You’ve heard of Man Flu. It’s a very tragic and common condition. People, especially mothers, wives and girlfriends all over the country know men who have suffered terribly at the hands of this awful illness – and the men in our lives aren’t afraid of letting everyone know how badly they have it.
However, for some reason those same men, the ones who vocalise and demonstrate their suffering so well when it comes to such a minor ailment [the common cold], keep quiet when they think there’s something seriously wrong. Like testicular Cancer. Like prostrate Cancer. Like mental health problems – because men just don’t seem to talk about “feelings”, or bits on their body that don’t seem right.
The thought of walking into the doctors’ office and discussing their health concerns, saying them out loud to the very people that can, and want to – and need to help is something that many men shy away from – and die from.
Taboos aren’t just for periods, bladder weakness and other female issues. As women, we’re finding it easier to shout out about what’s going on with us, but men – they’re staying silent. And becoming victims to conditions out of fear or out of a need to be strong. It needs to stop – and we need to start talking about it.
I know that my Dad is one of these men. Yes, we ALL know when he has a cold – but when he had Cancer? I found out about it weeks after he’d had a biopsy, because my Mom MADE him go to the doctors. I love him with all of my heart, and the thought of him being too embarrassed to seek help that could save his life makes me feel both angry and powerless. And I know he’s reading this – and I want him to know that I’m doing this for him and other Dads, husbands, brothers and sons just like him.
This November, Movember, Keri-Anne from Gingerlilly Tea and I are supporting the Movember Foundation in raising awareness and funds so that men can feel supported and not weak in seeking the health care that they need. You can support us and the Foundation by donating to our page, or by signing up for yourself here.
Grow a Mo, get moving – there are plenty of ways that you can help. We’re doing our part by walking from [South] ‘Hampton to [North] ‘Hampton, where we live. We’ve chosen this route to walk because from the North to the South, from the richest to the poorest, Cancer and other silent killers don’t discriminate.
And men – those of you out there who are staying silent, or feeling foolish, speak out. Asking for help, just like asking for directions, can save time – and time can save your life.
I love you, Dad. xxx