WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) - A group of cancer survivors spent the morning planting flowers together for “Growing Gratitude” in Winterville.
It’s part of Vidant Medical Center's complementary therapy and integrative therapy programs and services.
I like creating,” said Dale Naylor. “Gardening for me, I get to see what
I am producing, creating."
Naylor was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2016.
"I wondered would I ever look at myself like a whole person again,” said Naylor.
After undergoing surgery and radiation, she joined this group of other cancer survivors.
They do activities together several times a year, forming a support system.
"If I needed to call them in the middle of the night, I would not hesitate,” Naylor said.
“People will tell you that they understand, what you have gone through and what you are going through. Unless you have had cancer, you have no idea."
One person who does have an idea is fellow group member Aura Albright.
She was diagnosed with an uncurable blood plasma cancer in 2011.
Albright now struggles with low energy levels and memory loss.
"I will be on my chemo forever,” said Albright. “But I am in remission, praise, and I'm doing really well partly because of these wonderful folks here. Just having that camaraderie, just having friends what you are experiencing and to be there for each other."
Support and survivorship coordinator Jenny Higgins said cancer survivors must adjust to a new normal, and activities like gardening brings comfort and relaxation during times of stress.
"It requires focus, it requires energy and so gardening can be very helpful in decreasing depression levels, distress levels, anxiety levels,” Higgin said.
The women will continue to take care of their flowers and each other.