Movember: and why my wife hates my facial hair

It's No Shave November. Movember. And this is the first time in my 30 years that I have participated. In fact, I got a head start the last week of October (but don't tell anyone).
The whiskers look like a shadow... 
But, as is obvious by my photo, I do not have the genes necessary for being a hairy man. I am a creature of habit. I don't usually shave on Mondays, I sometimes do on Tuesdays (if not Tuesday, then definitely by Wednesday), sometimes Sunday; and usually the small stubs of blondness fill in a patch here or there that more resembles an uninhabited plot of prairie struck by a drought.

My wife doesn't like my facial hair. I'll test her sometimes. I won't shave until she says something. It's never more than a week. She says it's itchy. More-so, I think she's jealous (tonight she said, "How would you like it if I just didn't shave my legs for a month?"). Point taken.

And also understand: I am completely aware of my lack of moustache-growing skills. But, on the back side of the Man Card, rule 27r. states: A man must give a valiant attempt at beard and mustache growing before the end of their 30th year. Or something like that.

But I have good reason this year. This week while I called my mom, I realized I hadn't told her something I'd thought I did. And it dealt with both my facial hair and men's health. And realizing that I hadn't told her until now, I figured it's a good time for everyone.

By the way, Movemeber has become a worldwide movement. Just check out the Movember official website. The site is doing it's part to raise awareness for cancer in men like the Pink movement has for breast cancer.

And I have had my scares (and been checked for) both testicular and prostate cancer in the past four years. Remember, I'm just 30. Both turned out clean. The following couple of paragraphs are void of the intimate details, but you will get the point.

It's a scary moment to find a lump. At first, I thought it was a mistake. So I checked every day for the next week, and it didn't go away. About the size of a peanut M&M (sorry if I ruined that candy for you, I still enjoy them), I told Nicole and we scheduled an appointment to get it checked out. After an ultrasound, it turned out to be just a mass of fluid that had hardened (poses no health risk, but I still have to check). Nicole and I had one worry - would it affect us having children? The answer is obvious.

The prostate cancer was actually something that I didn't even consider before I was checked. I had some weird swelling (I thought testicular cancer was a shoe-in here). WebMD had nothing on the type of swelling I had. So, Nicole and I called the doctor again.  They ruled it could somehow be related to prostate cancer... and I was checked (they didn't even buy me dinner first). Luckily, the docs ruled that out as well.

While I have been lucky (I'm hoping there isn't a third time), I am writing this post because something amazing has happened since I started growing this dreadful beard. People have asked me, "why would you do such a thing?" And Movember, No Shave November is the perfect platform. Because when people ask, I immediately answer that it is to raise testicular and prostate cancer awareness. And that's what I'm doing. Getting the conversation started, just to have you get it in the back of your mind to check. I'm not trying to raise money - although the website accepts donations.

The Gabs and I raising awareness, and our eyebrows.

So, while my beard isn't growing on my wife... well, growing in general... I will keep it going this month in hopes of raising awareness.


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