The Rapid Rebounder; in five acts
Act I Background
Adam Tongen is one of my friends-we also work together. He fits in
well with our group at work and has become an important part of the
office. I liked him right from the start; he is a fellow former radio
broadcaster and likes beer, which are two of my main talking points.
Lisa and I knew he was a good man and were very happy when he married
Ana (Hibbert)-who is also a good friend. They were wedded last October and are
expecting this August. They are what people mean when they try to
describe “a nice young couple.”
Act II A Diagnosis of Cancer
Adam Tongen got sick a few week’s prior to Christmas of 2011. Adam
was freshly married and expecting a child-it should have been the
best of times. Unfortunately, he was eventually diagnosed with
Germ-cell cancer and began his treatment with surgery, soon followed
by four separate five-day sessions of chemotherapy. Adam’s last
chemotherapy treatment was followed by staph infection. The infection
forced him back into the hospital for a stay which included four days
in which he was anesthetized to keep him unconscious while he
received intravenous antibiotics. This was followed by six weeks of
antibiotic infusion therapy which finally ended this week. He was at
the Mayo Hospital Friday to discuss the possibility of
another surgery after a blood test recently revealed bad news.
(note Adam must have another surgery May 11th, the day of his benefit)
Act III Cancer Sucks
I’ve have only watched cancer from the outside. It seems to me that
this disease is unique in that it carries such fear. So much legend
has been built around it that a cure is mostly medical but also
emotional. I catch myself editing out the word “cancer” when I talk
to Adam. Chemotherapy seems most similar to a war of attrition in
which you hope to wear the enemy down and bring him to the table and
eventual armistice. Surgery seems more aggressive with a goal of
cancer’s unconditional surrender. No matter what, I think there is a
horrible vulnerability that comes with the disease, no one is safe.
Act IV What we can do
Friends and family of Adam Tongen have planned a benefit in his
honor. May 11th from 5-9 pm, we will gather at the Eagles Club in Thief River Falls, Minnesota for a free-will pulled-pork meal, silent (and not so silent) auction, bake
sale, cash bar and sale of “the Rapid Rebounder” wrist bands. “The
Rapid Rebounder” is the nickname given Adam by his doctor because he
has typically rebounded strongly after numerous, invasive medical
treatments. Local businesses have responded to our requests of items
for the silent auction with great generosity so there will be a
fantastic selection of items on which to bid. We hope Adam will be
able to attend but if not we’ll just have to take a few pictures to
document this night held in his honor.
Act V Thank-you
So many have acted to our call to help Adam. Some have acted
anonymously and have given in ways I find quite touching. All we can
offer for all of your help is to tell you simply, deeply; thank-you.
For those who would like to donate to the Adam Tongen benefit, please mail your check to:
Pennington County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Wendy Mattson
Po Box 484
Thief River Falls, Mn 56701
If you have any questions, please leave it in the form of a comment on this blog and I will get right back to you-GN.
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