Chapter One:


I decided to answer one of my own challenges.

I won't update in a while because I'm going on a vacation where there is no such thing as a computer. I am doing this because a couple of people suggested it to me and I thought... "Why not?"

Oh, and this challenge can be used more than once...just because I put the idea on screen on this site doesn't mean its technically mine. I"M NOT A POSSESSIVE PERSON! Haha! (I know, I'm kind of obsessed with ownership and letting people know I don't own anything). Speaking of not owning anything...I don't own Doogie Howser...or Vinnie...or the rest of the characters on this show.

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Vinnie climbed into Doogie's bedroom, as he did just about everyday. It was Saturday morning and he was excited because Doogie was taking a day off, which means they had the whole day to do whatever they wanted. Vinnie was bent on going down to the beach, and if that was what he wanted to do, that's what they were going to do. Vinnie had this impressive way of talking people into things.

Doogie was still sleeping when Vinnie decided to barge in (the stupid kid left the window open). Vinnie took a bong from Doogie's shelf of jung and banged it. Doogie shot up like lightning, resulting in Vinnie rolling on the floor laughing obnoxiously.

"Vinnie! Can't you let a man sleep? It's my day off—I get to sleep! I don't have to get up at six!" exclaimed Doogie in groggy anger. Vinnie just shook his head.

"Its not six. Its seven and your not technically a man yet! So, I guess it don't count, does it?" Vinnie said, smiling.

"If I'm not a man, what am I? And what do you want?"

"A boy, and what? Did ya forget already?"

"Forget what?"

"We're going to the beach! We're going to check out all the ladies in their pure, shiny, oily, sun block covered glory! How could you forget? And don't think about bringing Wanda?"

After a moment of silence from Doogie, Vinnie got the message.

"Why not? DOOG! COME OOOOOON!" whined the champion whiner.

"Fine Vin, if you want to spend the day at the beach with me, then you have to explain to Wanda why I can't go. Here's the phone," said Doogie, mischievously. He handed Vinnie the phone.

"You are an evil man," Vinnie grinned. However, instead of explaining to Wanda in his own way Vinnie cleverly decided to imitate Doogie's voice. ", Wanda? Hi, it's Doogie."

"VINNIE!" Doogie admonished in a hushed tone.

"Yeah, about that, uhhh, Wanda, I can't take you. The restaurant? That one? I promised ya we'd go dat place? Uh, no, its not Vinnie! I was just imitating him...why thank should hear my other imitations; I do good ones. Anyway, sometin's...I...uh...I mean something's come up. No, I'm not hanging out with Vinnie. No, not Dr. McGuire, either...why would he hang out with me?!"

Doogie scrunched up his face in anger and hit Vinnie with his pillow.

"Ow! Doog, dat hurt! What? Oh, no, Wanda, I was talking to Vinnie. He was doing an imitation of me...No, he was pretty good...No, it turns out that I have to go up to the, its one of my patients...I–I have to go. Bye."

"Hey, that was pretty, good, Vin!" Doogie complimented his friend, giving him a nice slap on the back.

"Thanks. Now, lets go. I..." Vinnie stopped in mid sentence. As he stood up, he got a dizzy spell. It seems like I've been gettin' a lot a' dese today.

"Are you okay, Vin?"

"Yeah, I guess. It jus' a dizzy spell. It isn' dat big a deal, " replied Vinnie, still getting over the spell and holding on to the edge of Doogie's desk.

"Okay, sit down. Did you have breakfast?" asked Doogie. Vinnie nodded as he sat on the bed.

"What did you have?"

"A banana."

"That's it?"

"I haven't been dat hungry, 'at's all."

"You have to eat more during breakfast," said Doogie.

"I don't think you undahstand, Doog. I said I haven't been hungry. Ma noticed. She asked me what was wrong with her lasagna last Saturday. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Ma's lasagna. Tuesday, I didn't eat her famous gnocci. She threw a fit. She t'ought that we were all pretending to like her food, while we secretly hated it. I love Ma's gnocci. Then, when we finally convinced her dat she was still the greatest cook in da world she ended up watchin' me like a hawk. She told me that she t'inks that I'm not eatin' 'nough; I'm too skinny—she thinks I'm sick. I dismissed it at first, ah course...but I got to thinking. About food. Constantly. I see Ma's garlic bread and my mouth waters, but every time I take a bit out of it...I'm not hungry no more."

"Loss of appetite. How's your sleeping habits...are you having trouble breathing?" asked Doogie. Vinnie looked up, finally.

