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I was reflecting this week about how much I enjoy having a little garden. As I thought about this, I couldn't help but think of all of the benefits a garden provides.
Think of the enjoyment as you plan your plantings in the spring, and then the anticipation of seeing the first sprouts of green peeking up through the soil. Then you look forward to the beautiful greens, flowers, vegetables or fruit that arrive as gifts from nature.
Having a garden in your life can be restoring. It gives you something to care for, celebrate, and later on, gives back by producing flowers, fruits or vegetables to nourish your body and your soul. A great idea is to also include aromatic plants such as lavender, rosemary, mint and other herbs to give your senses a treat as well.
Think of how you feel when you receive a beautiful bouquet of garden flowers or fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market or maybe a few treasures shared with you from a generous friend or neighbor. It's priceless. Having a garden can nourish your spirit and your body.
If you don't have a lot of space, start a little potted garden in your windowsill or on your terrace or patio. If you have physical limitations, ask a friend or family member to help you get things started. Once the plants are in their place, it just takes a few minutes every day to water, prune and care for your plants.
I have also heard wonderful stories of gardens that have special significance, such as survivor or memorial gardens or neighborhood garden plots where people come together to plant and care for the garden. What an incredible way to keep in touch with others, get a little physical activity and stay healthy with fresh produce from the garden. The benefits are great, so give it a try.
Tell me about your gardening experience. Follow me on Twitter at @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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My garden gives me unconditional love. And is always there to listen to me, accept me for who I am and help me heal.
Thank you Sheryl for your topic about gardening. I shall try to mantain my garden, it's an encouragement.
I am a breast cancer survivor. I celebrated my first full year past a modified radical mastectomy, 8 sessions of dual dense chemo and 28 radiation treatments (ended 3/8/13) by having my garden enlarged to 525 square feet. I am so glad I gave myself this gift! I have planted it with vegetables and herbs that are very anti-breast cancer. I enjoy the spaciousness of my garden so much , I meditate in it! I use the manure from my hens, mixed with straw and composted, as organic fertilizer and am a member of Gardens Alive! "Keep Organic" club. I can't say enough about the peace I have gotten from gardening, from the time I was four until now. It is very spiritual and restorative.
Gardening has always been important to me. I am in my 9th year with chronic leukemia and sometimes very tired. We switched the garden to all succulents and it is not only easier to maintain but also needs very little water which is also better. My plants provide much happiness and reward my attention with beautiful new blooms. If I have the energy I will spend all day in the garden, stopping to rest and or nap as needed. The lovely hummingbirds are frequent visitors of my fountain and love the blooming jasmine climbing along the fence. I find the garden to be restful as well as recharge my batteries when needed. My husband keeps a watchful eye over all when I am too tired so between us it continues to thrive. I am so thankful for the joy my garden provides.
I have been battling cancer w/mets to liver and lungs for 6 years. I planted a "secret garden" on the side of my house behind the garage which is shaded and where a breeze blows through on warm days. My children gave me a bubbler for Mother's Day so the sounds of water and the display of floral color are so relaxing, inviting and peaceful. I love planting new annuals and sitting in the garden to read. Nature is a great healer.
Nice reminder thanks
My gardens are my savior waiting for my perennials to poke their heads through the soil is another new beginning!
Thank you for this information
WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 2 CERVICAL CANCER JUST OVER 2 YEARS AGO NOW ITS BACK. NOT COPING AT ALL THIS TIME ROUND SO I HAVE SET UP A BEAUTFUL GARDEN WHERE I CAN SIT AND READ AND SOON THE ROSES WILL ALL BE IN BLOOM I FEEL SO AT PEACE SITTING THERE. WHEN IM GONE LATER ON MY HUSBAND WILL ENJOY IT I REALLY WISH THINGS COULD BE DIFFERENT AND WE COULD GROW OLD TOGETHER BUT ITS NOT MEANT TO BE. THE DRS. HAVE DONE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE MY HUSBAND LETS ME WORK IN THE GARDEN FOR AN HOUR DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER HE IS VERY SUPPORTIVE AND CANT DO ENOUGH FOR ME> I TREASURE EVERY DAY WE HAVE TOGETHER/ WHEN IM HAVING A BAD DAY HE LIFTS ME UP AND MAKES ME LAUGH.
