prostate cancer


I made $113.56, which put me at number 10,916th in the US for mustache-based fundraising for The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong. The US came in a distant 4th place out of the countries participating in Movember:
118,809 Registrations
$19,928,666 (all $ amounts USD)
129,757 Registrations
$19,095,316 Raised
111,661 Registrations
$12,305,524 Raised
64,825 Registrations
$6,506,491 Raised
12,709 Registrations
$1,516,673 Raised
9,487 Registrations
$599,193 Raised
And, since I made more than $100, as I promised, here are some photos of my mustache. Thanks to Reanna for instagramming and catpainting them. And thanks so much to my generous donors, Pauli, Reanna, Debra, Ryan, and Doug.

I posted on November 6 that I was growing a mustache during the month of November as part of an international campaign for prostate and testicular cancer awareness: Movember. I also said that I would post a photo of the final product here if I made $100 for the cause. I now have what some might call a luxuriant (adj. characterized by abundant growth) one-month old mustache, so here’s the almost-final report on the fund raising:

My mustache has made $32.56 for the cause. That means that a mustache photo here will cost you $67.44 or, more likely, a bunch of you a few dollars. Here’s the link, if you want to donate.

I am currently ranked 17,090th in the US for funds raised. That’s pretty good for a campaign that’s only a few years old. That means that the bare minimum we’ve raised is $512,870.89, and it’s probably many times that amount. And that’s just in the US.

I’ve been working with the University of Oregon Men’s Center since last spring, helping out with their research projects. During one of our last meetings, a couple MBA students pitched us the idea of growing mustaches for “Movember” (Mustache + November) as a way to increase awareness of prostate cancer. We went for it, so I’m six days into a mustache. (If you want to see the final product, read at least the last paragraph in this post.)

Here are the “Rules for Participants” from the Movember website:

1) On Shadowe’en (October 31st), the complete moustache region, including the entire upper lip and the handlebar zones, must be completely shaved.

2) For the entire duration of Movember (Movember 1st – 35th inclusive), no hair shall be allowed to grow in the goatee zone – being any facial area below the bottom lip.

3) There is to be no joining of the moustache to sideburns.

4) Failure to conform to all of these rules may, at the discretion of the official Movember Committee, result in instant blacklisting and may void invitation to the end of MOnth festivities (this year lip-marked for Movember 35th!)

5) Movember Committee accepts no responsibility for lost jobs, rashes, food/beer encrustments or any other such mishaps caused to the wearer (or his partner) of a Movember Moustache. You grew it yourself.

So I’m growing a mustache and it’s a little terrifying. I think I look silly. I wonder if my clients will be able to take me seriously. And this is the first time that I’ve resented my therapist costume. In my street clothes I can (maybe) pass as a moderately hip guy who’s growing a mustache because it’s silly. In my therapist costume–khakis, button-up shirt–I look like nothing but an overly earnest businessman who is clueless about the fashion implications of a mustache. I squirm about it.

It’s also poking me in the homophobia, much like taking ballet did last year. My mustache reminds me a lot more of Freddy Mercury than one of the Beatles. I’m getting over that, though, by watching footage of Queen on Youtube. Freddy Mercury was an incredible rocker.

And anyways I like to push myself in these ways, bust my ego a little, uncover and deal with lingering homophobia, and support a good cause.

Prostate cancer has an amazingly low profile, considering that it’s more common in men than breast cancer is in women. One in six men in the US get it and it kills 30,000 of us a year–more than every other kind except lung cancer. The prostate cancer rates are so high in the elderly that it looks like pretty much every man would get it if they lived long enough. It doesn’t tend to produce symptoms for a long time after it starts growing, so it’s important to get checked after you hit 40. Yes, unfortunately this involves a “digital rectal examination”–a finger in the butt that could save your life. I’ve had one and it’s no fun but it’s not that bad.

Here are the major symptoms according to the Google Health:

  • Urinary hesitancy (delayed or slowed start of urinary stream)
  • Urinary dribbling, especially immediately after urinating
  • Urinary retention
  • Pain with urination
  • Pain with ejaculation
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain with bowel movement

I’m also registered with Movember, so you can donate a few dollars to the cause in my name. The proceeds go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance. Just click here and follow the directions. If my donations add up to $100 or more, I’ll post a photo of the final result in December.