By Jake Scott
Cancer has always been a big part of my life. Because of cancer my only memory of my grandmother on my mom’s side is a small, tortured woman hooked up to tubes and machines. I was 5 and she had throat cancer. I remember sitting next to her hospital bed watching Aladdin with her as she held my hand. That was the last day she was alive. She died with dignity after falling into a morphine-induced coma. Her vitals were shutting down and my mother told the attending physician to leave her on the drip. I didn’t realize at the time that this was planned or that she had been begging for death for quite some time.
I was 9 when my Grandfather died after beating lung cancer. This great man with a booming voice who lied about his age to be a train engineer at 15 was withering away but still smiling. Shortly after he was cleared of cancer he caught pneumonia, which was misdiagnosed as bronchitis. He died of a heart attack in his home due to complications.
My Grandmother on my fathers’ side died of pancreatic cancer when I was 4. She refused all treatment. I didn’t get to see her off. My Grandfather on my fathers’ side died of a heart attack long before I was born.
My mom just quit smoking but she’s got a few health problems. So far it hasn’t been lung related, but it’s something I think about. She seems pretty certain she’s going to go the same way her father did. My father is 71 years old and his generation never used sunscreen. He was an avid tanner, swimmer and windsurfer. As a result he has some serious skin damage. He’s had a few health issues himself, but nothing related to his skin so far. Though neither has been diagnosed with cancer yet (or at least they haven’t told me), I find myself thinking about their mortality. Writing this I can barely keep myself together and my keyboard is getting wet.
I know Movember is geared toward testicular cancer and that’s what we’re raising money for, but I really just want people to donate to any cancer charity. It’s a disease that almost everybody will be touched by in some way. I’ve been making jokes this whole month about how it sucks having to deal with a moustache, but dealing with cancer is obviously a billion times harder. It’s earth shattering for everyone involved. It’s something I’ve joked about in the past because I still haven’t really come to terms with it. I know there are guys out there growing moustaches with no intentions of donating. I’d like to ask those people to please give some money. It doesn’t have to be through our page but give something to charity. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be for testicular cancer. Just do something tangible to fight cancer instead of just growing facial hair.
Mom and Dad, I love you and I hope you’re with me another 20 years.
As part of our first year doing Movember collectively in the office, we raised a total of $366 for the cause. Thank you for your help!
Scroll down below to a gallery of all four weeks of Movember put together.
Click on the pictures to view slideshow.