November 1, 2017
This is my favorite time of year. I binge on Halloween’s sweetness. I’m grateful for Thanksgiving. Christmas is a great gift. And I ring in the New Year.
This year, there’s a huge bonus. My first grandbaby is due on November 29th, which will forever be globally celebrated and known as “Frances Ellen ‘Effie’ Watson Day”. (Unless, of course, she’s born on some other day. In that case, the international festivities will be adjusted as needed.)
A Time to Grow
But I also rejoice in that I have an excuse to grow my beard. I really like my beard and always have. When I think of my beard and me, I visualize myself looking like this (although I don’t always visualize the shell necklace, which was standard luau wardrobe for that Hawaiian trip in 1987):
Unfortunately, last year, it was suggested — and not in a nice way — that the passage of time has caused me to now look more like Cap’n Crunch.
Another smart aleck former friend tweeted: “Every November I see this face and it reminds me of the importance of Silver Alerts in tracking down our lost elders.”
It’s entirely possible that my assessment of my youth and beauty is slightly off.
Why I Grow
Regardless, I grow my facial hair because it’s Movember.
Movember is the annual effort to raise awareness of men’s health, specifically testicular and prostate cancer and mental health. Every November, guys grow moustaches to call attention to this important issue. I go beyond the moustache because, well, you may have heard that I like my beard.
I survived testicular cancer. Back in 1992, I had multiple surgeries and went through chemotherapy. A couple of years later, on a routine CT scan, they found a tumor in my gut that was related to the initial cancer. They field dressed me, stripping lymph nodes out of my abdomen.
My last cancer treatment of any kind was in April of 1995. I’m cured of that stuff.
I strongly believe that part of the reason I’m cured is because of access to early, effective and frequent health care. I want everyone to have the fighting chance I had. So not only do I push for policies that help, but I do things like grow extra hair to call attention to this disease and others.
Help me out
I’ve set up an account with the Movember Foundation that you can use to donate and help get the word out.
I hope you’ll check it out. You may just save a life.