Basal What?

That phone call from the skin doctor, the one with the words, “two of the biopsies came back negative, but the one on your back is positive basal cell carcinoma.” The “C-Word!”

My doctor wanted me to see a dermatologist about a mark on my head. So, finally I made the appointment (actually my wife did it for me) and showed up to get checked. The doctor checked almost all of me and found three areas of concern. They poked me with Lidocaine and scraped skin off. One spot on the side of my head, one on the side of my nose, and a spot on my back, over the right shoulder blade. The biopsy on my back was the one that came back positive.

So, on Feb 5, 2021, I entered the little room at the skin & cancer center to have some skin removed around “the site.” While they numbed me up and got ready, I asked how much they were taking. I was told that they had to remove everything within 4mm of the affected area. 4 millimeters?!? Ok, I can do this. Oh, and the skin on my back is thicker than skin on other parts of the body. Well, the plug of skin they took out was about 1/4″ thick and shaped in a rough oval. The long part looked to be an inch long and about 1/2 inch wide. It was a large chunk of me!

So, now I recover with a dozen stitches and some Ibuprofen. I go back in 2 week to get the stitches removed. Meanwhile…ouch! Hopefully they got it all and I don’t have to do this again.

No, I’m not going to post pictures of the divot.

20:00 – June 6, 1944 (Last Update)

Later in the day, General Eisenhower authorizes release of communiqué announcing the commencement of the invasion:

Communique Number 2

 6 June 1944

Shortly before midnight on 5 June, 1944, Allied light bombers  opened the assault. Their attacks in very great strength  continued until dawn.

Between 0630 and 0730 hours this morning, two Naval Task  Forces, commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Philip Vian, K.B.E.,  D.S.O., flying his flag in H.M.S. Scylla (Captain  T.M. Brownrigg, C.B.E., R.N.), and Rear-Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk,  U.S.N., in U.S.S. Augusta (Captain E. H. Jones, U.S.N.) launched
their assault forces at enemy beaches. The naval forces which  had previously assembled under the overall command of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, made their departure in fresh weather and were joined during the night by bombarding forces which had previously left northern waters.

Channels had to be swept through the large enemy minefields. This operation was completed shortly before dawn and, while minesweeping flotillas continued to sweep towards the enemy coast, the entire naval force followed down swept channels behind them towards their objectives.

Shortly before the assault, three enemy torpedo boats with armed trawlers in company attempted to interfere with the operation and were promptly driven off. One enemy trawler was sunk and another severely damaged.

The assault forces moved towards the beaches under cover of heavy bombardment from destroyers and other support craft, while heavier ships engaged enemy batteries which had already been subjected to bombardment from the air. Some of these were silenced. Allied forces continued to engage other batteries.

Landings were effected under cover of the air and naval bombardments and airborne landings involving troop carrying aircraft and gliders carrying large forces of troops were also made successfully at a number of points. Reports of operations so far show that our forces succeeded in their initial landings.

Fighting continues. Allied heavy, medium, light, and fighter bombers continued the air bombardment in very great strength throughout the day with attacks on gun emplacements, defensive works, and communica-tions [communications]. Continuous fighter over [cover] was maintained over the beaches and for some distance inland and over naval operations in the Channel. Our night fighters played an equally important role in protecting shipping and troop carrier forces and in intruder operations. Allied reconnaissance aircraft maintained continuous watch by day and night over shipping and ground forces. Our aircraft met with little enemy fighter opposition or anti-aircraft [antiaircraft] gunfire. Naval casualties were regarded as being very light, especially when the magnitude of the operation is taken into account.


07:35 – June 6, 1944

07:35 – June 6, 1944

07:35 Update

05:30 H – Allied warships begin shelling German coastal fortifications
06:00 H – Sunrise. Aerial bombardment of German fortifications along Utah and Omaha Beaches
06:30 H – American landings begin on Utah and Omaha Beaches.
06:52 H – First reports of conditions on the beaches reach Admiral Ramsay. American forces on Omaha Beach meeting stiff opposition, and suffering heavy casualties.

Omaha Beach

07:00 H – German radio broadcast initial report of the landing
07:10 H – U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion begins assault on Pointe du Hoc

Pointe Du Hoc

07:25 H – British landings begin on Gold and Sword Beaches
07:35 H – Canadian landing begins on Juno Beach

British Troops on Sword Beach.

05:00 – June 6, 1944

05:00 – June 6, 1944

Update of Overnight Operations

00:05 H – Allied air forces begin bombing of coastal batteries between Le Havre and Cherbourg.
00:10 H – reconnaissance groups dropped by parachute – Lieutenant Poole becomes first allied soldier to set foot on French soil.
00:20 H – British commandos under the command of Major Howard arrive by glider and begin attacks on Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne.

Allied Glider

01:00 H – U.S. 82nd Airborne Division lands by parachute west of Saint Mere Eglise.

