It was the day my dad found out that he had leukemia.  I remember his words so clearly–their determined optimism and the tremulous courage in his voice   He marked the beginning of his battle against The Beast by simply stating, “Here we go.”

Well…here we go.  I finally got word tonight from my doctors in Michigan.  It took only two days for them to get back to me after receiving my biopsy slides–I love America!  They concurred with the original diagnosis of my McTumor and had some recommendations for me.  So, in the darkness of ignorance and unpredictability, the light of knowledge and planning has begun to shine.  It has cast a welcome glow on segments of the road ahead.  And it’s not a MOMENT too soon!

I don’t know a whole lot yet, but I do know this:

  • My US doctors are allowing me to postpone surgery until after my major responsibilities for the spring semester are mostly behind me.  (I’ll leave a couple weeks before the end of the school year.)
  • Of course, that will give what’s left of the tumor more time to grow, but they don’t expect it’ll make much of a difference given the extensiveness of the surgery ahead.
  • I’ll head back to the States around May 20 (right after my choir’s spring concert), take a day or two to adjust to the time zone, then head to University of Michigan for three days of surgery.  Yup–three days.  That’s two days of Mohs surgery to remove the tumor, a day to consult with my plastic surgeon (no chin lifts or liposuction planned, sadly enough!), then a day of reconstructive surgery on whatever is left of my right cheek.  There will, of course, be further appointments throughout the summer months before I return to Germany for the next school year.

This is all good news because:

  • I get to finish up here.  (I like to follow through on commitments.)
  • I get to have surgery at one of the top rated medical institutions in the US.
  • I get to spend as much time as possible in the remaining weeks of this school year with the seniors whose graduation I will have to miss.  I’m sad about that–truly sad–but this is the best plan.

Some of you have asked how to pray.  Please —

  • Pray for continued peace of mind as I negotiate the coming three months before surgery, especially these weeks preceding spring break when life gets overwhelming under the best of circumstances!
  • Pray for general health amid all the responsibilities and stress.  The bugs I’ve been catching have been piggy-backing on each other and wearing my body down.
  • Pray that I will be able to continue to love fiercely and well, in spite of preoccupations, in this ministry that is also my calling.
  • Pray for the final sprint toward Candlelight Dinner.  It is just two weeks away.
  • Pray that I will be able to approach the medical battle ahead with courage, dignity, tenacity and an ever-strengthening faith in my Comforter.

There is most definitely a Light shining through this storm.  I’m humbled to be in the center of it.



  1. Here we go. I’m glad you finally know when you are going….

    The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make HIS FACE to shine upon you. He’s the light.

    Love you my friend. m.e.

  2. Oh Michele. Why is your life so busy sounding? Anyways, what I really wanted to say was… I CAN’T believe you’re coming here on May 20th!! I’m leaving here on the 15th!! So close, yet so far! ㅠ.ㅠ (<– those are korean eyes with tear streaks, with a little nose in the middle) Man…. Anyways, hope everything goes well.

  3. praying, always, and loving you fiercely from an ocean away.

  4. holy matrimony. that streetlamp shot is the best piece of work i’ve seen you do. zowie. very, very moody, interesting contrast, good light/dark balance (not equally balanced. that’s good.) great perspective, and the lens flare tops it off. kudos.

    you know what i like about cameras? they take me places. my cameras sometimes wake me up in the night and say, in a hoarse whisper, “taelyr. wake up. let’s go let’s go.” it looks like yours is taking you places, too. that’s a wonderful thing, enjoy it.

    and, yes, there is a picture there now. i didn’t really want to go through the effort of taking a picture of my camera and editing out the background, so i stole one from the internet. same camera, different picture.

    i’ll be praying for you. for reals.

    and OH MAN have i FOUND AN INCREDIBLE AUTHOR. his name is Sherman Alexie, and i just read a book of his short stories called “the lone ranger and tonto fist fight in heaven.” he’s a full-blooded spokane indian: the stories are about living on the reservation. it’s very alchoholic, foul-mouthed, and hopeless, but his prose is so good that it makes me want to give up writing altogether. he’s that insightful.

    hang in there; nothing lasts forever.


  5. Michele! Your pictures and words are amazing. I would love to talk about them. I have been going through a faith “crisis” the last couple of months and your trust in the Lord is encouraging, my friend. Are you awake now?? Send me an email if you are! I have a favor to ask


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