Instead, it was a dimple she noticed under her arm. She forgot to tell the doctor at her annual check-up, but said something to the technicians when it came time for her annual mammogram a couple months later. The doctors took a sample of her tissue, and found cancer.
Shirley knows, had she waited longer, the outcome could've been different.
"I was very fortunate, by the grace of God I'm here," said Shirley," because I did wait too long to get it checked."
Shirley had three lumpectomites late that summer, followed by chemotherapy and a brief break before radiation. The treatments might have weakened her body a but, but...
"It strengthened my faith," said Shirley. "I prayed every day, and I still do."
Shirley was always a runner and cyclist, so she bounced back quicker than most. Plus, she had the support of friends and family, including her husband and three daughters.
"As far as appreciating her, I think I love her as much as I ever did or more," said her husband, Gordon. "She's gone through a lot and she has a lot of strength."
The Wickers moved from Michigan to our area, and she gets follow-up care at Geisinger. She finished the Run for the Cure in Scranton each of the last three years -- placing third in the survivor category in 2009.
"I kind of feel like life has gone back to the way it was before," she said. "But I have a new apprecation for life."
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