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.