No, I promise that is not a typo. If you are anything like me, you may not have heard of Movember. I was enlightened thanks to a funny little blog I read called Snide Reply. It led me the Bloggers for Movember page started by Le Clown.
Movember calls for an awareness of men’s health issues and mental illness. Started in Australia, Movember has infiltrated the globe, and supporters work to raise money and awareness under the guise of mascot moustaches. You may notice my banner photo has conveniently grown one for the occasion.
Coming on the heels of October and Breast Cancer Awareness, Movember holds a rightful place. My husband actually made the observation last month at how much coverage breast cancer awareness receives in proportion to other health issues. I responded that it is probably because 1.) most everyone likes boobs for one reason or another and 2.) it is a disease that affects namely women, and women get stuff done. But Movember proves that men are stepping up to the plate on their own healthful behalf. And just as men have helped carry the flag for women’s health issues (like the NFL teams sporting pink on their uniforms in the month of October), we women need to do the same for them. After all, every woman has at least one man in her life she cares about, be it a husband, father, brother, son, boyfriend, uncle, grandfather, or friend.
Prostate Cancer is a disease on the minds of a lot of men. And it should be. I have heard it said that if a man lives long enough, it no longer becomes a question of if he will get prostate cancer, but when. That experience has proven to be true in my family. Both of my grandfathers battled with prostate cancer; one successfully, the other not so. My dad’s father was one of the lucky ones, and now in his nineties, he is giving time a run for its money. My mom’s dad had a much rougher go of it. (I remembered him in an earlier post.)
Papa, as I called him, was a tiger. But not a wild tiger…more like the tiger you see at the circus. The one who knows when to roar on cue and make people quake when necessary, but who also gives warm, gruff, fuzzy snuggles to those who care for him (we will just forget about that tiger that attacked Roy for the sake of making my analogy work, okay?). He battled prostate cancer TWICE, but it was not actually the cancer that took him in the end. He kicked that crap to the curb on both counts, but not without consequences. What finally took him from us was what the cancer opened him up to. By the time he died, he left behind a body that was missing a prostate, had one lung, was skin and bones, and had been ravaged by years of fighting off infections. To me, the amazing part of it was how long and hard my grandpa fought, how many times he beat the odds, and how he did it in way that made us think there was nothing to it. Despite his courage, faith, and determination, I am still left feeling that it was not fair. He should not have had to endure it. No one should.
So here’s to Movember. Here’s to helping keep the men we love healthy. Prostates may not be as pretty as boobs, but ugly things need love too. I recall a wise man in a wool hat once said, “In order to dig things that are pretty, it takes no special talent. What it really takes talent to do is to dig something ugly…dig something like a garage door. I mean, how many people say, ‘OH, look at that garage door!’ ? You know? I mean, you get a lot of this stuff, ‘Oh, what beautiful azaleas.’”
So in other words, let’s save some garage doors! You can help by spreading the word about Movember, liking the Movember Facebook Page, and/or making a donation to my Are You Finished Yet Movember Team. If you’re a man (or a very hairy woman who doesn’t mind going “au natural”), grow a ‘stache…and get yourself screened for prostate and testicular cancers (only the guys, I mean…that would be a waste of time for the hairy women. But they may want to get their hormone levels checked). If you’re a woman, encourage a man in your life to get screened.
Now watch this rap about a bunch of men who were rockin’ moustaches before Movember was a word. And stay tuned for next month’s awareness campaign…Decentember: National Please Stop Posting Pictures of Your Elf on the Shelf in Sexually Explicit Poses and Thinking It’s Funny Awareness Month.