Whitney Pickering: No tears allowed in fight against cancer

It was a year ago last March, as she and Stacey trained for a sprint triathlon, that she first noticed something wrong. An irritation in her sports bra. Flagging enthusiasm. “I just wasn’t generally feeling it when I was running,” she said, explaining away aches and discomfort as weight gain, winter break lag, maybe new apparel needs.

In April, they turned to swim training, where in the water “you’re a little more in tune with your body.”

Early May 2012, she found it. The suspicious lump in her right breast that, because of a previous false alarm, would wait nearly two months to be checked by a doctor. That would turn out to be cancer. That would require two lumpectomies, six months of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments in the past year. That would take her hair, her energy, her time. But not her faith. Not her sense of humor. Not her commitment to the small town she calls home. And not, except for the briefest of low points, her spirit.

Clarion Ledger