Movember 30th – We Need to Talk.

The month of Movember has officially passed, and today I get to say goodbye to my thirty day stache and return to a more recognizable clean-shaven look.  I’m ready, because this thing is annoying, it smells like ketchup, and I can’t stop playing with it.

This year, as part of my Movember efforts I wanted to create a series of videos discussing the big issues that affect men’s health and cause men to die to young: Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health/suicide prevention.  I introduced the month formerly known as November with partial nudity, took viewers for a walk near the beach to hopefully raise awareness for prostate cancer.  My video about testicular cancer fell prey to technical difficulties.

The final video, regarding mental illness and suicide prevention almost didn’t happen either.

The reason?  Well, because it’s difficult to talk about.

Three out of four suicides are men, and globally, we lose a man to suicide each and every minute.  It’s an enormous problem, and we need to learn how to talk about it.

Each us has suffered a loss from suicide.  In over twenty years with the fire service and EMS, I’ve witnessed first hand how suicide can devastate families and communities.  On a personal level, I’ve lost friends, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something I missed.  What if I had asked a few questions? And listened?  But it’s difficult to talk about.  And it’s easy to get wrapped up in worry about saying the wrong thing, that nothing is said.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Safe Call Now is a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises awareness, funds scientific research and provides resources and aid to those affected by suicide, including those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Thank you for following along with this year’s Movember efforts to help change the face of men’s health.  Check out the Movember Foundation for more information on men’s health and what you can do to help keep men from dying too young.  If you’d like, you can donate to help support the good work they do.

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Only Three Miles Away

I couldn’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve passed by on my way to other destinations, somehow reasoning that good anchorages can’t be so close to home.  The truth is, though, that an often overlooked little gem lies just a stones throw from Anacortes.

Saddlebag Island is a Washington State Marine Park, adjacent to the east end of the Guemes Channel near Anacortes.  With an open schedule and a decent weather forecast, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity for an overnight trip close by.

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Movember 10th – Let’s Go For a Walk

We are now nearly through the second week of MOVEMBER.  Even though the moustache growing is less than stellar at this point, my spirits remain high and plenty of positive energy is channeled to my upper lip.

As mentioned in my previous post, with accompanying video, this is my seventh year participating in Movember.  This year, with a new-found hobby of creating videos, I wanted to take the opportunity to use the platform to work toward the Movember Foundation’s mission of raising funds and awareness for the issues that affect men’s health.

So, today I take you along with me on a walk at Rosario Beach – a beautiful location not far from where I live.  It’s part of the Deception Pass State Park, and a great setting to talk about… Prostate Cancer.

Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer in men, behind skin cancer.  It affects one in seven men and claims the lives of thirty-five men every hour, worldwide.  It’s successfully treatable, if detected early, but often men don’t experience symptoms in the early stages of the disease.  Often, early signs are found on routine physical examinations or through PSA blood tests.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs when some cells within the prostate gland reproduce more rapidly than normal, and a tumor forms.  The prostate is a glad located immediately below the bladder in men, with the purpose of producing a fluid that enriches and protects sperm.  If prostate cancer is left undetected, it will often spread to other areas of the body – most often bone and lymph nodes – in a process called metastasis.

Risk factors include age, family history, and race.  Older men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Men with fathers and brothers with history of prostate cancer are twice as likely to be diagnosed.  Men of color have a higher prevalence of prostate cancer.

The Movember Foundation is working on global scale to reduce deaths from prostate cancer by funding research to improve detection and treatment, and to help men make informed decisions if the need arises.

Let’s go for a walk.

For more information, please check out the Movember Foundation, to learn more about prostate cancer and other issues that affect men’s health.  If you’d like, please consider making a donation to help support the work that the Movember Foundation does to change the face of men’s health.

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Movember First – Manscaping

It’s the first day of Movember, the month formerly known as November.  The month when men all over the world grow creepy mustaches to raise awareness – and money – for causes that seek to keep men from dying too young.

Today I do my official Movember manscaping, as I begin the month clean shaven and grow  a mustache for the next thirty days.

 

Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has been on the only global charity with the sole focus of tackling issues affecting men’s health.  Mo-Bros and Mo-Sistas have helped raise over $710 million and funded 1,200 breakthrough men’s health projects in 21 countries for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention, while positively challenging the way in which men’s health issues are addressed.

Men are dying too young, and the rates of these casualties are staggering:

  • Prostate Cancer: In the U.S., prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States. Statistics show that 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Testicular Cancer: Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15-34. And, unfortunately, the rate of men diagnosed with testicular cancer has doubled in the last 50 years. About 8,720 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in men each year.
  • Mental Health: Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk for suicide among men. More than three times as many men as women die by suicide in the U.S. And on average 87 men each day take their life by suicide.

For more information check out, check the Movember Foundation, where you can learn more about the work they do and how you can help!

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You Don’t Need to go Far to Get Away

It’s October, and we’ve officially entered what is unofficially the “off season”.  Given a few days of beautiful weather with nothing on the calendar, I decided to get away – even if only for an overnighter.

I keep Jolly Mon pretty well-stocked and ready to go throughout the year, so preparation for a quick trip is minimal if the opportunity arises.  I grabbed a change of clothes, a few groceries and was under way with little delay.  I didn’t have a destination set, but had a few in mind close to home.

I settled on James Island, someplace I hadn’t been for several years, but I’m very familiar with, having spent many family boating weekends there as a kid.

Check out the video below for my autumn visit to James Island.

I hope you enjoy my videos.  I continue to learn more with each and every one, and hope to create a winter cruising series!  Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up to date.

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