I’d like to introduce you to a new friend of mine! His name is Howard Jenkins and according to him he appears a bit “scruffy”. I didn’t know about “No Shave November” until I read Howard’s post on Facebook today. His message was so on point that I asked him if I could feature him on my blog for the rest of the month. This message is for all my male family and friends. Since this appears on the world wide web and Facebook, I’m hoping it touches more than just my male family and friends. Thanks Howard and spread the word!
Okay, I have taken a better selfie in the past, but that isn’t the focus of this message. This time I’m writing what should be an annual message, late. It’s already the 23rd of November 2014 and I’m just now getting around to writing this message. Actually for me that is a good thing. Because that means I have been really busy since the last “No Shave November” message and I have survived another year (unofficially at this point) of being one hundred (100) percent Cancer free. I really enjoy writing that part!
While “No Shave November” is mostly about supporting Prostate Cancer awareness, we should not forget about the other forms of Cancer that is around us. So far this year, unfortunately I have lost at least two people due to Cancer. It also raises the heartburning question of why? With all of the advertising, reminders, and technology available to us on any given day; why are people dying from Cancer at the stage four level? I am talking about people who have the cost of any testing, and any treatment for the disease covered under their health insurance policies. I am talking about people who have a lot of close family, close friends, and other people who simply enjoy their company around them. I’m talking about people who have several good projects to work on. The only answer I can come up with is “Fear”. They are afraid to find out that they possibly have Cancer and for a host of reasons while going through the pain, they will ignore this killer of a disease.
I and others who are far more knowledgeable about the various forms of Cancer will tell any and all who will half way listen to get checked out. If you have health insurance (thanks to Obama Care you should), and even if you sneeze a few days in a row, go to the doctor and get checked out. While attending a funeral a couple of weeks ago, my brother and I told a cousin that the next time his doctor orders up some routine blood work to have a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test included. Since you’re already getting stuck by a needle, a few extra seconds of pain could extend your life by several years. All the phlebotomist (blood technician, vampire) is going to do is draw an extra test tube of blood. A short time later your doctor is going to tell you a number between one and ten.
Okay, here’s the scary part. Ideally you want the number to be zero. Depending on your current health situation, if the number is four or less, your doctor might take a wait and see approach. If the number is around seven, you need to act now. There are a host of options available for you and your doctor to consider. By the way, my biannual PSA test was zero (actually 0.01 a false positive)!
This year I can’t wait for “No Shave November” to end. Not that I want to forget about Prostate Cancer awareness until this time next year. I want it to end so that I can go back and shave off this beard I have grown for the past twenty-three days. So that I can look like the normal me again. Enough of the scruffiness.
Guys: Even if you didn’t grow a beard this year, get checked out by your doctor anyway. It only takes a few minutes and you will be glad you did.