Waco woman celebrates 100 chemo treatments

Pancreatic cancer patient outlives survival estimate

WACO, TX - A former Waco labor and delivery nurse -- who helped patients for over four decades -- is receiving treatment herself, for something quite a bit different.

Marliss Williams was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, she was told she had 6 to 8 months to live and on Tuesday -- four years later -- she celebrated her 100th chemo treatment.

"Very excited, I'm just bouncing off the walls," said Williams.

Four years ago she received the dreaded call from her doctor.

"It was kind of hard to take it that way," said Williams.

After getting diagnosed, she didn't go into hospice or palliative care, she fought the disease head on.

"The only treatment acceptable was chemo, and I said okay, that's what we'll do," said Williams.

"Stage four pancreas cancer unfortunately is not curable so if someone has incurable cancer, we want them to live as long as possible but we want them to live as good as possible too," said Dr. Carl Chakmakjian, Medical Oncologist at Texas Oncology of Waco.

Marliss says three things helped her throughout the journey, everyone's prayers, turning it over to God, and ignorance.

"The words are too long, too big for me to remember or to pronounce, I said, I didn't want to know," said Williams.

In fact, 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis, the average survival is about 3.5 months and with good treatment, 8 months.

"This is uncharted waters, specially in the pancreatic world, so this is a feat in itself, and to look at her, I mean, does she look like she's going through treatment? No, she's great," said Laura Schmidt, R.N. and O.C.N. Nursing Infusion Supervisor at Texas Oncology of Waco.

Proving not only to all of her family and friends, but also to her doctors and nurses, that miracles do happen.

"God knows when I'm supposed to leave this earth, not me and I'm just going to keep doing each day, I'm going to keep going each day and we'll just keep going and going until He tells me it's time to leave," said Williams.

To learn more about Texas Oncology of Waco click HERE.



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