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, April 9, 2010

Erbitux not very effective

Today I met with Dr. Eng. She was as surprised as I was disappointed. The cancerous lymph nodes in my chest grew slightly, as did the lung nodule. It was a small amount - like about 10%. But the hope and expectation was that there would be a great reduction. Every chemotherapy drug I have taken - both for colon cancer since 2003 and for bone cancer when I was young - has had immediate remarkable response. Erbitux was the first to not.

Dr. Eng said this leaves us on the fence between continuing it or moving on to an experimental chemo. Since my CEA blood level, which marks the level of cancer activity, was down 4.9 to 3.5, she decided I should continue on this chemo, but I should be tested after six weeks instead of twelve. She has seen a few cases of delayed response, giving some hope the Erbitux can have some good effect yet. But never has she seen tumor shrinkage after initial response of growth. So we are hoping and praying for a stable result at the end of May.

Meanwhile, I continue taking this poison. Chemotherapy is really beginning to take a toll on me after seven years of the stuff. ("It's about time!"). My body is feeling quite beat down these days and my intestines are constantly irritated. I also visited the fatigue doctor this week and she increased my anti-fatigue medication. We'll see how that fares.

My thoughts are identical to those I had three months ago: Ecclesiastes says, "No man has power over the wind to contain it ; so no one has power over the day of his death." I'm not going to get anywhere worrying or trying to change the way things are. Nor trying to speculate what this means for the future - there is no way I could have seen the things I have been given since 2003. I'm going to continue living as I have with hope and cherishing and using each day as best I can. I've had lots of ups and downs. This is one of those downs.

9 comments:

Isaac said...

Greg - Sorry to hear about the disappointing results. Praying for God's sustaining Grace. ~Tom

GTT said...

Greg, Michael and I too are very disappointed to hear this. We will pray for your response to the Erbitux to improve and that there will be no more growth.

I'll call you later. We would like to bring you food but want to fix something that won't bother you.

blessings, Kristi and Michael

Dave Thom said...

Greg, You da man. Thanks for sharing your downs. You've the strength of ten thousand men.

Judy Kovacs said...

Greg, in the midst of sorrow, you are the best encouragement to us all! Praying that God will heal you forever!! Praying for Christine, too.

Judy

Chara Gafford said...

Thank you so much for letting us share in your dissappointments as well as your victories! I'm praying for you. - Chara

Colleen Blickensderfer said...

Greg, so sorry to see this. praying for better results on your next check, and especially for your physical and emotional strength in this

Henry Chu said...

Dear Greg and Christin

"May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit...Romans 15:13. Knowing that all of who you are, and how you have handled yourselves thru adversities, have brought glory to God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

The 4 men in our prayer meeting dedicated 50% of the prayer time last Wedensday night to you and to Christin. My brothers were inspired just by a cursory description of calmness and peacefulness, joy and hope that you have demonstrated over the trials and tribulations.

I am convinced that God has resereved in heaven, and in His new creation, some critical positions and responsibilities, that only those who understand suffering can fill. Someone, who are intimately familiar with pain, suffering, and disappointments, for they can readily understand the feelings our Lord endures.

That the quality of life, purified by the crucible of suffering and agony, can achieve for us, the quality that will inherit for us, meaning, virtue, value, and usefulness to God in eternity.

Yes, Dr. Eng's finding came as a surprise and disappointment to those of us who struggle hard in prayer for you and Christin. Our prayer is that: God hold back his calling of You to his immediate service, so that we can have you healthy and happy, encouraging and serving along with us, while we still have breath in our nostril.

You are a real inspiration to me in the way you've handled yourself. Fight the good fight my brother, God will be Your rear guard, and with prayer, we will flank your left and right.

In Christ, Henry

Ann Strauss said...

I am so inspired by how you handle all this, especially by your candid sharing. God continue to strengthen and comfort you, and your wife. Ann Strauss

Alan Hunt said...

Thanks for the update. Very sorry things are not more encouraging right now. I pray that there will soon be better success. (By the way, for mouth sores, I recommend trying a little katha. It's amazing how well it works.) Thanks also for the note about TTD Church. I had heard vague rumors that Saji was moving to a new church plant, but I'm happy to know the specifics and be on the mailing list now. Grace and peace to you, dear brother! -- AKH