Ben and Jerry’s Hospital: big, prestigious institution founded by an ice cream magnate. Contains the inpatient unit of Wicked Famous Cancer Hospital.
Balding Medical Center: hospital where I attempted to do an infectious diseases fellowship.
Coach, The: superstar ENT surgeon at F'in' Famous Cancer Hospital and opener and head of the 3-surgeon team that did my major surgery in July of 2005. Also opened for my revision surgery in February, 2007. Everyone's favorite high school coach. Self-deprecating, but confident, unfailingly upbeat and cheerful. A master of his craft.
Communication, Doctor: ENT surgeon at Ben and Jerrys Hospital. Despite some bedside manner shortcomings, actually a good guy and and good doctor.
Craniectomy: an operation to remove the brain and surrounding skull. Generally frowned upon by the AMA.
Earp, Doctor Wyatt: eminent ENT surgeon at Johnsons Hospital who did most of the surgeries for my first cancer.
F'in' Famous Cancer Hospital: where I went for the definitive surgery for my osteosarcoma as well as a couple of other procedures.
Fixer, The: top flight plastic surgeon at F'in' Famous Cancer Hospital and closer for the 3-surgeon team that performed my major surgery in July of 2005. Head of the team and closer for my revision surgery in February, 2007. A dedicated and all-around good guy. Also has very good sense of humor. Could be doing boob jobs in LA for a million dollars per implant, but instead, he restores faces of cancer patients. I am very grateful.
Hippie General Hospital: the excellent community hospital where I did my internal medicine residency.
Jedi Master, Doctor The: famous brain surgeon affiliated with Ben and Jerry's Hospital and Wicked Famous Cancer Hospital.
Johnsons Hospital: the wonderful old institution where my very first tumor was treated. A great place for a start!
Johnsonstown: location of Johnsons Hospital
K: my wife. Best decision I ever made. When we got married in 2002, she had no idea what she was in for.
Kenobi, Doctor: neurosurgeon at Wicked Famous Cancer Hospital
LLC: stands for Little Lord Chaos, my son. Born in July of 2003, he's now four years old.
Man’s Best Hospital: where I received proton beam radiation. I stole the name from Samuel Shem's vicious parody of medical training, House of God.
Medical Mafia: my parents and their multi-city web of medical insider connections. It's not fair, but it really helps to have the Medical Mafia on your side.
Mister Rogers, Doctor: outstanding neurosurgeon at F'in' Famous Cancer Hospital and part of the 3-surgeon team that performed my major operation in July of 2005. A gentle, soft-spoken guy who, when he isn't saving cancer patients, relaxes by helping blind people. I am in awe.
Nutcracker, Doctor: a urologist, fertility expert, and sadist.
Pieta: famous Michelangelo carving of the Virgin Mary holding the dead adult Jesus on her lap.
Pushme/Pullyou Insurance Company: my health insurance company.
Roto Rooter, Doctor: the surgeon who knows more than you ever thought there was to know about tear ducts.
St. Elsewhere: a local hospital academically associated with the Balding Medical Center. Name cribbed once again from Samuel Shem's House of God.
Wicked Famous Cancer Hospital: where I got my chemo for my most recent cancer as well as surgeries for the brain and palate tumors.
Xena, Doctor: my wonderful oncologist at Wicked Famous Cancer Hospital. A warrior for her patients, many of whom are young adults with cancer.
Zap, Doctor: radiation oncologist at Man's Best Hospital.