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, August 18, 2009

Results stable

CardinalsWithPecks.jpgIt has been a long time since I've updated you. Thanks for all the expressions of concern in my absence.

I am taking a rather difficult treatment of a chemo protocol called FOLFIRI+Avastin. It is administered in fourteen day cycles. Typically, I'm pretty sick at the beginning but by the fifth day or so, I'm more functional. Nothing severe or dangerous - just makes me feel lousy, kind of like the flu with intestinal problems. Hard to believe I've endured 14 of these since February, when I started the current plan.

A week ago I went to MD Anderson for a round of testing and meetings with doctors. The good news was that the tumors (of which there are three, all around a couple centimeters) are all completely stable. This means the chemo is working to hold them back. I will continue this chemo plan indefinitely as long as my body can take it and the situation is stable. The doctors continue to marvel at how long this class of chemotherapy has been effective. We're way past six years now in a field where 1-2 yrs is considered quite successful.

greg_sarabeth.jpgI am enjoying the simple life. It is really surprising how wonderful life is when it is stripped of so many "good" things. Like work and accomplishments and accumulation of stuff. I've found that music (playing guitar, mostly) is a great therapeutic retreat when I feel the sickest. Much better for the soul than TV, I've discovered. You can check out some of my music on my youtube channel. ( Unfortunately, reading has become a bit more difficult - hard to concentrate when I'm feeling crummy. I have many good friends surrounding me with support and my church has been a wonderful source of nourishment for me. I've been able to visit family in St Louis and NYC and hope to see my sister (Julie) in Denver soon. I'm on full medical leave from TI, as I am unable to work under the chemo.

I am growing in learning how to significantly reduce expectations on my body and live well with what I've got. Not much differently from what we all do, really.

Christine is still pursuing medical help at her parents home, so my friend Bill Burns has been staying with me at my home. He just turned forty, so if you talk with him, be sure to give him a hard time.