Colorado bishop-elect discloses cancer diagnosis

Posted Nov 5, 2018

[Episcopal Church in Colorado] Colorado Bishop-elect Kym Lucas sent a letter to the diocese disclosing her diagnosis last week of stage one breast cancer. Lucas was elected the diocese’s 11th bishop during its 131 convention on Oct. 27 in Denver.

Dear Friends In Christ,

I am both amazed and thrilled that the Holy Spirit has called us to minister together! The Episcopal Church in Colorado is an extraordinary and unique branch of the Jesus Movement. I enjoyed the short time I was able to spend in each region during the walkabout, and I look forward spending more time with you, getting to know one another, and discerning how God will use our gifts to proclaim Christ’s kingdom. The next few months will be full for me and my family as I plan our transition, but know that I am eager to be with you. Your confidence and love humble me, and I pray that I will be a faithful steward of both as your bishop.

As your bishop-elect, I want to make you aware of a deeply personal, but yet publicly important announcement regarding my health. Last week I had my final consultation appointment where I received my diagnosis of stage one breast cancer. The cancer was detected through a routine mammogram. The tumor was so small that without mammography, it would have remained undiscovered for some time. My doctor told me that while “nobody wants breast cancer, if you’re going to have it, you want it the way you have it: detected early at stage 1.” Detected at stage 1, my particular form of cancer has a 98% cure rate and my oncology team deems my quest to be cancer free by the end of January “entirely reasonable.”

The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of tests and appointments and more tests. The waiting has been an emotional rollercoaster for my family and me. Until two days before the election my doctors and I had no reason for serious concern. On Monday, I informed my congregation at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. about my diagnosis and later that day, I reached out to your President of the Standing Committee of Colorado, Bob Morse, to also let him know.

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month winds down, I find myself grateful: grateful that the Episcopal Church prioritizes preventative care for its employees, grateful that my primary care doctor is diligent in her care for me, grateful that technology makes stage 1 cancer detection possible, grateful for the medical team that cares for me, and grateful for all the encouragement from friends and colleagues who are survivors. I am blessed beyond measure for all of the people in my life who make carrying this load easier.

The next few months will include surgery (a lumpectomy) and recovery, followed by radiation therapy. The path will not be easy, but my doctors assure me that I will be able to continue my work and ministry if I am patient with myself and diligently manage the fatigue that comes with radiation. By God’s grace, I am confident that this will be a minor bump in the road and I will be healthy when we begin our ministry together in March. I ask that you will hold my family and me in your prayers.

Yours In Christ,