Friday, January 16, 2009

Is this heaven? No, it's Houston.

I'm getting ready to get treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas. Yes, that's right. Every morning for the next six months I'll rise from my slumber, rip open the curtains on the bedroom window and say, "Yes. I choose life! Yes, I choose Houston!" 

MD Anderson isn't nearly as humdrum as Houston. It is  the best hospital in the world for treating cancer. Any oncologist will tell you. They also may say something like, "Too bad it's in Houston." How good is this place? Today I asked a nurse, "Hey, why do nurses have such good hand-writing and doctors have such bad hand-writing?" The nurse then went on to say how the hospital puts pressure on both nurses and doctors to make sure they have good hand-writing. "That way, it eliminates mistakes or even wasted time trying to track down the doctor to figure out what he or she wrote." They are very thorough here. 

Besides treating and trying to eliminate one of the worst diseases the world has ever seen, MD Anderson provides something else that's almost as impressive – a yummy cafeteria. They have stations for different types of food like Asian, Mexican, Italian, etc. In the middle is a solid salad bar. And then in the corner, a quiet little corner, there's the "Smokehouse". Barbeque. Oh, heaven. Usually I get some brisket smothered in sauce along with two tasty sides. Now, for those of you who wonder if this is attributing to my cancer, you can't get Hodgkin's from a crappy diet. You can, however, die of a heart attack. 

I should point out the irony that all this great food is in a cancer hospital. Many cancer patients can't appreciate these fine culinary delights. Chemo kills lots of things. An appetite is definitely one of them. So really, the only people who can enjoy the food are the employees. And many of them are from other countries. So you can imagine that the barbeque line isn't very long. 
Enclosed is a fake stock shot of what the doctors and nurses would look like at MD Anderson. They usually don't have the blissfully ignorant look on their face. Unless they're from Texas. 

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