Health & Spirit

Light Notes: Columnist's breast cancer journey not fearless

Lucy Luginbill, Tri-City Herald on

Published in Religious News

Fear. It had wrapped itself around me strangling thoughts of hope. And while I gasped at the thought -- me, how could it happen to me? -- the world breathed its routine.

"You have breast cancer," the doctor had told me quietly as my heart-rate rocketed; my breath paused at the frightening news. The grave words had knocked courage flat while overwhelming angst rushed in.

I appeared calm that late autumn morning 14-years ago, fearless in the face of adversity. "We'll beat this," I had announced firmly. But in my heart, bravery -- and faith -- hesitated.

During this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I look back at that moment and relive the feelings -- empathetic emotions -- for any woman who has recently heard the same disheartening diagnosis.

I wish I could tell her how brave I was, how I didn't question God, how I didn't feel overwhelmed with decisions, how I didn't worry I might not survive. I'd like to say I wasn't afraid -- but I was.

Nevertheless, on one dark day in my new reality, God sent a gentle reminder to stand strong.

From miles away came a lovely pink card, one that helped put distance between fear and renewed faith. Scribbled inside were encouraging words, how to find strength for the journey.

"When you look up these Bible verses, put your name into them," my forever friend, Marsha, wrote.

The list wasn't lengthy, but each scripture brought words of wisdom that seemed specifically for me. And although the card is only a memory, one verse sustains me to this day: "When I (Lucy) am afraid, I put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3 (NIV)

Faith in God doesn't make a person fearless. It just helps you fear less.

(Lucy Luginbill is a career television producer-host and the Spiritual Life editor for the Tri-City Herald. In her column, she reflects on the meaning of her name, "Light Bringer." If you have a story idea for Light Notes, contact her at

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