3. Business as Usual

Tan Family Labor Day ’10

By now (especially if you were at meeting last night) many of you know that Tanpo is having surgery on Oct 24 to excise a lump on his vocal chord.  They will biopsy it first while they’re in there and get the results from the lab while he’s still in the OR.  If benign, his doctor will excise the entire lump.  If malignant, she will cease operating and send Tanpo for radiation.  Please pray that Dad will be healthy.

When he came home from his appointment last week and I asked how it went, Tanpo announced very casually that he needed surgery.  I almost didn’t hear him, but when I did I wanted to cry.  Hence Tanpo’s casualness – he didn’t want to alarm Mommy and me.  I told Mom that the Lord must know she’s really tough.  As for me, I’m drawing on my hospital survival skills and pretending like nothing is happening.

Whenever something was happening that I didn’t like in the hospital I’d close my eyes and think, “This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening.”  It turns out, it totally was happening, but that mental refrain made me feel better at the time.  Once I made it home and to the 4th hospital (a.k.a. “The Place”) I had refined my technique to allow for a the greater probability of reality.  Last year around this time my left side started hurting more.  My therapists always asked me a set of questions when we started, including my ranking on the pain scale (0=no pain, 10=the worst pain you can imagine).  After a while my pain reporting seemed like the obligatory hockey stick diagram entrepreneurs show potential VC funders (at least that’s what we learned in school).  One day I was practicing with that ridiculous quad cane and PT6 asked me about my pain level.  I reported a slightly higher number than last time, and when I could see him frowning out of the corner of my eye I chirped, “Business as usual!”

Right now things are “Business as usual” and I am devoting myself to making my parents laugh.  The thing is that they often make me laugh, so there’s a lot of laughing going on at Chez Tan.  A couple of nights ago PumpkinEd was sitting in Tanpo’s chair at the dinner table.  Watching him extract Ed and put him on Mommy’s desk made me laugh so hard.  Mom and I are negotiating whether or not Ed is coming to the hospital on the 24th.  I opined “yes” but she voted “no.”  Ed loves Dad, but I think Ed really wants to see if he can get his metal detector stuck on some IV poles.  Good thing George is on vacation at the K Classics’ house.  George Washington Jefferson is a bunny with long ears and a pink nose that a friend in OR brought me on a visit.  He is named after our nation’s first president and that hysterically funny TV character.  He is President of the Daddy Fan Club and is blissfully unaware that anything is going on Chez Tan.  I’m going to keep it that way.  In the meantime, please pray.