C47 Dakota

C-47 Dakota ( a military version of the DC-3) used to transport airborne troops to Normandy at: Musee des Troupes Aeroportees – Sainte Mere Eglise

01:11 H – First reports of American airborne assault reach headquarters of the German 84th Army Corps at Saint Lo.
01:30 H – U.S. 101ST Airborne Division lands by parachute near Utah Beach.
01:50 H – Main body of the British 6TH Airborne Division lands by parachute east of the River Orne.
02:45 H – Troops bound for Omaha Beach board landing craft.
03:00 H – Allied warships arrive at assigned positions for the assault.
03:20 H – Heavy equipment and reinforcements for paratroops arrive by glider.
03:25 H – German naval observers report presence of Allied task force off the coast of Normandy.
03:50 H – British paratroops begin attack on the village of Ranville.
04:30 H – Sainte Mere Eglise captured by 505th Regiment, U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Marcouf islets off Utah Beach occupied by Americans.

“(American) paratroopers began jumping out by the hundreds. I saw one paratrooper land in the road but a German killed him before he could get untangled from his parachute. Another (paratrooper) was as killed near me. I will never forget the sight.” – Raymond Paris, resident of St. Mère-Eglise

04:45 H – Two miniature submarines drop off beachmasters and equipment for signaling landing craft. British knockout German shore battery at Merville.

22:00 – June 5, 1944

Commencement of Operation Neptune – Five fleets of assault ships cast off and depart their English port bases.

“We slipped anchor and headed into the Channel to overtake the grey columns of troops transports and landing craft, which now stretched to the horizon and beyond. They filled the scene as far as the eye could see. Overhead, the sky was filled with an aerial armada of bombers.”

John Gough, radio operator on board a destroyer.

LCI Convoy - D-Day

04:00 – June 5, 1944

General Eisenhower gives the go-ahead for the invasion. The plan drawn up expected 132,715 troops to be landed on five beaches with 23,400 paratroopers to be dropped further inland. 6,483 ships were involved.

In case the invasion fails, Eisenhower prepares a statement that reads:

“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Harve area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. If any blame or fault attaches to this attempt, it is mine alone.”

Gen Eisenhower addressing US Paratroopers prior to D-Day.

Gen Eisenhower addressing US Paratroopers prior to D-Day.

David, 1. Bells Palsy, 0.

I went to the doctor yesterday morning, for my follow-up visit.

According to the doctor, he sees a 50% improvement in my face, from last week’s visit.  He said that another 10-12 days, and I will be at 90%.

It’s amazing to go from zero muscle function to being able to drink without a straw, chewing on the right side of my mouth, and being able to smile…even if it is still a little lopsided.

When this happened, I put everything in God’s hands.  I DID still take the antiviral medicine, and the nasty steroid pills (Bleh).  To go from being told that it would take 6 months to recover…to being told that it will take 3 weeks is truly a blessing.


Back to work…

So, after being off work for 10 days, I went back to work on Sunday night.  Because of the onset of the Bells Palsy, I was having problems with my right eye all last week.  My vision has deteriorated by about 20% overall. I attribute it to one half of my forehead hanging down into my field of vision, and pushing the eyeball out of shape a little bit.

The overwhelming issue is the muscles on the left side of my neck. They are pulling my head to the left side, as well as twisting my head to the right a little bit.  I look strange typing at an angle, and it makes working on the computer extremely uncomfortable.

However, I have seen some progress! The right side of my mouth is starting to move a little bit when I try and smile.  Hopefully I’m soon to recover the ability to close my right eye without having to use my finger to do it.  That will be a major step!

Baby steps! With the Grace and Blessings of God, I will recover from this sooner than later.


Hello Dr. Charles Bell.

Several people have asked “what happened” in regards to a picture I posted on Facebook from Chandler Hospital on Friday, June 16th.

Overnight on Tuesday night, I started to feel some numbness on the left side of my mouth. Almost like getting OraGel on your tongue. It was accompanied by light-headedness.

On Thursday morning, I woke up to the feeling that the left side of my face had swollen up. Ok, maybe it’s an allergic reaction to something I ate, or something I encountered on Wednesday. Benadryl should take care of it.

By Friday morning, I realized it was a problem that wasn’t going to magically go away. After a day of running errands, I ended up at the Chandler Regional Medical Center, under the assumption that it would be easier to go there and get seen, than to try to get into my doctor after the weekend, or go to Urgent Care and have them send me off to the ER for tests.

The ER doctor diagnosed me with Bells Palsy, but wanted a CT scan of my head, because of my medical history, just to be sure it wasn’t something worse.

According to the Interwebs, Bells Palsy is named after Charles Bell, the Scottish surgeon who first ascribed the problem as a neurological issue connected to the facial nerve.

Since that Friday, I’ve had a considerable change in my ability to talk, eat and see. Half of my face is dead. No muscle movement at all. It’s hard to eat, hard to drink, and hard to see through my droopy right eye. Not to mention that now I slur my words worse than any drunk you see on Live PD.

The doctor’s say it’s temporary, and should clear up in several weeks. Meanwhile, it’s something I have to deal with.

On the plus side, I have mastered the single arched eyebrow look. And I have the perfect Two-Faced costume.

Well, at least this gives me something to write about.