Wednesday, Aug. 23 was the first day Marilyn Frazier Mullikin went out in public without a wig on. Sitting down to tell the story of her battle with cancer, she smiled with enthusiasm as she touched her short haircut.
“It’s liberating,” she said. “My hair was always a comfort and I hated losing control over it when it began to fall out. My head was in a ‘chemo fog.’ I hated not being in control of my thoughts and actions.”
Marilyn received her last day of radiation certificate from the Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center May 9 after a 2 year battle with uterine cancer. Of course, the staff was there to cheer her on as she rang the bell in celebration.
“I refer to it as my journey,” she said. “It began the day I received the news ‘you have cancer,’ and my mind went blank.”
But thanks to an outpouring of community support and the devoted staff at the Cancer Center, Marilyn said she was able to fight her way through it.
The doctors and Staff at the Cancer Center became her second family. When her journey was first beginning and Marilyn was looking for a place to undergo chemotherapy with Dr. Manish Dhawan and radiation treatments with Dr. Alex Hnatov after having a complete hysterectomy, she knew Natchitoches had the Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center.
“You can let things get you down and get depressed if you don’t have things to look forward to,” she said. Her church family from First Baptist on Second Street brought her meals and added her to prayer lists. Friends and family sent an outpouring of love which overwhelmed her.
Marilyn was able to form bonds with fellow fighters like the late Sharon Sampite and Mary Ann Nowlin, who she said were a huge inspiration to her. Her own mother Margaret Frazier survived a brain tumor and was there to encourage Marilyn every step of the way.
Her son Clint spent more time at home and her husband Hunter went to every doctors visit and chemo treatment. Even her oldest brother, older than Marilyn by 5 years, came for a visit.
“I’d never had anything in common with him until it came to cancer,” said Marilyn. “We’re both survivors and that’s our bond.”
Marilyn credits her boss, Acting Chamber President Tony Davis and the Chamber staff for being patient with her so she could continue working. She’s been able to work more lately and she’s beginning to think clearly for the first time in months.
“I’m well now,” she said. “It could have been much worse. I saw worse, but I feel blessed. The Cancer Center staff took me under their wing and I appreciate everything they did for me.”