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How Gardening Has Helped Me (Myeloma Patient’s Journey) 

How Gardening Has Helped Me (Myeloma Patient’s Journey) 

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A truly inspiring story from a myeloma patient Fiona Smyth has touched every gardener’s heart, including ours. 

Fiona is a fellow gardener that enjoys spending time in her garden – “As soon as the good weather comes out, I have my first cup of tea outside… I love to drink in the birdsong and the peace,” says Fiona. 

She started noticing pain in her lower back and decided to use garden kneelers to ease the pain. However, the pain started to spread to her rib. This is when Fiona started worrying, which is why she decided to do various tests and see what was causing the pain. 

Later on, the tests revealed that she was suffering from myeloma. After her diagnosis, Fiona just craved the peace and quiet of her own garden:

“Before my diagnosis I was really busy, I didn’t have much time, so my gardening was much more focused on working in the garden. Whereas now I have more time to enjoy being in space. I’d be in the garden all the time if I could. It just gives me enormous pleasure.” 

She mentions that her grandpa was a keen gardener, so growing plants reminded her of him. Even though myeloma has affected Fiona’s energy levels and mobility, she still enjoyed working in her garden. 

Fiona stayed busy in the garden, which kept her mind off of the disease. Gardening made her stronger, both mentally and spiritually. Through the seasons of growth and blossoming, Fiona’s garden became her refuge, a space where worries faded in the presence of vibrant blooms!

She worked early in the morning for a couple of hours, but still managed to grow a thriving garden despite the inevitable aches and pains. 

She stated that the gardening helped her stay in the moment: 

“Gardening is about using my diagnosis as a positive means of growth. I look at it as reframing. You had this idea of what you were going to do with your life and, all of a sudden, you have to change it. It’s not the path you had thought you were going to go on. It’s just a different life, it’s not less than,” Fiona states. 

She also mentioned: “I see gardening as continuity of life. When I moved here I adopted a garden, a structure, trees, and hedging. And then you build on it and leave a legacy”. 

In her garden, she finds continuity – a bridge between generations and testament to life’s beauty. Fiona’s legacy, much like the garden she lovingly tends, is one of courage, resilience, and the ability to find beauty and growth even when life gives us challenges.

As we reflect on Fiona’s journey, we are reminded that gardens hold the power to heal, to uplift, and to teach us that life’s unexpected paths can lead to the most extraordinary growth.