When my sisters and I were young, our mother made most of our clothing, since kilts can be expensive, my mother agreed to make them for me and so after picking up the materials needed I made my way up to my parents house, a 70 mile drive from my current home in Southern Maine. It is very easy for me to fall into old routines at my parent's house, and so we had lunch and talked and visited while she was hemming and pleating and stitching, but the one topic of conversation that we didn't really discuss with my father's prostate biopsy that was coming up on September 3rd. I suppose this is typical of men's health issues- we just don't talk about them, which is one of the reasons why Kilted To Kick Cancer is so important. Men need to talk about these things
The following week I went about my business and went everywhere in a kilt. I went to the grocery store, I went out to a couple of bars with friends; I ran my errands and went about my day wearing a kilt and I grew to be comfortable in it. My father's prostate biopsy had been in the back of my mind and I told myself that everything was going to be fine.
This past Thursday evening I was napping on the couch when I awoke to a phone call from my mother, we chatted about the usual things and then she told me "Your father got his biopsy results back. He has prostate cancer."
I managed to hold myself together, but I'm quite certain that she noticed that I was reduced to single word replies to most everything she said. The conversation came to a close while I was standing in front of the refrigerator looking for something to drink and as I pressed the end button on my phone I fell to the floor and sobbed.
You see, while I realize that prostate cancer is treatable, particularly when caught early, I couldn't help but think of everything else that he has been through. A few years ago, due to some health issues and at the urging of his pulmonologist he retired early from the paper mill where he worked since before I was born. He was enjoying his retirement when he developed a very severe case of diverticulitis a couple of years ago. He underwent several transfusions and a major, life altering surgery and despite the severity of this illness which almost cost him his life, he survived. My parents are two of the strongest people that I know and so I know that with my mother by his side, he will come through this. But knowing this doesn't help me to not worry.
I want to raise more money for KTKC this year. I want more people to talk about men's health issues, particularly prostate cancer and testicular cancer. I want more men to get checked so these problems can be caught early. I want everyone who reads this to count off six men in their life that they are close to and realize that one of them WILL get prostate cancer. We tell ourselves that "It'll never happen to me" but it does. It happens to us, and since my father has prostate cancer I am now twice as likely to develop it myself. Add to that the fact that I live north of the 40th parallel, and not only do I have another risk factor, but I am now at a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer.
We all talk about wanting to do something and now is the time. Please, make a donation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Do it for me, do it for my father, and do it for one out of every six men that are important to you.
Every donation counts, be it five dollars or five hundred dollars, every donation counts.