Here is the story thus far.
My grandpa beat prostate cancer a few years ago. He was a tough bird, but complications from injections, and the side effects from the many meds he took resulted in his heart weakening, so he had a stroke. And even though he continued fighting it, and restored most of his functions, he was just too old to recover, so we lost him. Two years ago this May. Technically, his heart gave out, but I’d like to think that it was cancer that started the long, painful domino-effect collapse. So, to begin with, fuck cancer.
Then there was grandma. She stood by and supported Grandpa through his ordeal, and didn’t even show a hint of weakness. All was hunky-dory, upbeat, ready to take on the world – her typical attitude. Even after he was gone, she was a pillar of strength and leadership in the family. And then, one day, we found a growth in her lungs. Mere seven months later she was gone, dissolved into a mess of tumors. That was Thanksgiving 2011. I remember exactly what I was doing when I took that call – apple-picking with my wife and kids. I love apples. Haven’t been to that farm since. Irrational, of course, since the farm is not to blame for anything. There might even be a lyrical ‘an-apple-a-day’ metaphor in this story somewhere, but let’s reduce the the argument to simple, short statements. So once again, fuck cancer.
Earlier this year, there was also a small fright with another close family member. Without going into much detail, it came out of nowhere, blasted the gastro-intestinal system into near oblivion, but we managed to recover that person and avoid another loss. For now. So in this case, don’t you fucking dare, cancer.
But it’s not all gloom and doom – there is a cancer survivor in our family, and she’s been kicking ass ever since her ‘second’ birthday. The only reason she’s with us today is early detection and treatment. The others – were just too old to manage the recovery properly, or just didn’t bother to check in early. Which brings me to Movember. You know, that gimmicky month-long event when men grow their mustaches for prostate cancer awareness and campaign for early detection. Actually, the campaign has recently expanded to include ‘men health’ in general, but at its roots, it’s about early detection of cancer. And you probably know what comes next – I’m looking for a few guys (or girls) to join the team, and let it grow wild for a month.
It’s silly, it’s irreverent, and I believe it’s the right way to battle cancer – with terrible facial hair experiments and juvenile prostate puns. We raise some money for a good cause, make fun of our unruly hair, encourage people to get checked early and often, and we take lots of pictures along the way. Do not believe me – take a look at some past shenanigans. And if you don’t want to do it specifically for cancer, do it for a man in your life. For your husband, brother, father. For whatever ails him, whatever you can prevent – it’s your choice. Find your goal, and focus on that person. Change that life.
Who’s with me? Ping/email/dm/fb/tw, or whatever else you young kids do these days. Clicking right here is another good route. Or, you can just walk over to my desk, dear co-worker, and say ‘I’m in’. Think of it – no shaving for a month! Join me for Movember this year, and bring along your cameras. Gonna be a lot of fun. And cancer can go fuck itself!
UPDATE: apparently my Movember profile removed all the photos from previous years, which means I gotta do a retrospective. Stay tuned for a photo collage. And join my team already.