When I arrived at my brother's place last Saturday, Mom had done a thorough cleaning of his kitchen and bathrooms, and was in full battle mode against the fruit flies that had colonized his place in his absence. She had set traps, using some ancient Manischewitz (from a Passover celebration looooong gone by) in plastic tubs covered with saran wrap; within a few hours there were several hundred in each trap. But we were still swatting at them. Having waged my own war against fruit flies at home just last year--and done the requisite internet research on the problem--I suggested shallower traps (to drown them), a stricter regime of counter and drain cleaning (Mom was happy to oblige on this one), removal or tight enclosure of any and all fruit fly tempting victuals (sugar, vinegar, juice, fruits, flowers...and the very slimy/nasty compost container sitting just outside the kitchen door), and a thorough laundering of towels, tablecloth, and napkins. After two more days, the fruit fly population was down to one or two individuals. Dare we say, Mission Accomplished?
We realized, collectively, that our battle against this small enemy was a metaphor (or maybe microcosm?--my lit/crit friends can weigh in on this) for the treatment against the tumor. The surgery, as a first line of attack, took out 80% of the tumor. But to get rid of the rest, a combination of creative, persistent, and determined measures will be necessary. And, like the fruit flies, it may never fully disappear--at least, not until the medical equivalent of a very cold winter is brought to bear upon the bugger.