Guys and Our Health

Guys and Our Health

The month of June is Men’s Health Month. I am all about being healthy so if this month is about being healthy as a guy, then I am all in. It is the beginning of summer and for me, it is time to be even more vigilant about sun protection and the effects of tanning on my skin. I am a 29-year survivor of Melanoma. I grew up in the heart of vanity plates, tanning beds, and show business, Los Angeles. Looking good meant feeling good and looking good meant being tan, fit and YOUNG. Whatever it took to be those three, I did. I didn’t really care about the ramifications. I was young and invincible and a dude. In my view, dudes didn’t need to see the doctor or worry about getting sick, especially from the sun.

Never been to a doctor

All that has changed for me, but not for many men who I know. I know many guys who just won’t see a physician. I don’t know if this comes from the same place inside as not asking for directions when lost, but it’s just not a good thing. Societal expectations have seemed to place many of us on the side of not asking for help, not showing emotion, and keeping a stiff upper lip. This goes for skin protection as well. Many men from my cohort (Baby Boomers) are just not going to put on sunscreen when they golf, ride a bike, play tennis, or whatever. If they do apply it once during the day, they most likely won’t think about reapplying. I am not into stereotyping for any reason, but it is something that I have noticed regularly and as a cancer survivor this concerns me.

Precautions

Cancer humbled me. I wear a helmet when riding my bike. I buckle my seat belt. I stop and ask for directions and I apply sunscreen religiously. I encourage all men this month to begin the habits of good health. Get your colonoscopy, as recommended. Get that “thing” checked out. Pause at the tee box to reapply sunscreen. I do it for myself. Initially, I did it for my family and friends. I wanted to make them happy by getting checkups and taking care of myself. I do it now because I want to live a long and healthy life. My life mission is to serve others and how can I do this when I am laid up and out of commission? I cannot.

Football taught me stuff

For eleven seasons, I was a chaplain in the National Football League. Some players hid their injuries and most of the time paid for it later. Much of that mentality has changed now. Concussion protocols have become a regular part of the game from the professionals down to Pop Warner Leagues. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to get help. It’s ok to be healthy. So, here’s to Men’s Health Month! It’s a month to change your mind set about your health.

Find a way

Guys, check out my post from Skincancer.net on what to look for. If you need to go get checked out, the job can wait, the family will understand, your friends will be ok. No one will think less of you because you are caring for yourself. How can you care for others, if you don’t take care of yourself? I did and I get regular checkups. I don’t think it’s a badge of courage to say that you haven’t had a physical or seen a doctor in a decade. I think that Men’s Health Month ought to be a way of life for many Junes to come.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (2)

Poll