“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and remember the doctor saying, ‘You’re going to experience a whole new world of jargon now,’” said Becky Kuglin earlier this month.
Kuglin, owner of Blossom Town Floral and Garden Center and Gifts in Redwood Falls, continued, “When I heard ‘the C-word’, I thought, ‘Well, okay, what are my options? What do we have to do now?’” Kuglin said.
Kuglin’s practical attitude came about in part because she lost three brothers growing up, and said, “To me, death was just a part of life. I was taught to not be afraid of it.
“My mom, who just turned 90, had to go through treatment. Cancer is everywhere. We’re surrounded by it.”
“I’d always been involved in Relay for Life, but when I was having treatment the doctors told me that many of the medications were avaliable because of the money raised by Relay for Life,” Kuglin said.
“From when I was in treatment to when my mother was this year, there are new medications available for side effects now, just nine years later.”
Kuglin went through rounds of chemo and radiation treatment that she later realized were as difficult for her family as they were for her.
“I didn’t mind losing my hair, but when I lost my eyebrows and eyelashes, that when a face loses its identity,” said Kuglin.
“I was forgetting how hard it is on the caregivers. It didn’t dawn on me because I was so deep into it, so focused on myself, about how much my diagnosis affected my husband Dan and kids.
“So many people will talk about how (going through cancer treatment) affects their lives, and makes them live their lives fuller,” said Kuglin.
Having experienced that herself, Kuglin said, “I channel that through Blossom Town. It makes the business more meaningful for me to brighten someone’s day.
“It’s a good fit with funerals. It’s really a privilege to work with families and be there for them then. It’s very close to my heart.”
Last year, Kuglin got the idea of asking her customers to suggest breast cancer patients or survivors to receive complementary bouquets.
Celebrating her own triumph over cancer, Kuglin thought, ‘“Omigosh! I have the resources to brighten someone’s day, to let them know someone is thinking of them!’”
She considered the first bouquet giveaway a smashing success.
“When I did it last year, I got so much more out of it than I expected. People would come in and share their cancer stories with me.
Page 2 of 2 - “I think the difficult things that happen in your life condition you for the next ones,” she said.
To nominate a cancer patient or survivor for a bouquet, or for more information, call 507-637-2943, or look up Blossom Town on the Internet at http://blossomtown.com/