Guest Blogger – Kim Blaufuss
This week we’re introducing Kim Blaufuss. Learn more about Kim and her personal experience with breast cancer and her specialization in Chinese medicine.
My name is Kim Blaufuss, and I’m a specialized Chinese Medical provider and Taoist practitioner. I practice in the PNW and share the wealth of Chinese Medicine and Taoism through my Youtube channel and blog.
Both my mother and sister were breast cancer survivors. It was two years ago when I lost them. My sister lost her fight in March of 2018, and my mother passed a month later.
When my sister’s cancer came back for the third time in 2015, it felt like someone had started a timer with a countdown. I flew into San Diego to see her. I wasn’t prepared. The chemo was ravaging her. Her hair had turned grey. Her face was swollen. Her skin had taken on a sickly, pale pallor. The shock rocked me, and I retreated outdoors. I didn’t want her to see me crying and know everything wasn’t right.
Yet, I returned to walk a journey with them that became our most important mission of self-discovery. In the time we had left, our barriers, our hurts, our dreams were uprooted. Within this brutal honesty, I found a new level of compassion and loss that would forever change me and allow our love for each other to come full circle.
Towards the end of my sister’s journey, she talked about a fly fishing rod her husband bought for her birthday. She wanted to fly fish and use that rod. She brought that rod up so much I started looking for fly fishing trips. Living in the Northwest, I was able to find several great trips. They all involved hiking she couldn’t do.
I can’t remember how I found Casting for Recovery, but I did. It is an organization offering Fly Fishing trips to breast cancer survivors at no charge. I was shocked. How did this organization exist? How did they know that breast cancer survivors wanted to fly fish? How did they understand the most significant barrier for survivors is financial? They knew everything.
Even though I started my planning, I was too late. Strange how time became our mentor, always chiding us that we didn’t have time for misunderstandings and judgments. If I had found Casting for Recovery when my sister first mentioned her fly fishing rod, she probably could have done it. But I didn’t. I found them at the very end about six months before she passed.
Even today, it hurts writing about the past. Through the overwhelming grief of losing my mother and sister, I turned to write and later published a book on my experience. Today, I pretend that she did go on one of the trips. I know she would have loved it, and they would have loved her.
What did I learn? The most important lesson I learned was to be present for anyone walking with a survivor or someone fighting cancer. Be with them and walk their journey with self-compassion. Their journey is more important than yours.
To learn more about me and who I am, visit my Youtube channel or Facebook page or website. My book, “Caregivers Survival Guide, How to Eliminate Stress in 30 Minutes with Chinese Medicine and Other Useful Tools,” is available on Amazon and chronicles my lessons and life choices in their last years.