- Alan's having surgery to remove the lump on his neck. He's a bit worried that the tumor will be cancer.
- He meets the surgical team, which is like a medical UN: doctors from China, England, Germany, Italy, Russia—and Dr. Hakem.
- Alan is awake for the whole surgery, including the gut-wrenching moment when Dr. H pulls the cyst from his body. It's a disgusting feeling.
- He remembers his mama, who didn't go in for whiners. She constantly told him to man up, which he's trying to do in the operating room.
- He also thinks of Kit as he tries to distract himself from the surgery. He remembers taking her to see the launch of the last manned spacecraft at Cape Canaveral.
- It was an emotional experience for him, but also a great bonding moment with Kit. He feels it was something he'd done right.
- The surgery continues to get more unpleasant. Alan has allowed the docs to under-medicate him, and now he's regretting it.
- He thinks of how touched he was when that rocket finally did take off from Canaveral (he cried). Kit seemed to appreciate his response.
- And that's enough of a stroll down memory lane. Dr. H tells him they're done and that they were able to remove the whole cyst.