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.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Update - no E.R.

The bleeding episode stopped as suddenly as it started. I no longer coughed any blood after waking up with the problem. The doctor on call said I did not need to be seen today and can wait until Tuesday when I'm scheduled to go in anyway for chemo to see my doctor about it.

Really weird day. I awoke in a panic coughing out fresh blood and wondering what in the world was happening to me. Now everything seems so normal again. Like nothing ever happened. One thing about this cancer thing - always something interesting going on.

Thanks for your support and for your notes of care and concern.

prayer request

Hi friends. I awoke coughing up fresh blood. Disconcerting to say the least. I've talked with the on-call oncologist and pulmonologist in Dallas. This could actually be a tumor vessel being exposed from effective chemo. That sounded like a good thing to me. Or some other things not so good. In any case, this could lead to day at ER, etc. I'm hoping it was a one time thing. Going to pick up a couple Rx they prescribed, incl anti-biotic to prevent/address any infection issues. If it stops, I don't have to go to the ER. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good news - tumors retreating

I received two simple pieces of news today from Dr. Eng.

First, the three tumors we are watching carefully all reduced measurably in size. Not sure the amount yet, as there is not yet an official radiology reading, but even I could tell they were a bit smaller.

Second, In February, they took blood for a sophisticated DNA test they have for chemo success prediction. Today I found out that the one remaining FDA-approved chemo drug for colon cancer that I have not taken, Erbitux, is likely to be effective for me in significantly slowing down progression of tumor growth. In other words, the last unused chemo weapon I have in my arsenal is loaded not with blanks, but with real ammo.

Tonight, I lay down a thankful man.

Hopefully, I will share more details of the week in a later post. The week was good all around. Just wanted you to get the results, as I know many of you are praying for me. Thanks.

I will continue with the current protocol - more heavy chemo this coming week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Restaging Checkup

Hi friends.

I am in Houston for my checkup. I have been enduring three months of chemotherapy treatments in Dallas. The recipe is a 14-day cycle called FOLFIRI with Avastin.

This morning I went to the MD Anderson fatigue clinic and tomorrow are all the radiology tests. My fatigue level has gone from 4.5 last fall to 3.5 in March to 2.7 today. It's a somewhat subjective scale based on questionaires, but I do think things are improving in that area. Part of it is reduced expectations - I'm spending less active time in a quality manner instead of more active time in a spread-too-thin manner.

Thursday I meet with Dr. Eng, my quarterback oncologist. Hoping for some cancer-is-retreating news.

My very good friend from the past, Mike Ernst, decided to take a break from his pastoral duties in Northern California and flew to Dallas yesterday to accompany me for my trip to Houston. We are having a great time catching up.

Christine, with her doctor and parents, decided that she really needs some more proactive medical care and her parents are going to help her pursue that from their home. So Christine headed northeast to stay with them for a while. Our prayer is that she can get some real help in that area. I have not had the energy with my situation to drive the process of getting her specialized medical care. As for me, instead of staying alone, my friend Bill Burns has offered me a room and I am staying with him. He keeps an eye on me as I go through the treatments. I can also stay with Mom and Dad should I get so sick from this chemo that I need direct daily care, which so far, thankfully, I have not.

Lots of Cinco de Mayo celebration today here in Houston. Should find some good food and music tonight. Might as well enjoy life amidst the dark cloud that can surround weeks such as this.