LUCY BAKER … 2023 Williams County Relay for Life Honorary Survivor. (PHOTO PROVIDED / THE VILLAGE REPORTER)
By: Amy Wendt
A long-time Edgerton resident who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, Lucy Baker, has been chosen to represent the 2023 Williams County Relay for Life (WCRFL) as one of two Honorary Survivors.
Lucy’s amazingly positive mindset shines through when she says with a chuckle, “I’ve just pulled up my granny panties and said if these little kids can do it, I can too.”
“You have to have a sense of humor when you go through this.”
Lucy’s first diagnosis came to light shortly after she turned 69 in 2013. While showering on Christmas Day, she discovered a lump in her breast.
After meeting with her doctor and undergoing tests, the tumor was confirmed to be breast cancer.
After a Lumpectomy, Baker’s treatment included radiation followed by taking a chemotherapy pill for five years.
When discussing treatment options with her physician in 2013, Lucy matter-of-factly told him, “I will just miss one week but then I’m going back to work.”
And Lucy did just that. Five days a week Lucy would get up every morning at 4:00 am, go to work where she would put in 5 hours or more, and then travel to Bryan to receive radiation treatments.
“I came home and turned around and did it the next day,” Baker recalled. That cycle continued for 36 weeks.
Nominated to serve as one of WCRFL’s Honorary Survivors earlier in 2023 by Mandi McClain, it was noted on McClain’s nomination form about Lucy that “She is very excited to be cancer free so she can help others during their journey.
Lucy wants everyone to remember one thing. Never give up! Don’t let cancer win.”
Around a month and a half ago, after being nominated for the Relay for Life honor, Lucy received unwelcomed news.
“10 years later, I turned 79, and guess what? I got it in the other one,” she shared.
One day earlier this year, when applying deodorant, Lucy noticed a “puffy” spot near her underarm and breast area on the other side of her body.
When she went in for her mammogram, she asked her physician to take a look. An ultrasound further determined that the puffy spot was in fact two separate lumps and they were something to be concerned with.
Off Lucy went to Fort Wayne where she had to undergo a biopsy and a PET scan.
While testing results did confirm that the new lumps were indeed cancer, the progression was rated Stage 1 since it had not spread to her lymph nodes or anywhere else in her body.
“I’m very blessed that it was caught early,” emphasized Lucy. On June 14, 2023, Lucy is scheduled to have both new lumps removed.
As Lucy and her physician have been discussing treatment options, Lucy anticipates radiation and taking chemo pills will be a part of the plan this time around, however, she has decided she does not want to have a mastectomy.
“At my age, it’s going to take forever to heal and I got things to do. I’ve got great-grandbabies to spoil,” explained Lucy. “I want quality of life, not quantity.”
To say Lucy has a positive outlook would be an understatement; her unwavering resolve is truly remarkable.
“I live by myself, I’m very independent, and when I set my mind to do something…by gosh I’m going to do it.”
“I can’t be a Debbie Downer and sit and feel sorry for myself because that doesn’t get you anywhere. God has pulled me through so many things in life,” Baker explains without a doubt.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Lucy has little support from others. Her two sons, Nelson and Perry help her with whatever she needs. “I love my family, my family is my heart,” Lucy expressed.
She also has a very dear friend of over 50 years, Becky Mavis who has accompanied Lucy to all of her appointments during both bouts of cancer.
“She’s my other set of ears. She and her husband are wonderful people and they’re so good to me.”
2023 will be the first Relay for Life event that Lucy’s been to since nearly 10 years ago when she had her last diagnosis.
“I really feel honored to be doing this,” Lucy says about serving as an Honorary Survivor.
“I’m also kind of shocked because I know there are people that went through worse than I have with cancer and I think somebody else should have been picked instead of me. But I am honored to do this.”
The 2023 Williams County Relay for Life Event will be held on Friday, June 9 from 5:00 pm to Midnight at the Williams County Fairgrounds.
As one of the Honorary Survivors for 2023, Baker will be on hand to share her inspirational story with guests to offer hope to those who are currently struggling with their own cancer journey.
Amy can be reached at email@example.com