Patient fighting cancer battle encourages others to be thankful for blessings every day

Channel Williams diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 3 years ago

By Leslie Mouton - Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - Thanksgiving is the one day a year we all are encouraged to take a moment to remember the blessings in our life. For Channel Williams, every day is a day to give thanks. 

KSAT 12 first introduced you to Williams three years ago after she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

"Cancer has changed my perspective. It's not what I have to do anymore. It's what I get to do, and I’m grateful for that." Williams said.

Williams’ two youngest children, Tatum and Corban, were hover boarding around the kitchen, bumping into walls and making lots of noise. She and her husband, Tommy, watched and laughed. 

"I guess you can say that is one thing cancer has taught us — not to sweat the small stuff.  They can scuff up walls and make lots of noise. We are just glad to be together," Tommy Williams said.

Tommy and Channel Williams had been married only six weeks when she was diagnosed. Channel Williams was 41 and had never smoked a day in her life. The cancer spread to her brain, and the prognosis was not good. Three years ago on Thanksgiving, she was just hoping to make it to Christmas. She did — and so much more.

"I think about my children, and I think about being here three years later. I have a daughter who has gotten married. I was there for that. Today is her one year anniversary, and I get to be here for that too,” Channel Williams said. “I have witnessed so many milestones with all my children. I am thankful to just be here."

Since KSAT visited her last year, Channel Williams has finished her book "Pieces 2 Peace" and has already sold 5,000 copies. That's not surprising, considering how many people she has inspired with her strength and positive attitude. Perhaps the person most inspired is her husband.

"You know the saying, ‘I thought I loved you then?’ That's more true today for us, because our love has grown stronger with our struggles,” Tommy Williams said.

Channel Williams went through brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.  She was given an experimental treatment called Keytruda and it worked.  Her scans were clear until a few weeks ago.

"I was having headaches and eye things, so I had a brain scan and I had five brain tumors,” Channel Williams said.

She once again was back in the hospital. Two of the tumors were removed. The other three were treated with gamma knife radiation. It will be a couple of months before doctors know if the treatment worked.

Despite the setback, Channel Williams’ attitude remains positive, and she intends to keep up the fight.

"I tell her all the time that I don't know if I would still be here, having to deal with what she's dealt with. She is a fighter in every sense of the word," Tommy Williams said.

"People say, ‘You are such a fighter, and you are this and you are that.’ I think anyone would do it. What is the other option?” Channel Williams said.

Channel Williams wants to remind everyone this holiday to be thankful every day of the year.

"Everything can change in the blink of an eye, so appreciate what you have today,” she said.

You can find her book at http://www.pieces2peace.net.

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