"Doog, can we worry about dis later? I just want to go to the beach," Vinnie said with what a sheepish smile and a chuckle.

"Maybe...if you answer the question."

"I'm breathing fine. I'm sleeping fine...its just..."


"I wake up and I'm sweating. My throat hurts, kinda. Sometimes my chest does, too," explained Vinnie, uneasily. He didn't like telling Doogie all this. However, he knew Doogie would push for answers anyway, and for some reason he couldn't seem to stop himself.

"Can I look?" Doogie asked, not waiting for an answer. He took a close look at his neck. "Its swollen. How about your chest."

Vinnie shook his head. "Let's go to the beach, Doog. C'mon, man! Da girls are waitin'!"

"No, Vin, this could be serious."

"It could wait!"

"No! It can't!"

"I'm not budgin' Doog!" Vinnie said sternly. He stood up and crossed his arms across his chest. Doogie sighed, realizing this was going to take a while.

"Doog, how 'bout dis? We go to da beach for two, three hours. Aftah dat, I go answer all your question, and if you want to bring me to the hospital, you can."

Doogie shook his head at first, but realized that Vinnie wasn't going to back down.


"YES! Doog! Dis'll be great!"

Doogie smiled. It was as if he and Vinnie hadn't had that conversation.

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Doogie parked in the parking lot and they grabbed the towels and ran toward the beach. Vinnie lagged behind, a little. They finally parked, right next to the life guard stand. According to Vinnie, this is where Alisa guards...whoever she is.

"Hey, Vin?"

"Yeah?" replied Vinnie, a little too distantly for Doogie's liking.

"What happened to Janine?"

"Well, she—she dumped me...again. So...then 5 minutes later we get back together...and then I dump her. Its over."

"For good?"

"Who knows? It depends on her mood t'morrah," Vinnie said, not really paying attention to the words coming out of his mouth, but more to the girls passing him. He nodded to them and they smiled politely and waved...but then walked on. Poor Vin.

"C'mon!" exclaimed Vinnie, getting up. "Lets go in the water!"

Doogie got up and followed Vinnie. He smiled. This kid never ceased to surprise him. Vinnie managed to spot a cute blonde and start a conversation. This girl was actually interested...and Vinnie was being pretty smooth. Where did this come from?

"So, Doogie, where do you go to school?" asked the girl.

"I don't. I'm a doctor," explained Doogie, prepared for the laughter sure to follow----It didn't come.

"Oh, that famous doctor! The genius! My mom's a nurse at the hospital you work at. She mostly works in the oncology section. Maybe you know her...Nurse Holden?"

"Oh, right! Your mother's a very nice lady!" said Doogie. She blushed a bit. Vinnie smiled.

"Hey, do ya want to hang out wit' us later? You know...get a milkshake or somethin'?" asked Vinnie.

"Sure," she replied. "My friend's over at the beach. Mind if she comes too?"

"Nah," said Vinnie.

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All four of them sat at a single booth in a deli just across the street from the beach. It was a famous spot for surfers and local swimmers to go. "New-bees" were scorned was only your locals. People there could spot a new-bee from a mile away.

Vinnie ordered for Margot Holden...a caesar salad. She was surprised. He asked what she wanted and gave no hint that he would order for her. Doogie, also impressed, attempted the same on Margot's friend, Delaine...the only problem was that He didn't remember what she said she wanted.

"Delaine her will have...a...hamburger," said Doogie, slightly proud of himself. He looked over at Delaine who scowled in disgust at the mere mention of a hamburger. "Cheese burger?" She shook her head. "Chicken fingers?"

Delaine looked at the waiter and said, "I'll have a garden salad."

Doogie nodded and looked at the waiter, "I'll have her cheeseburger."

Doogie looked back at Delaine who shrugged, "I'm a vegetarian."

"And you sir?" asked the waiter, looking at Vinnie.

"Uh...nothing for me, thanks," said Vinnie.

"Oh, you gotta have something Vinnie. Here, look at the menu. The turkey sandwich looks good," commented Margot. Vinnie nodded...and gulped. Just the look at the food listed alone made him nauseus. Gosh, its hard to keep things down, lately.

During the course of the meal, Doogie noticed Vinnie didn't touch his water. When the food came, he made pain filled faces every time he swallowed. He looked like he was about to barf.

Something was definitely wrong.

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Two days later...

"Doogie, wake up!" yelled Mr. Howser.

"What, dad?"

"Vinnie's at the hospital. He fainted."


