Face/Off

Yesterday my Dad had a procedure to address skin cancer on his nose. He’s been an outdoors guy since birth, growing up on a farm and working as a laborer his whole adult life. He is happiest riding around on a tractor. Unfortunately, he almost never used/uses sunscreen. After he was first diagnosed with skin cancer in 2006, my Mom would nag him to wear it along with a hat, but his compliance was short lived.

A few months ago, I went back to nagging him (somebody had to pick up where Mom left off) about a sore on his nose that kept reappearing, in the same spot. He kept brushing it off but I made an appointment with the dermatologist and, sure enough, it was skin cancer again. Luckily, it is basal cell carcinoma which rarely metastasizes. They did still plan the procedure (a Mohs Micrographic surgery) where the doctor plays the role of surgeon, pathologist, and plastic surgeon. They remove the cancer, using a microscope to locate the cancer cells, and do some reconstruction. In Dad’s case, he said they pulled some skin down over the removal spot and stitched it up. He’s quite bandaged up as a result, and he looks like he’s been through 10 rounds with Rocky… left eye is swollen shut and hugely purple. Right eye is just a little purple, and at least he can see out of that one.

Today I got to wondering: if basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes, why do they do surgery? (Of course, it’s probably a question I should have thought of earlier!) According to this one article I found, it’s largely due to impact on appearance, both if they continue to grow , or if you need a large portion of your face (or other body part) removed if you wait too long. And, of course, “rarely” metastasizes doesn’t mean “never”.

In the end, Dad is managing well, taking it all in stride, and it’s probably best that we did t.

*****

I finally got around to trying to make carrot dogs at our Labor Day cook out. There are many recipes, but this is the one most referenced in the sites I follow. They were pretty simple: cook until soft, but not mushy, marinate for 24 hours or more, and then just heat up in a frying pan with a bit of the marinade. I thought they were tasty, but a bit salty for me. I think next time, I will use low sodium soy sauce instead of the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. My brother-in-law and my stepdaughter’s boyfriend both tried them and thought they were pretty good, so I view that as success. I would definitely make them again.

Ethan skipped the carrot dogs and created his very own pescatarian-ovo-vegetarian burger: Portabello Mushroom, topped with a crab cake and some cheese (he used a slice each of provolone and Swiss). Sounds odd, but it was actually pretty good (I had to try it!). He came up with this a few weeks ago, so I had to get all the ingredients for him. He said he’d like to patent it!  🙂  Perhaps a future chef in the making…?

*****

IMDb: Face/Off (1997)

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2 thoughts on “Face/Off

  1. Your dad is blessed to have a “nagging daughter.” Also, thank you for the carrot hot dog recipe. One of my favorite foods is the Chicago Ho Dog loaded down with onions, tomatoes, pickle relish, mustard, ketchup, a few hot peppers, and sprinkled with celery salt. Maybe, the carrot dog will serve as a great replacement.

  2. I think you will like it. It’s not “quite” a hot dog, but an acceptable substitute when you consider the health implications. Let me know what you think if you try it! (And all the other toppings are great!)

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