Monday, September 17, 2012

Kilted to Kick Cancer, Sh*t Just Got Real

One week prior to the kick off this this year's Kilted To Kick Cancer fundraiser I started wearing a kilt. I figured since this year I was actually going to participate I should give it a go early considering I was working over the first few days of September.

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 froze.

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.

Thank you

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kilted to Kick Cancer, 2012 Edition

Did you know that 241,270 men will be diagnosed and 28,170 men will die of prostate cancer this year?

Did you know that one out of ever six men in your life will be diagnosed with prostate cancer?

Did you know that a man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease and that it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, second only to lung cancer?

Did you know that testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men between the ages of 20 and 34 and that approximately 7500 men will be diagnosed and 350 men will die of testicular cancer this year?

We talk about breast cancer all month long in October, yet no one seems to realize that September is prostate cancer awareness month and that funding for male specific cancers is 1/50th of that of breast cancer. Plenty of our local agencies go pink for breast cancer in October, Kilted to Kick Cancer’s mission is to raise funds & awareness for prostate & testicular cancer in September.

All month long, if you catch me out of work, you'll catch me in a kilt. I'm doing this to raise funds & raise awareness through Kilted to Kick Cancer. I'm doing this for one out of every six men in your life.

Think about it, one out of every six men you know, your father, brother, uncle, son, nephew, brother-in-law, grandfather, friend. Count off six of them, one of those men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is the most common malignancy in men, second only to lung cancer.

241,270 diagnoses and 28,170 deaths this year alone. Let's raise some money, let's do some good.

Make the the clicky here to donate to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Or you can click here to donate to LiveStrong.

Last year the Kilted Army pulled together $12,000 in donations. This year we're aiming for $50,000.

We have set a very lofty goal, we can only do it through your donations.

Thank you.