Gardening: Planting Seeds of Growth During Cancer

Google “gardening and cancer“, and you’ll be amazed at the long list of overwhelmingly positive results. At FFLB, we love practices that restore peace to both mind and body. While the list of benefits named by cancer patients is endless, here are some of gardening’s most impressive accolades:

3 in 4 gardeners surveyed said that gardening helped them manage feelings of depression and sadness during treatment, while over half of gardeners in another survey found more energy as a result of gardening during treatment. A third of gardeners in that survey also noted that gardening helped them manage weight gain in response to treatment.

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Via weblogs.com/baltimoresun

The vast options for gardens’ contents also act as healing. If a patient doesn’t feel up to maintaining a full garden, a pot or windowsill box can still be beautiful daily treats. A garden might also act as a memorial for a loved one or friend. Whether you plant vegetables to encourage healthy eating or aromatic herbs to bring peace, gardens can provide something for every aspect of your journey with cancer.

If you don’t have a green thumb, gardening can still enhance your journey. Restorative gardens, sometimes specific for cancer patients, are designed using therapeutic techniques and activities. Patients and their loved ones can find mental peace in these gardens, often with opportunities like art therapy, meditation and yoga. Some gardens even have “plant-free” sections for patients who must avoid allergens. This article lists some of the best restorative gardens in the world. Nearby, be sure to try City of Hope in Duarte’s Argyros Family and Japanese Gardens. They look peaceful and calming! Although they aren’t specifically for cancer patients, The Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens make great healing spots right near FFLB.

City of Hope's Japanese Gardens

Want to plan your own garden? We suggest you plant lavender, rosemary, oregano, carrots, spinach or wildflowers. They’re all easy to maintain and beautiful, too!

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via Filcker/woodleywonderworks

Tea Time

Tea cleanses and detoxes have been trending all over the internet lately. From celebrities and models to bloggers, it seems like everyone believes in the power of tea. Turns out, a “tea-tox” doesn’t have to be strict or branded to have refreshing health benefits. We recently stumbled across an article by a Marie Claire writer, who tripled her intake of daily tea and saw incredible results. By drinking 9-10 cups of tea a day, including heavy green tea consumption, the author felt softer skin and majorly improved hydration, as well as a calmed sensation throughout the day.

Fukamushi Sencha

With such enticing benefits, we decided to research the benefits and rules of tea in regards to cancer. Both green teas and black teas contain great antioxidant boosts. Tea polyphenols have also been proven in lab tests to help lessen UV damage, modulate immune systems and protect against tumor development. One study also showed slightly positive effects of tea on cancerous oral lesions. Another study demonstrated that among participants drinking 10 cups or more of green tea daily, risks of cancer incidences decreased. The study also revealed the tea’s cardiovascular benefits. While many other studies have been inconclusive as to tea’s specific cancer fighting benefits, it has been deemed a very safe means of hydration, particularly when decaffeinated.

We’re pleased to enjoy Art of Tea at FFLB. With the ultimate fresh brews and some gorgeous “blooming” teas, they light up our day and keep us hydrated. We’re sure they’ll do the same for you as well! Halo - Award Winning

What to Wear During Treatment

Chemotherapy and dialysis treatments can be exhausting, and FFLB knows the power of experiencing cancer treatment with as much comfort and peace as possible. We’ve picked up information from cancer patients and professionals on the most comfortable treatment-wear ideas. Many of the options are extremely affordable, so you can have a wide array of choices to feel comfortable and enter treatment with confidence.

Forever 21

Camisoles are among the best and most affordable layering pieces for treatment. Choose a cotton tank for breathability, and head to bargain brands for affordable pricing. Forever 21 has a rainbow of cotton options, many under a few dollars. Layer the camisole over a bra and you’ll have an easily movable top for port access.

Treatment can be chilly, and we’ve heard a few good tips for layering over a camisole. Flannels are a great option, because they’re easy to button up and down and have rollable sleeves. Cotton button downs are similarly great choices. Searching for flannels at a consignment or thrift store is a good place to start. These stores usually have very affordable button-downs passed along by men, so they provide extra cozy and almost blanket-like warmth for only a few dollars. Old Navy also has some colorful options under $30.

Old Navy

Ponchos and capes make for extremely cozy and accessible options, too. They’re stylish for wearing outside of treatment and can be layered over camisoles, flannels or both. This under-$50 option is a great example-warm, cozy and better fitted than a blanket, but easy to maneuver around. We found a very fashion forward Free People poncho on sale for less than $50, too. Want to make your own poncho? Here’s a great no-sew DIY! Decorating and bedazzling your poncho with special sayings and ideas can also be a fun craft and uplifting reminder during treatment.

Nordstrom

As far as specific products that work well for patients in treatment, we found a few well-reviewed ideas. Ron Wear, recently featured on Yahoo and supported by cancer survivor Robin Roberts, has a line of sweatsuits that contain zip-able holes in the arms, chest and legs for ease of access during treatment. The suits’ warmth and normal appearance have impressed many cancer patients and made treatments more bearable. Chemo cozy has some beautiful options too. Their port-accessible fleeces could work just as well on a nature walk as during treatment. We also found some affordable camisoles made specifically for post-mastectomy wear.

Chemo Cozy

We want to hear from our Beauties and other members of the community: What do you recommend wearing to treatments? What makes you most comfortable and lets your inner beauty shine through?