Goodbye Movember, Hello December

As we move further into the month of December (we can’t believe it either), we are wrapping up a successful month of Movember. We were able to hear our dad bloggers talk about Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords and how if detected early, a life can be saved.

One of our very own, Nathan, participated in Movember as well; he grew out his ‘stache and shared his experiences (and photo journey) with us. As we wrap up, we got the opportunity to ask Nate a few questions about his experience.  He was also very excited to share the progress of his mustache.  Read more below:

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Interview with Totsy’s very own, Nathan Feder.

  1. How does it feel to have that beard? For one thing, THIS is no beard, it’s a mustache… but it feels really itchy! But I have had lots of people come up to me and ask why I decided to grow a mustache, which gave me a great opportunity to tell them about Movember and try to spread awareness. So itchy as it was, it felt good to be doing something for a good cause. 
  2. Did you reach your fundraising goal? I didn’t actually have a fundraising goal.  I was just trying to raise as much as I could and do my part. 
  3. What are some lessons you learned? Make sure that no relatives get married mid-November. I was at a wedding where there were lots of pictures taken, I did not look good in them….
  4. Any plans to participate in Movember next year?  What would you do differently?  I will probably do it again next year. The main thing that I would do differently is try to get more friends involved with it as well. That way we can set up a team and make it a more immersive experience for the month, (also we can add a degree of competitiveness to it just to make it fun!)

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Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and cancer in general is no joke. Which is why Totsy has decided to match Nathan’s donations, totaling $620 raised for his Movember participation.

Tell us, do you know anyone who has participated in Movember?  Please share in the comments below!

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Movember Guest Post Part 3: Mocha Dad

{Meet Frederick J. Goodall of Mocha Dad}

My uncle Bobby was a fascinating man. Having spent the majority of his life working in the Middle-East, he was full of stories and wild experiences. He owned a villa in Spain, vacationed in Thailand, and owned the finest luxury cars in the world. Whenever I was in St. Louis, I always went to his house to listen to his stories. They never got old to me.

On one visit, I noticed that Uncle Bobby didn’t look well. He had lost weight and his gait was slow. I asked him if everything was okay and he told me that he was fine. I knew that he wasn’t but I didn’t want to call him on it. Later on, one of his nieces, revealed to us that uncle Bobby had prostate cancer. It had spread throughout his body because Uncle Bobby always avoided the doctor and never scheduled regular check-ups.

Losing Uncle Bobby was tragic. If only he had gotten an exam sooner…maybe he’d still be with us today. But one good thing did come from Uncle Bobby’s death. My father-in-law scheduled a prostate exam. Thankfully the doctor discovered his prostate cancer and performed surgery before it could spread.

Although regular screenings are important for all men, routine prostate cancer screenings are critical for African-Americans. Among black men, 19 percent — nearly one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and five percent of those will die from this disease. In fact, prostate cancer is the fourth most common reason overall for death in African-American men. The American Cancer Society recommends that African-American men discuss testing with their doctor at age 45, or at age 40 if they have several close relatives who have had prostate cancer before age 65.

In addition to recognizing the need for early screening, men should be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. These symptoms can include urinating in the middle of the night, needing to urinate more frequently, and feeling like the bladder doesn’t completely empty. Blood in the urine may also be a sign of prostate cancer. The good news is that prostate cancer treatment has a 95 success rate if detected early.

I encourage all men to schedule a physical as soon as possible. If we are to raise strong families and have strong marriages, we have to protect our health.

I don’t want any family to experience a loss of a loved one due to prostate cancer. That’s why I’m participating in Movember to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. Visit my personal Movember page and make a donation today.

Frederick J. Goodall writes the fatherhood blog Mocha Dad. He is also a freelance writer, speaker, and owner of the Communications and Media company, Goodall Creative Services. Pie is his favorite dessert.

Movember Guest Post Part 2: Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords

Why I’m Subjecting the World to This Sad Thing On My Lip

First and foremost, it should be said up front that I have no business growing facial hair.

At the age of forty-four, I think the puberty ship has probably sailed. The beard and moustache I can grow now isn’t all that different from what I could conjure up in college, except of course now it’s got a lot of grey in it. That’s an eye opener, too. I only have a tiny little touch of grey at my temples, so it’s easy to feel young and vigorous until the beard comes in, and then suddenly I feel like I should be asking for spare change on the corner. Or perhaps piloting a boat out to sea while singing a chanty and sharpening my harpoon.

