Another Movember moustache…

looking a little scary, but with a mo

looking a little scary, but with a mo

Earlier this week I had a call from a friend, who was going for the results of an MRI. They were understandably apprehensive about the outcome and needed some moral support. I’m no psychologist, but I know that our brains naturally evaluate risk, and seeing all the potential negatives in life can cause us significant worry and stress. Hospitals have a tendency to give us all of the facts, which mean there are a lot of negatives, even if, in a large number of situations, they never happen.

I’m supporting Movember this year because I’ve been in a similar position with my own health. One March evening in 2011 I turned up in A&E with a complaint which doctors couldn’t identify. After a couple of weeks of antibiotics and ultrasounds, there was no diagnosis. I can remember sitting at an outpatient appointment in June, listening to possibilities being listed by the consultant. His decision was to treat it as a worst case scenario, and within minutes, I had a MacMillan nurse sit me down and talk about the possibility of having cancer.

I am fortunate that my situation turned out not to be worst case, and that unlike many people I know, the worst I had to endure was an operation and a prosthesis. I can look around me and see people who have to live with worse. My story is nothing compared to theirs, but I have been moved by their stories to share a small part of mine.

My cousin is one of those people. Almost nine years to the day older than me, he has been deaf since before I was born. Earlier this year, Jon had a series of operations to have a cochlear implant. His story was covered by Anglia TV and the story won a diversity award a couple of days ago.

One of my colleagues blogged earlier in the month about why he’s supporting Movember to support mental health, a factor which led to his brother taking his own life. I simply cannot imagine that level of anguish, and I count my blessings that my family are all around me, despite the trials and tribulations of their lives.

Sadly, society seems to have forgotten that we are all mortal, and that there will inevitably be moments in our lives when it seems someone above is trying to remove us. We must not live in fear of it, and try to look for the positives and the opportunity which we are provided with. We still need to be aware of the signs of things bad, in our lives and in others, so that we can head them off.

Ultimately, we are all here to help each other, to listen, to repair, to protect. The charities being supported by Movember help us do that. Whether supporting research into prostate or testicular cancer, mens’ health both physical and mental, any support we can provide to each other financially or in kind will be gratefully received by those who really need it.

I’ve supported my Movember giving group. I would be very grateful if you would consider doing the same.

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