Gardening is the one thing me and my husband can do together without having to worry about me getting to tried because I sit down without having to look for a seat and enjoy the view of the flower and veggies garden. Plus we can get to eat the bounty of our labor.
Gardening has always been a big part of my life, and when I developed bone marrow cancer, it made me so tired that the complicated garden suffered from lack of care. Now I am on a chemo which has given me back my energy and I am working on the garden again. Mine is a healing garden now, all greens, with trees, bushes, hostas and ferns and water bowls for the birds, as well as two ponds. I like nothing better than sitting there with a book, it really calms my mind and I am sure is helping me physically as well. There is a poem by Emerson which starts "All my hurts my garden spade can heal" and I firmly believe that.
I have always said that digging around in the dirt is good for the soul. Gardening has given me much comfort in all times of my life, it did during my brutal treatment, my recovery and now as I go forth.
Sorry for the double entry. However, good news. Had an appointment with my oncologist today and she gave me results of my three month scans. One showed for the second time the tumors in my lung has shrunk even smaller and the bone scan showed stable. She said that was good. After questionng me about how I felt and the low energy she left me on the same medicine but changed it to one week on and then one week off. So I am now on a four week cycle instead of a three cycle. On the way home we pass a nursery and they had a morning morning plant that was eight feet tall with beautifuol blue blossoms on it. My husband said that would look nice on the front of the house where we hang our Christmas wreath. He did not have to say it twice I turned in and purchased it. Since he has a broken foot he will not be able to put it up but my daughter and granddaughter are comng tomorrow and they will do whatever I need done.they callit a 24 hour rest period for us. So the morning glories are our celebration of good news. He said I think I better watch what I say (meaning about the plant). Yes, flowers are uplifting. Have a good day everyone.
I am living with sarcoma metastisis in my lungs. After surgeries and the effects of chemotherapy it was almost impossible for me to do any flower gardening at all. However, when I couldn't, friends could. They helped plant and weed and nurtured me along the way. Now I am able to do much more as I am on a break from chemo. I appreciate their care and the healing that helping things grow provides.
Five years ago,when I was diagnosed a second time with breast cancer now metastasized to my stomach,I had to undergo chemotherapy for seven months. I knew I had to have the most beautiful flower garden I could manage to plant. Alas, I didn't have the energy to carry it off alone so I gathered several family members and friends and mostly they planted my pots and planters. It was a riot of colour, joyful and very, very energizing for me as each treatment sapped me of strength. I would look out the window or sit on my patio and "feel" the colour and energy of the growing plants.When I could, I would tend to the plants an hour at a time.I would describe it as providing me with Life as I worried about possible death if the chemo did not work. I have had a beautiful flower garden every year since and I still continue to soak in the energy given off by that riot of colour every summer. It would be my wish that every patient be able to discover an activity that could provide them with the same energy and calm.
Gardening with flowers has always been a passion of mine. People stop to tell us how lovely the flowers are in the front. It used to be I would invite them to the backyard. However, this year I am struggling with metases of breast cancer from fifteen years ago. And it is not so nice as it has been. However, since it is tiring and hard for me to get up and down and just lack of energy I have replaced my annuals with blooming bushes. I have hydrangeas ( in bloom right now) forsythia, rose of sharon, spirea etc. They bloom at different times of the season and then I have hostas and ferns as ground cover. When I put this together with my blooming apple and cherry trees I have some color most of the time. There are days I do not feel like doing much or going out but I have made it a must to get out and water anything I think needs it. That has been a bigger chore with the lack of rain we have had. I do haave a few annual pots on our deck and that is easier to water and care for as I do not need to bend . So, yes my interest in nature has been a real blessing to me. I believe in the Spring all the plants, and bushes will come up and there will be little work. Having the plants to talk about with people is a relief . This takes away from having to talk about cancer a lot. I am not sure I will be here to enjoy them but sure am enjoying them now and some one will if I am not.
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