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Beder carries on in face of battle with cancer

Kay Beder showed last week she’s got a lot going since she left the Bay City Village Clerk’s position as a full-time job last June. Stampin’ Up, Jamberry Nails, vinyl lettering and turbans for cancer patients keep her occupied while she continues to deal with the effects of lung cancer. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

BAY CITY—Kay Beder has kept as busy as ever while continuing to fight off the effects of lung cancer.

The cancer is a challenge Beder’s faced head-on for as long as the 15 years she was the Bay City Village Clerk. And she’s not letting it get in the way of her interests in life, including businesses such as Stampin’ Up and Jamberry Nails, along with vinyl lettering and cancer patients’ turban projects.

Nonetheless, the former clerk is a realist about how much daily responsibility her own health situation will allow. Despite an understanding village board who offered her a wide range of flexibility in her job, she left the clerk’s position as a full-time job last June.

“I loved it,” she said, even though the work was never quite as easy as her predecessor made it sound when she originally interviewed for it.

That was in 1998, the same year Beder was first diagnosed with lung cancer, she said. She’d previously experienced bronchitis and pneumonia, so when she coughed up blood one day and went to the doctor the next, a condition related to those was suspected. Because nothing significant was to be done, she insisted on at least having an x-ray taken.

She was sent to a specialist; a “little white ball” that wasn’t supposed to be there had shown up on the x-ray, she said. Now, the recommendation was to operate on this cancerous tumor.

“They took my left lung out,” she said, referring to surgeons at the University of Minnesota’s hospital.

She was told she had Adenoid Cystic Carcenoma, she said. Although it normally targets the ear, it can surface in the lungs. It travels through the nervous system.

“I was told I need to find a less stressful job,” she said, noting she had spent 11 previous years in payroll and shipping, then human resources and purchasing with Tech Group of Red Wing, a manufacturer of on-site machinery and sales for oil refineries, nuclear plants the like.

The cancer isn’t hereditary, Beder understood, though she did have an aunt with lung cancer from smoking. After a series of regular tests and scans, along with follow-ups with doctors, hers was discovered to have spread to her right lung in the bottom lobe, Beder said. This time, the bottom half of that lung was removed.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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