This space isn’t usually about me, but I’ll make an exception because I can’t think of a better way to do this.
I have prostate cancer. Yeh. Really.
There, now I feel better. Actually there’s a bigger reason or two for announcing this publicly. First of all, it is Movember, and that means a bunch of guys are going to be channeling their inner James Harden.
My dear friend Jay Wilson (@j_wilson on Twitter) has started a site to gather donations for prostate cancer research and development (https://mobro.co/13863206).This isn’t a direct appeal for you to donate, but it’s a good cause if you feel the urge, and besides, it will be fun watching Jay grow his full beard and see him age 20 years in the next month. Oh yes, trust me, I’ve seen it before and the transformation is a little frightening!
The other, more important thing, is that I want to appeal to any men who trip across this blog post to GET CHECKED. I did regularly, and it probably saved my life. This is a notoriously elusive disease to diagnose, and most men eventually get it, but if you catch it early enough it can be treated successfully. Just do it. A blood test and finger up your bum is no big deal; prostate cancer is.
The biggest threat most men face is ignorance, and we need to educate our friends and families about the risks, diagnosis, and treatments. In the academic world of identity politics, I’ve always self-identified as a teacher first, and maybe that’s a bit of beautiful irony now, because I think it’s my role to help get the word out and educate men about this insidious, lurking, too-often-hidden disease.
Now, don’t worry about me personally. I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m going to get this taken care of with surgery and everything points to my being cancer free before the end of Movember. I don’t need your sympathy; I don’t want your worry; and please understand, I don’t want to have visitors or devote a lot of attention or energy to replying to phone calls or messages right now. I’ve got other stuff in front of me to do first.
But do us all a favour, and find one reluctant guy and convince him to get checked. It matters.