmonary nodule did not show up as cancerous. (doesn't mean there is no cancer there, only that if it is there, it is not big enough to register).

Pathology: Samples from only one lymph node were examined so far. There was a "few groups of distorted malignant cells in a background of extensive necrosis and microcalcifications." [necrosis = daed cells] In other words, mostly dead with a few stubborn cells remaining.

Result: Dr. Eng and Hofstetter consulted and, based on these results, cancelled the surgery. It is not even an option for me. Don't get me wrong - I'm not disappointed. The basis for surgery was weak to begin with. It was to get the lymph node (which is mostly dead, we now know) and the pulmonary nodule (which is not showing signs of being cancer - maybe scar tissue). They decided the right course is to continue chemo because it is currently so effective. Maybe it can keep killing the bad stuff. Surgery does not make sense right now.

I'll be in contact with Dr. Eng next week to find out what the plan is now.

Based on some emails and calls I've received from yesterday's entry, I believe I should clarify. Cancer is not gone until it is all gone - every little cell. The results yesterday did not suggest a 90% chance that cancer was gone from my body - just that it was gone from the lymph nodes. Stage IV cancer is a long grueling war. Currently, I've got some good momentum in the war. And that is great reason to celebrate. But no one has yet suggested cure with these recent events - even yesterday before there were a few cells discovered. I have found it useful to not overstate how good or how bad things are. As my good friend John told me about his experience with his wife's cancer: don't get too high in the highs or too low in the lows. Or as St Paul put it, let your yes be yes and your no, no.


John said...

Yes, Greg. I did advise not getting too high in the highs or low in the lows. But I must say--after the events of the present week--this is an unprecedented high, even from my past experience with Susan's battle. We, who follow your journey, and pray for you each day, know that each day IS a gift from the Lord. This week has been an especially sweet one from this perspective. Fight on, brother!
"Your Good Friend John"

John said...

I am also trying to take the advice of your good friend John. I must admit that based on the initial results of this past week, I was very low. Now I cannot help but be on a high with you. Like many of your friends, I stand ready, right beside you, to continue the battle until it is won!
Another good friend John

John & Debbie said...

We are in awe at how the Good Lord is blessing you. We are also concerned for Christine, please let her know she is also in our prayers. What an amazing trial you both are living. We pray that God continues to bless you both with the strength that you need each day to take it on. You are BOTH an amazing inspiration to so many of us. Thank You for taking the time to send us all these updates. You are in our Prayers,
Love, John and Debbie

Ed Howard said...

Thank you so much for keeping us posted with updates and comments. God bless you and your family. As always, you are in our prayers.
Ed & Mary Howard

Brian Marquis said...

Well, we'll take all the good news we can get! May God remove your worries, heal both you and Christine and bless you in every way to enable you both to rest securely and sweetly in the Peace of Christ and in his sovereign provisions for your every need.
"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Winnie Krienke said...

Dear Greg: I also wanted to thank you very much for updates. God is great. I too, depend on the good LORD everyday, as I have battle T4 colon cancer since June 03, God love me, and I wanted everybody to know, and I will keep pray for you and Christien.

BoB E said...

Happy Sunday Greg:
Trust this day finds you on a high. We so appreciate your keeping us involved with your progress. Have referred others to your web site as an additional support vehicle for their challenges. I receive thanks from them, however the thanks must be for you and Christine as your character of steadfast faith and resolve lend to our meeting daily challenges with great success.
Both of you are a blessing.
God Bless,
BoB E. & Sandra

Kristi said...

Hi Greg, Thanks for posting -- this explains a lot. When Pastor Dave shared the news on Sunday, it was just unbelievable -- I felt like the people praying for Peter who wouldn't believe that Peter was standing at the door! You and Christine model patient endurance for me, and I'm so glad that you got this good news. It may not be the whole war, but it's a great victory and an amazing miracle. So encouraging to see prayers answered.

Doug said...

We certainly rejoice with you and your family and spread the news all over our little town. Maybe not complete victory yet, but a major win. God is very good. Your perseverance and faith combine to give us all hope.
Love, Doug & Marcy (old folks in Kentucky)

max said...

Very glad to hear it mah brother.

Roderick Barnes said...

Still prayin', bro.
In His grip by His grace,