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NEWSFLASH:  I’m heading back into surgery tomorrow, Thursday.  My plastic surgeon had a cancellation and is going to “fix my face.”  Pray that surgery #10 will be as uneventful as 1 through 9 were! Details at the end of this post.

So how exactly does a cancer-twofer patient celebrate what she thinks will be her last visit to Ann Arbor?  She hugs her doctor and nurse practitioner goodbye, drops off a present for her German nurse, and, clutching her thick folder of medical files to take back to Germany with her, heads off to Grand Rapids to visit with some suspecting and UNsuspecting former students!  …ahhhhhh.  What a breath of fresh air!

For those of you who somehow missed this story, Andrea (class of ’03) and Ian (’01) met when I cast them opposite each other in a play.  She was a sophomore and he was a senior and, as we all know, underclassmen are not supposed to fraternize with upperclassmen–except when they fall in love while pretending to be in love for theater’s sake!  It was so…surreal?…to sit in their home and be entertained (and well fed) as the guest of this adult married couple!  But it was also a wonderful evening of reconnecting.  The last time I’d been with them both was when I sang at their wedding nearly two years ago.  LOVE THEM.

After a gourmet meal, we headed off for a blitz of reunions at Calvin College.


Ahram (’07) was hard at work in a snack shop when I wandered up to her cash register and said hi.  Andrea was kind of enough to snap this picture of her reaction!  Just so you know, it was as loud as it is bright!! 

She managed to get a whole 10 minutes off from her duties and we did our best to catch up while other alumni like her brother David (’08) and Nathan Peck (’07) wandered in.

Just in case you’ve missed out on my loooong relationship with Ahram (since she arrived at BFA in 7th grade!), the bottom line is this:  she is the most choleric Korean I have ever met, with the kindest heart, and I love her.

The last surprise of the evening was Josh Lee (also class of ’07), one of the star writers of my Creative Writing class.  He was just a tad surprised to see me sitting there!

After all the fun was over, I spent the night with some wonderful friends in Grandville, then headed North in the hope of finding some fall colors.  My mom and I finally got sick of all the green and headed off the beaten track in search of Big Bass Lake, which we never found.

Sadly enough, Michigan is the poster child for states suffering from the current economic downturn, and the farther north we got, the more evident it became.

We did eventually find colors!!!!  And I’ll leave you with an assortment of the beauty we witnessed as we drove home to Canada.

We got home last night exhausted and grateful that our last Michigan trip was behind us…and found a message on the answering machine informing me that my plastic surgeon has a cancellation and can do my final facial surgery tomorrow.  TOMORROW?!  One week after surgery #9, it looks like I’m off to get surgery #10.  Under any other circumstances, I might have put this one off, but getting it done in ’08 puts it under this year’s deductibles, so it’s only fiscally responsible to go ahead with it now.  So—back to Ann Arbor we go! 



  1. i know how much you love Ahrum and your other kids from classes in this past couple years..or more, so awesome you could go and surprise them. all the best with your surgery tommorrow.

  2. oh, those are GREAT pictures!!1 ahram looks beautiful!!!

  3. Looking forward to chatting soon! Glad you got a date with the plastic surgeon. Hope it went well.

  4. you have no idea how excited i am to see you. no idea. oh my gosh. i found out from mrs. shuman in florence. what wonderful news to hear over rome trip eh?! man i miss you

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