AUSTIN, Texas — In addition to the pandemic, Katlynn Rose Blakely Suchomel and Francis Houston Blakely Suchomel III had to overcome a lot within the last year, but that didn't stop them from reopening Curia Arcanum's House of Curiosities in Austin.

Just last year, Kat and her husband Frank lost almost everything in a house fire.

"I'm looking and, you know, like the seam between like the ceiling and the wall? I start seeing the smoke coming,” Kat said. 

Then, about a month later, she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

“The surgery itself was really rough for me pain wise,” Kat explained. "And I always thought I had a pretty high threshold for pain. But it was extremely rough and it was extremely rough on everybody."

The devastating fire and diagnosis happened while the couple was trying to move their shop to a new location. 

The Suchomel’s own Curia Arcanum's House of Curiosities in Austin.

While Kat recovered from treatment, Frank put their retail and gallery shop together on the first two floors of their new home.

“The shop itself kind of built around that idea... not only of family and the mysteries and things like that, but also really anything that exercised the imagination,” Frank said. “Of course, here we are in this two story place, so and who knows what it's going to be next."

Kat says while she can't technically say she is "cured" just yet, right now there is no evidence of disease.

"Besides COVID in general, with cancer you're immunocompromised. So, we take extra precautions,” Kat shared.

Kat and Frank say they are forever grateful for the community, friends and family who have helped them along the way.

 "And you can do this. You can live your dreams. You can have your dreams and still be sick. And it's okay to not be okay all the time,” Kat added.