I had a great time this past weekend. My high school buddies and I took our 16th annual baseball road trip. This year it was Philadelphia's turn to survive our onslaught. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, miniature golf, batting cages, colonial outfits, and Philly Cheesesteaks were all on the menu, though I gave the last of those a pass. And it wouldn't be a baseball trip if we didn't spend one beautiful summer night watching the White Sox as they fell one run short to the Phillies.
Conversations followed the usual pattern. High school tales, some of which might be partially true, told and retold. "Top This" trivia contests about esoteric ballplayers from the 1960s and singers from the 1950s--yes "Seattle" WAS sung by Perry Como! Even a round of "Is this good for the Jews?" We discussed wives, kids, and grandkids and I was given tips on how to write without getting sued (the trip always has lawyers to the left of me, attorneys to the right.) We had a signature moment as one of our crew got stuck in the minivan, and almost a WWE type battle over who recorded "Haunted House" first, Gene Simmons or Sam the Sham.
Yeah, we had a blast. But through it all, I was the Debbie Downer. Someone mentioned 1960s TV star Bill Bixby and my comment was "He died of prostate cancer, get your PSA checked." Listening to Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London, "He died of prostate cancer, get your PSA checked."(note added 8/7/19--My mistake. Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma) Seeing a poster for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "Frank Zappa. He died of prostate cancer, get your PSA checked."
Too many of my friends and neighbors have been diagnosed, are being observed, or are being treated. I haven't lost anyone close to me to prostate cancer since my dad passed away more than 25 years ago, but I know the terrible potential. And a ginormous new research study from Europe has confirmed that the PSA screening blood test for men SAVES LIVES. Early diagnosis works.
So to all my contemporaries, get tested. Even having the test performed just once has value. Ladies, tell your husbands, tell your brothers. Don't let anyone dissuade you. Make it part of your annual physical. It matters.
I'll be running in the SEA Blue Annual Prostate Run dedicated to Support, Advocacy, and Education for prostate cancer. To find out more and pledge your support visit the SEABlue website. All of you can--all of you must-- help keep the men in your lives healthy.
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