This time of year, Stamford's Natalie Augustin spends a lot of time working in her garden.
"There's this whole idea of growth and rebirth that is important to me and that is so significant to how I look at life," said Natalie Augustin, Stamford resident and cancer survivor.
Because it was in the Spring when she finished chemotherapy treatments -- twice. The first time she found out she had cancer was 2007.
"I started to get this little bump on my face," said Augustin.
That bump, doctors said, was non-hodgkin's lymphoma, but it had a rare quality.
"It wasn't in my lymph system. It was actually just right here in my face," said Augustin.
She went on to treatment at Stamford Hospital's Bennett Cancer Center.
"I felt very comfortable with my doctor, Dr. Steven Lowe is my doctor at Bennett. I call him my saving grace," said Augustin.
In April 2008, she finished chemotherapy and was cancer free two years later. But in 2011, something else didn't feel right. At age 44, she had a colonoscopy. Then her doctor told her she had stage 3 colon cancer.
"It scared me. I was terrified. I was terrified on so many levels, of the word 'stage 3,'" said Augustin.
Now, she was facing cancer a second time.
"I've said this about cancer across the board. I have cancer, cancer does not have me. It will not define who I am," said Augustin.
She went into chemotherapy with that attitude. Bravely losing her hair, her husband helped her shave her head again.
"She was very good about it. She embraced the whole thing and sort of held on to the hair as long as you do and then she said, 'ok it's time to get rid of it,' and I actually was sort of honored that she asked me to do that," said Tim Day, Natalie's husband.
Ending chemo spring the following year, Augustin found peace, landscaping her yard.
"The first big thing I did was I built the stone walls in the front. That was my therapy," said Augustin.
Now, she's cancer-free.
And as she admires her garden, she thinks of the people at the hospital who saved her life.
"These are the most important people in your life for a period of time, and always will hold a special place in your heart."
"Bennett believes in treating the patient, not the disease, which is not typical in a lot of hospital systems. So as a result of that, Nat has received so much support, affection and outright love and appreciation," said Day.
Each year, the couple walks in the hospital's Hope in Motion event in Stamford. Her team, "Nat's lucky charms" raises money every year for the Bennett Cancer Center's programs and services.
It's scheduled this year for Sunday, June 1, 2014 at Columbus Park in Stamford. Visit http://www.hopeinmotion.org/