I was a bit surprised when my co-workers were all asking me what the reason was that I was wearing a light blue ribbon last week, but they all seemed surprised too when I told them that it was a prostate cancer ribbon. I am always frustrated that no one ever seems to know what the blue ribbon is for, even though the pink ribbon for breast cancer is widely known.
Of course I am happy that everyone knows all about breast cancer, but as a survivor of prostate cancer, I think it is just as essential for everyone to have a better understanding of men’s health concerns as well. I wasn’t always so aware of prostate cancer and I didn’t used to wear a prostate cancer ribbon, but I started having symptoms of prostate cancer about three years ago, but did was not educated about them and did not pay any attention to them.
After a while however, the symptoms got too bothersome to ignore, so I went to the doctor where I found out that I was really in trouble and that I needed to start treatments right away. I have never been more scared in my life and the atmosphere around my family was very tense for months and months as I went through the process of healing from this terrible disease.
But I was overcome with joy when the doctors told me that I had beaten the odds and I could barely believe my good fortune. This experience was what prompted me to wear the ribbon during prostate cancer awareness month, and I did a little bit of looking and thought I would wear the ribbon for all the different countries awareness months which were September in the United States, November in Canada and March in the United Kingdom.
I definitely love it when people approach me and ask me about why I wear the ribbon, because it gives me the chance to share my experience with prostate cancer, and help people gain a better understanding of men’s health issues, and what they can do. The first day that I wore the ribbon in to the office was really a fantastic day, and I was delighted that because I shared my story, several of the other older men in the office made appointments with their doctors for a prostate check-up. As it turned out, one of the men had the early stages of cancer, and was extremely grateful for my advice, and I was grateful that he had listened!