Photos taken during and after a recent rainstorm.

My mom and I were driving back from the airport after I arrived in the States a couple weeks ago, and I was behind the wheel.  Jetlag, you see, isn’t much of an issue when there are O’Charley’s chicken fingers at the end of the road and the fact that I was driving ensured that we’d get there all the faster!

We were cruising along the highway between Detroit and Port Franks, Ontario (ie.  “The Ends of the Earth”) when she informed me that we’d be attending a performance of Deflater Mouse in a few days.  Deflater Mouse?  My slightly sleep-deprived mind conjured up images of a mousy superhero who flew from emergency to emergency, wielding his thumbtack with cold precision.

Expanding buttocks?  Call Deflater Mouse!  Swollen ankles?  Deflater Mouse can help!  Overblown ego?  Nothing Deflater Mouse can’t cure!  I gave my mom a weird look–she’s not the Superhero movie type–and repeated, “Deflater Mouse?”  She gave me her usual tilted-head, squinty-eyed look and finally got it.  “No!” she said,  “Not Deflater Mouse!  Die Fledermaus–the Strauss opera!”
Oh!  Well, that cleared it up.

We did see Die Fledermaus this past Thursday evening (all THREE HOURS of it…Strauss had issues with brevity), and my ears are still ringing from the wall of serrated sound that assaulted us even in the nosebleed section of the U of M theater.  Sopranos should come with warning labels.  Or at least with free earplugs.  Astounding.  There was nothing deflated about the production, from the volume of the singing to the acting to the slightly-larger-than-the-norm ballerina who attempted to cavort airily onstage but succeeded only in evoking the Fantasia hippo ballet.

As it turned out, “deflate” was quite an apt word for Thursday, considering the inordinate time I spent that morning standing in front of a mammogram machine and singing Barry Manilow songs in my head to distract myself from the “crushing reality” being inflicted on parts of my body that were feeling…yes…more and more DEFLATED by the minute!  I’m sure I’m either boring you or making you extremely uncomfortable with my retelling of Thursday’s events, so I–unlike Strauss–will not go on ad nauseum.

Results–that’s the important part!  They came in the form of more or less Conclusive Conclusions:
1.  The sites of last year’s cancer appear to be clear of any tumors or calcifications!  Hallelujah and pass the whole grain, no-sugar-added donuts.  Never mind, I’ll just chew on some cardboard.
2.  There is another “something” that is…cause for some concern.  Repeated tests (ouch and ouch) showed nothing concrete, but the doctor thought it might be a pre-cancerous symptom.  So it’s wait-and-see until June 2010, at which point we’ll know if the “something” has turned into a “What?!  Not again!” kind of thing.  Looks like cardboard-chewing might become a fixture in my life.
3.  I have the best doctor in the world.  Nothing inconclusive about that!  She has recently won her own hard-fought medical battle and came back to work only a couple of weeks ago.  She passed her next appointment off to her nurse practitioner so we’d have time to chat and catch up, and it was truly the highlight of my summer so far.  Big hug–fast talking on both sides to review each other’s journey–personal questions about surviving and thriving–laughter–heads shaking in wonder at all that has transpired in less than a year.  It was a divinely orchestrated interaction that truly moved me.  I love “my” Dr. Diehl!

THANK YOU for your prayers and your concern!  Sorry this update took so long coming.  I was trying to  sketch my own version of Deflater Mouse (it involved a rodent wearing a purple and green cape with matching plaid tights, wielding a giant thumbtack).  The absence of any art in this entry is an accurate testament to my drawing skills.  Feel free to submit your own Deflater Mouse portrait!



  1. so glad to hear that the site of your cancer last year is cancer free. Praying about the new developments…so excited that you were able to see your wonderful doctor and have a good converation about your journey this past year…both of you.

  2. I love the rain drop pic…

    Praying that Deflater Mouse vanquishes any pre-cancerous junk.  On second thought, may Jesus the HEALER continue to heal your body.

  3. Let me try again………the first time when I hit submit it asked for my password that I had forgotten!  O.K.  here goes.


    Your pictures are extraordinarily beautiful and your discriptions hilarious.  Your poor mother.  Keep it coming!  I pray that those ‘unusual’ results will be nothing.

    Love, Aunt Linda


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