"He stumbled down the stairs on the way to breakfast, according to Mrs. Delpino. According to what you told me about him not eating, its probably due to dehydration. And his loss of appetite is caused by a swelling in his throat. You said he had slight discomfort in his throat and chest...what does that sound like to you, son?"

"It could be a number of things, Dad..."

"But what do you think the doctors are testing for as of right now? It wasn't just anything that was swollen and you know that, now, Douglas, don't you? It was his lymph nodes," explained Mr. Howser.

"Lymphoma," said Doogie.

"Lymphoma," agreed Mr. Howser. "Mrs. Delpino says that he has been experiencing stomach problems. If not for the swollen lymph nodes, I would have said, stomach virus...but when you told me about the swelling in his throat, I'm thinking, 'these symptoms sound a lot like Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma'.Reason being, Hodgkin's lymphoma does not include nausea or stomach aches. Not normally."

"Oh, no."

"Lets go, son."

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After several tests, the doctors discussed Vinnie's condition to Doogie. Actually, Dr.Canfield explained Vinnie's condition.

"Your suspicion was right, Dr. Howser. It is very clear that Vinnie has Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We took samples from his bone marrow that confirmed this. We also did a lymph nod biopsy. The last time you saw him...two days ago, he was in stage two. Now, he's entering stage three. Swelling has spread to his abdomen. We are going to have to treat him with chemotherapy. I'll go tell his parents."

Doogie, stood there, shocked, and just nodded. He absentmindedly followed Dr. Canfield into the waiting room. As soon as Mrs. Delpino saw their faces, so grim, she burst into tears. Mr. Delpino grabbed her shoulders and pulled her to a tight embrace. Dr. Canfield explained to them what he explained to Doogie.

"Does he know?" asked Doogie's mom. Doogie shook his head.

"I'm volunteering to tell him," said Doogie. Doogie waved Mr. And Mrs. Delpino along. The followed him up to Vinnie's room. Vinnie sat up in his bed, flipping the channels. He smiled at them when they came in. It would seem as if he didn't notice their grim expressions, but Doogie knew Vinnie better. "Doog, you guys need to put cable in dese rooms! Dere's nothing on! The reception is bad, too!"

Everyone quietly chuckled and stared at him.

"Do I have somethin' in my teeth?"


"What is it, a virus infection? Imagine dat, Ma. You brought me here because I had a virus!"he exclaimed with a laugh.

"Vinnie, its not—" started Doogie.

"Doog, I tried to tell her..."

"Honey, Doogie has something to tell you as a doctor," said Mrs. Delpino, taking a seat next to her son, right on the hospital bed.

"'Kay, spill da beans, Doog," said Vinnie, still smirking. He turned to his mother and said, "It's really nothing to worry about, Ma. Its nothin' serious."

"Vinnie, you have cancer. Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It is serious. We're going to start you on chemo as soon as possible," explained Doogie. Vinnie just stared in shock for a minute, his eyes growing wide. His dad walked over to his side and put an arm around his shoulder. Then, Vinnie smiled.

"See, Ma? Nothin' serious. Just cancer," said Vinnie. His eyes returned to their normal size after he spoke for the first time. His voice was shaky, but he wouldn't allow himself to break. "Uh, Ma? Pop? Can I be alone with Doogie? One minute."

"Sure, Vincent," said Mr. Delpino, taking Mrs. Delpino's hand and leaving reluctantly.

"You don't have to act strong for them, Vinnie," said Doogie. Vinnie just ignored his comment.

"How bad?"

"Stage three. Its spread to three areas in your body. That's why we're heading straight for the chemo and skipping the radiation," explained Doogie.


"The survival rate for children with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is around 78 or 79 percent or something."

"For me, Howser. My odds."

Doogie sighed. "I don't know."

"How 'bout chemo. What will the side effects be?"

"Well, chemotherapy is a bunch of drugs combined. It will be taken in cycles. Its hard to tell exactly how you will react. You may loose your hair, you may not. You may sweat and shiver a lot, you may not. You might have a decrease in your blood count and a transfusion will be necessary if this happens. If white blood cell counts go down too far, you may have infection. You might be very week...maybe not, but you wouldn't let that happen, for the ladies' sakes, right?"

Vinnie smiled. "Right. And Doog?"


"You'll be with me through this?"

"Every minute, buddy. You were for me."

"Oh, yeah, about that. If I lose my hair...don't shave your head. As a favor, instead, just buy me a wig. Baldies, I find, don't attract women very well."

"Got it."

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How's that? Please feel free to review! Thanks!