By Carol Elizabeth Owens
Camp Good Days is hosting its sixth Men’s Prostate Cancer Retreat Oct. 19-20 for men being treated for cancer or who are in remission, and spouses or significant others.
The event is free but registration is required.
Cancer specialists will lead interactive sessions on the physical, mental and emotional effects of the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the disease. The retreat also provides an opportunity for men dealing with prostate cancer to network with many other affected men and their partners.
Tina Chapman DaCosta, RIT’s Director of Diversity Theater and Senior Lecturer, said she and her husband, Jose DaCosta will attend for their first time this year.
Last October, they did not know that they would be dealing with prostate cancer. Jose DaCosta was diagnosed this past April and underwent surgery in July.
His wife wrote in her journal on July 9, “(c)ancer knows many a man, woman and child; it does not discriminate…treatment side effects can be the most challenging.” Chapman DaCosta, a woman of faith, prayed for her husband. “Lord,” she wrote, “please provide healing for Jose.”
Chapman DaCosta learned about the Camp Good Days retreat while at an appointment with Dr. Jean Joseph, one of the presenters at the event. She said it would be an opportunity to have various cancer specialists in the same room.
She also said she wanted to share her experience of supporting her husband.
“It is important to have a good network of support, especially for African American men – who often do not discuss their personal health issues with each other as much as women do.”
The retreat offers a safe space to talk about the phases of cancer, including identifying symptoms, treatment options and recovery.
“I am with you,” Chapman DaCosta said. “I made it through this, and you can, too.”
According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 174,000 new cases of prostate cancer a year and about 31,000 deaths. James McCauley, program coordinator for the Camp Good Days Men’s Prostate Cancer retreat, said the statistics are troubling, particularly because prostate cancer “is one of the most curable of all cancers.”
More than 40 participants attended the retreat last year and McCauley is hoping for more this year.
The retreat will include doctor-led discussion about prostate problems not related to cancer; prostate cancer screening and recommendations; high-intensity focused ultrasound for prostate cancer; surgical management for prostate cancer; continence recovery after prostate surgery; and recovering sexual function.
The retreat will be held at the Camp Good Days and Special Times campground, 643 West Lake Road in Branchport, Yates County.
Chapman DaCosta said “I am looking forward to the fun, too — boating, fishing, campfire and catered food.”
To register, contact James McCauley at (585) 624-5555, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.campgooddays.org.