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, May 26, 2010

A hopeful radiation plan

I met with Dr. Crane today. He is the radiation oncologist who will lead my ratiaion therapy. He looks like he could be playing first base for the Astros. But I suppose the academian in him chose to radiate tumors instead.

He gave me a better impression than I left the hospital with yeterday. He believes he can afford to be very aggressive with the radiation. He will go after every tumor that they can see. I had thought they were just going after the immediate problem areas, where there is pressure on the airways. Due to my good response from radiation in 2005 (wow, was that five years ago?), and the fact it did not do any extraordinary damage, he believes he can give me a lot of radiation. There is increased risk with this dose I may get a third new cancer (I've had two so far in my life), but the real problem is the cancer in me now.

He believes this will almost certainly relieve my breathing and coughing symptoms. And he thinks that while it is likely there may very well be a bit of cancer left somewhere in the areas that they treat, he is aiming to get everything they can see now. His goal is to "control" my cancer such that the next problem would be "somewhere else". This could buy me even a couple years. No promises, of course.

His assistant showed me the CT in detail today. It is amazing how the airway seems only the slightest bit restricted, and only on one side. Yet sometimes lately I feel like I'm drowning. The whole system is so sensitive. It is difficult to believe that zapping all over the place with radiation could actually be a good thing.

I have a couple more appointments tomorrow. Then back to Dallas for the weekend before beginning radiation in Houston on Wednesday. Treatment will be daily for about five weeks. The side-effects are expected to be quite difficult. The esophogus gets hammered in this process, making it difficult and painful to swallow for a period of about four weeks beginning a couple weeks into the radiation. I spoke to another patient who has had similar radiation and it sounded tough. A month of pain for a couple years of life seems like a pretty good deal. Gird up thy loins, self. Have mercy, O Lord.

By the way, while I was in the hospital last week, we got an offer on our house, which we accepted. Closing and moving the remaining furniture and junk will be tricky while I'm in and out of Houston, but it will be good to get that behind us. Albeit bittersweet.


Unknown said...

Positive is always good Greg. We look forward to hearing of good outcomes working with Dr. Crane. We have you in our thoughts daily and want you to know that life is better because of you and Christine. We are here as you have need.

God Bless,
BoB E. & Sandra

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayer-thoughts, Greg. God give you strength and comfort. Ann Strauss

Sarah said...

It is great to hear that Dr. Crane is aggressive and positive. We will be thinking of you during your radiation period. I am glad you and Chris had a nice visit.

Unknown said...

Greg - thanks again for the update. As always, please let us know how we can assist you. ~Tom

GTT said...

We are glad to hear the encouraging news about radiation. Also about your house selling -- it'll be good to get that off of your plate. Blessings, Michael and Kristi

Anonymous said...