It’s seriously not a good look. So why am I growing a moustache, perhaps the worst part of my very questionable facial hair?

Because men’s health is a pretty important part of my life, and my future. Or more accurately, a future for my daughter.

Almost thirteen years ago, my daughter Schuyler was born with a rare brain malformation called bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria. It affects everyone who has it differently, causing everything from mild learning disabilities to fatal seizures. In Schuyler’s case, it has robbed her of most of her ability to speak and has given her some developmental difficulties. It has also caused seizures, mild ones so far. Schuyler’s polymicrogyria hasn’t threatened her life, but it has made it more difficult. And while she attends some mainstream classes in school and presents to the world as a little girl seemingly like any other, the fact is that Schuyler will most likely require some help for the rest of her life, even if she is able to live semi-independently one day.

Like most parents of children with serious disabilities, one thought haunts me when I lie in bed at night. What will happen to my daughter when I am gone? Who will take care of her?

When I think of the research that goes into helping men prolong their lives and improve the quality of those lives, the concerns are very real to me. When I see other men stepping up to raise awareness about the issues surrounding men’s health, I realize that I have a part to play in making a difference, even if it’s as simple as helping to raise awareness and maybe some money for the cause.

So that’s why I’m participating once again in Movember. Even if it looks less like a moustache and more like I’m eating a mouse.

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Robert Rummel-Hudson is the author of Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey with His Wordless Daughter (St. Martin’s Press, 2008). He also blogs at Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords (http://www.schuylersmonsterblog.com). Visit Robert’s Movember page HERE.

Movember Guest, Part I: The Daddy Complex

Note: This guest post is the first in a series, highlighting Dad bloggers rocking the Movember Campaign against prostate & testicular cancer. Enjoy!

{Meet David Vienna of The Daddy Complex }

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Mustaches have a bad rap. Something about the smarminess of ‘70s facial hair spilled into the ridiculousness of the ‘80s. And really, nothing survived the ‘80s unscathed. Even David Bowie’s catalog. The death knell of a stylish sandwich duster was rung on a synthesizer. But, like my roller skates and cassette Walkman, I’m bringing the mustache back. And with it, I hope to help defeat cancer… Did I lose you? Let me explain.

Each November, thousands of men grow mustaches of varyingly embarrassing forms to help raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer. The movement and organization is called Movember. As participants’ stubble limps toward credible mustache length, they urge their friends, family and coworkers to donate in the name of their facial hair. It’s all in good fun until the end of Movember when there seems to be an annual spike in accidents involving log splitting and premature pistol discharges at high noon.

Last year, I grew a nice semi-handlebar and raised a sizable amount of money as part of a Movember team of dad bloggers. I’m on the same team again this year and I’m thinking of going for something in the Wyatt Earp style, though knowing my growth rate, it’ll probably end more of the in the range of High School Science Teacher.

Of course, the terrible truth is that everyone knows someone affected by cancer. Just this year alone, my wife and I have seen two friends go through the steps of battling the disease. And through my parenting blog, The Daddy Complex, I’ve witnessed still others—mothers and fathers—begin their battles.

When I solicit donations for my Movember drive on my blog, I tend to speak of cancer as if it were a sniveling villain in a teen sex comedy, the kind of character you enjoy seeing fail. I speak of giving the disease a purple nurple or spiking its punch with laxatives. I also pair my posts with photos of dashing men who bravely sported a mustache, people like Burt Reynolds and Teddy Roosevelt. And yes, I’m quite aware I just mentioned the 26th president of the United States and the Bandit in the same sentence.

I personify cancer and then belittle it. It’s absurd, I know. So is growing a mustache in the name of cancer research. Yet, that absurdity takes away some of the pain, some of the fear, some of the sorrow. I’ll never invent the cure for cancer. I was an English major, after all. But, I can grow a pretty awesome mustache. And thanks to Movember, that helps.

David Vienna is the proud father of awesome twin boys Wyatt & Boone. Peek in on the Vienna family & David’s witty take on parenting at The Daddy Complex, or visit http://mobro.co/thedaddycomplex to make a donation to David’s team in the Movember fight against cancer.