Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Garden

I've been away. Did you notice?

There are myriad reasons for this, but none that I feel like discussing at this point (which sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? It's not. Really.) But there is something I wanted to share. It's this:

Beautiful isn't it? But it's more than that. It's a Cancer Survivor's Garden! I stumbled onto another one...and once again by accident. And even more interesting (to me, anyway) is that only recently another blogger (she is a foodie blogger but temporarily also became a breast cancer blogger when that beast came knocking--she's dispatched him away and has returned to food, glorious food blogging) posted about stumbling into the very same Cancer Survivor's Garden in Chicago that I had also discovered one month out of treatment. Here's a link to her posting: Dine In Diva on the Chicago garden. And here's a photo from 2009 when I stumbled into that garden (hair comparison alert!...not hers and mine; mine then and mine now):
And...ta dah! Here's the Cancer Survivor's Garden in Rancho Mirage, CA with yours truly (and about 8 more inches of hair...it's wonderful what a couple of years will do):

Okay, well, it was 106 degrees out and so my hair is actually pulled back in a ponytail (a ponytail!!!) and well, I've lost 15 pounds but that dress is not doing me any favors in that department, but still....it's not about me. It's about these wonderful gardens/ park that Richard and Annette Bloch have put in in so many locations. I now know there are 14 of these parks. I kinda want to visit them all (especially the one in New Orleans!).   At this particular park there is also a "Positive Mental Attitude Walk" (and a part of me knows there are those who object to this insistence on a positive attitude and those same folks have, in a way, kept me from wanting to blog, but I still think this is pretty neat).

You can walk through the garden and read these plaques with advice and encouragement as you stroll. Here was a favorite of mine:

Because I was so lucky to find the good and great Dr. Karam and he just happens to be male, I'm even going to overlook their masculine pronoun usage. (Slightly harder to overlook was the "a myriad of treatments"  on another engraved plaque!!)

And then there is the sculptures--depicting cancer patients making it through the cancer maze. I was trying to get the sign in the photo, so I didn't really capture the essence of the sculpture (106 degrees out...did I  mention that), but I think you get the idea:

And the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. Also runs a referral service and keeps a registry of survivors (five years or longer). I think that's pretty cool. And I'm looking forward to registering. I'm half way there. They count from my surgery date because ever since then I've been NED (no evidence of disease). So July 28th will be the 2 1/2 year mark. But before we get to that....July 14th will be the two year anniversary of when I finished treatment.  We're celebrating with a little trip. And there will be wine. Stay tuned. (I'm going to get better about the blogging. I promise. I think.)

P.S. We were in Rancho Mirage for one of Chris's Sunday Night Chef Fights, which took place about a mile down the road from the Cancer Survivor's Garden and Park. It's like we were meant to find it!


  1. I still can't believe we both accidently discovered the Chicago garden a month post treatment, but I'm glad we both did.

    This one is just as lovely, I really need to seek out and find the Cleveland garden.

    You look great - happy cancer-free-versary. I have my tri-fecta follow-up at the end of the month, and have sucked it up and joined WW and am# hit the gym like I used to shed the post chemo 15 (and the pre chemo 15#)

    Hope you are doing more of the wine trips to France (or elsewhere) next year - I want to go!

    Cheers! Tami

  2. Teresa,
    What lovely photos. I love the idea of these gardens, although as you might suspect I wish they were called something else. My hospital has a "healing garden" and I love it in there. There's just something about plants and water and nature in general that is restorative isn't there? Congrats on the 15 pounds and all that hair too! You look great! Mine is coming back soooo slowly, the hair, not the pounds. ha.


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