PSA for folks with beards

Hey, friends. Here’s a quick update that has nothing to do with comics or books, but I figured was worth sharing as a public service announcement, particularly for those of you with beards.

On my birthday this August, I shaved for the first time in three years. And I discovered a small lump at the corner of my jaw. Long story short: it was a benign adenoma and after going through a series of referrals and tests, I just had it surgically removed. (Yes, BENIGN, no worries!) The extremely scientific diagram above shows you the location of the tumor (in my parotid gland, a salivary gland at the edge of the jaw) and the surprisingly long incision that was required to remove it.

The big message is that if I hadn’t shaved, I have no idea when I would have found it, and the story could have been more complicated. So if you have a beard, feel around under it from time to time!

The other detail is that if my mother hadn’t passed away this August, I probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to shave for the first time in years, and I wouldn’t have found the adenoma. Somehow feels like she’s still watching out for me.

Big hearts to all and take care out there.