Stop men dying too young!

Such a gripping headline right? Well it was for me.

This blog is about the organisation who work behind the great marketing of Movember, the art of men growing moustaches for the month of November. But it’s lots more than that and I wanted to share some of this with you all.

Movember is basically the charity tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. They use their voice, network and reach to raise funds, awareness and support to tackle these silent killers of men in the UK.

I have to admit I have never taken part in Movember, but I love the idea of a movement forcing this stuff into the public world. Its helping to smash stigmas and fear in men who are tackling issues of physical and mental health in their lives.

I remember one night getting into bed and doing a customary check on my testicles. My wife says it’s me itching them and not leaving them alone but she’s wrong, sort of, it’s me checking like the doc tells us to, right!?

Anyway, I found a lump, a big lump. I didn’t panic outwardly but the thought of the lump immediately turned to ‘I’ve got nut cancer!’ That thought danced around my head for the night stealing rest from me. I called the doctor first thing and got myself a time to go and see what he thought.

A few squeezes later he reassured me that I had nothing to worry about, but he did want to book me an emergency appointment to have a scan. These two things in one sentence didn’t really match up to be honest, ‘don’t worry at all Mr Blackaby but as quick as you can get this hideous third testicle seen by an expert’! Oh ok, thanks Doc.

I tried not to think about it, but the next day the phone rang and I had the scan date – the next day! I convinced myself that as hospitals have targets I was just being seen quickly to keep their numbers looking good. Anyway I went for the scan. Still inconclusive, the ultra sound guy and his team of 2 ladies spectating assured me ‘don’t worry Mr Blackaby, nothing untoward here…but I will just refer you to see the consultant as an emergency and you need to see you doctor this afternoon.’ Er…ok thanks!

The whole cycle moved on and I was now at this point thinking…’ok if this is bad it’s the best place to get cancer and I might lose a nut, I can deal with that.’

In the end after more appointments to my astonishment, I was actually given the all clear. However the whole process did got me thinking. Life is so amazing, so incredible and we have the most amazing opportunities to really throw ourselves into it. Throw ourselves in without fear and hesitation, without crippling doubts of ridicule or other people’s expectation and criticism that can quickly numb and blunt our hearts of courage. I have wanted to pray for people but held back out of fear, ‘what if they say no.’ I have wanted to be bolder even and ask God to heal, set people free or provide a miracle in someone’s life (even mine) but I have held back through fear of failure.

Well, what my nut exam and scare has done, in part, has said ‘balls to that fear!’

Life is so short, so profound and we can’t let this stuff hinder and trip us up. Whatever the ‘stuff is’ in your life, your physical health or maybe it is your mental health, we can get help and we can find ‘us’ again and lead the charge forward once again. For me, Jesus and my life as a Christian is so essential to why and how I make these choices and steps of courage. I surround myself with people who call this stuff out in me. They call out the villain (my own worst enemy at times is self-doubt) and they also call out the hero and Jesus in me! We need that! We need to see more of Jesus in our heads, hearts and lives. Jesus is the best and with him, we CAN do all things!


Image Credit: Movember UK