The best place to heal in Southern California? The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino! Visiting the Huntington before or after my chemotherapy treatments flooded me with feelings of happiness and peace. The Huntington is located just 30 minutes from the hospital where I am treated—the wonderful City of Hope National Cancer Center in Duarte.
The Huntington is old and new at the same time; filled with happy families, paths to explore, rose gardens, a Japanese tea garden, the beautiful moon bridge, as well as, some of the world’s most notable marbles, bronzes, watercolors, paintings, drawings, poems, and pictures.
I recently had the pleasure (pre-pandemic) of seeing the exhibit, Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World in the Dibner Hall of the History of Science. It was divided into four areas: Astronomy, Natural History, Medicine, and Light. It helped me see the Universe, the body, human vision, and medicine in a new context. My very modern medical journey echoed in those halls. The Huntington teaches us to have compassion.
At The Huntington there are a million lovely scents to return a cancer patient to a sense of wonder. Once there, I could forget everything dreadful and focus on everything beautiful.
I think of The Huntington as my clinical trial. A clinical trial that worked! It got me through every difficult treatment and gave me something to look forward to—it filled me with the resilience to begin again.
Thank you to the gardeners, scholars, and historians who care for The Huntington. It is a second home to this incredibly grateful cancer survivor. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Huntington, most of all, for your tremendous vision and kindness.