Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cancer Victory Garden near the Pacific Coast

I just love opening up my Gmail email account. I don't have time to do it everyday, but I do make sure I look at it every couple of days. Normally it is filled with my Google "news alerts", meaning that is the email address where I have a daily summary sent of what I "track on the web". I don't live a very exciting life as I am not tracking any celebrity per se but everything that is published about kale and other Brassica vegetables, which is very interesting to me. :-)

It is also the email address that my blog at directs people to use if they would like to send me a photo and a short description of their own cancer story and how gardening has been important to their cancer recovery. So every time I open that account, I confess that I am always a tiny bit excited and hopeful!

Today I received an email and photo from a newly diagnosed cancer survivor named Anne who gave me permission to share her story on this blog in the hopes that other people will also be inspired to both look to and work toward their future through gardening. Her email and one photo made my day in a way that brought a tear to my eye, a smile to my face, and joy and compassion in my heart, all at the same time.

Here is Anne's story.

Dear Diana,
Little did I know that I too have a Cancer Victory Garden.

I've been planting in this former bookcase for many years. (Using a bookcase was

a quick way to get a raised bed). On June 2, after getting my cancer diagnosis,
I did two things. The first was to drive to the beach and dip my toes in the
Pacific. The second, as a deliberate act of looking to the future, was to get
some veggies and herbs to plant. Plum tomatoes, pickling cucumber, thai basil,
tarragon, and dill and nasturtium seeds. They are all coming along nicely. Saw
the first nasturtium bloom yesterday and am about to harvest the first cucumber.

Anne M Bray


I can see the nasturtium blooming, which is beautiful, in fact, at first glance, it seems too beautiful to eat (even though it is an edible flower!). However, I can also see how its full healing potential could be utilized and appreciated by including it as both a decorative and healthful component in a salad. 

Gardens can heal our bodies and our spirits, by giving us a means to look both forward and inward, as Anne has expressed. The blooming edible flower is a perfect example of how to capture and take delight in all of the ways that a garden can bring joy and healing to us. 

Thank you, Anne, for sharing your cancer victory garden story. I hope you will send me period updates.

I send you all my best wishes first as you undergo your cancer therapy and then beyond to your cancer recovery journey. May you have decades and decades of health, healing, and hope along with enjoying your bookcase gardening!

Cultivating health through a garden's nourishment of both body and soul,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD