By the Grace of God I walked again!

December 1st, 2016 by Peg Ivy

In 1980, I was sitting in stopped traffic on the Golden State Freeway when I was rear-ended by a guy going 65 mph, knocking my car clear across the other side of the freeway. Luckily I was not hit by any oncoming cars. I had a bad back injury and a severe whip lash of the neck. I was told that I would never walk again, but after surgery and physical therapy every day except Sunday for 3 straight years…by the Grace of God I walked again! Another miracle in my life!

This back injury led to many more back surgeries over the years.

Today, I would like to tell you the story of my personal survival from stage four breast cancer that had already spread to my lymph nodes.

At the early age of 43 I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in both breast that had spread to my lymph nodes. This was two months after my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer that had devastated my family.

Upon receiving the news I checked myself out of the hospital against doctor’s orders. They could not convince me that two or three weeks would make any difference in my treatment and/or survival.

I contacted the American Cancer Society and got all the information concerning chemotherapy drugs along with their side effects. Read Norman Cousin’s book – Confronting the Big C and check out books on cancer from the library. All the time, doctors were calling my daughters and Jarvis on their jobs telling them that I was in a state of denial. I will never forget a phone call I received from my daughter, Deb. She was crying and telling me that she wanted me to get treatment as she wanted me to live. I told Deb that I had to come to grips with the diagnosis and treatment, as I was the one that was going to have to go through the treatment – not her or her father. I stated that is was MY life and the quality of MY life that would be affected so the decision had to be MINE and MINE alone. I told her that she had to just honor MY decision.

Once I was in control of the disease and it was not in control of
MY life – the healing began.

I planned my treatment then made an appointment with the oncologist. I invited all my family to this appointment and I asked the doctor to answer all their questions and to share with them what to expect from the treatment plan that I wanted. The doctor told me that the plan I came up with was extremely aggressive and my reply to him was that I had to go for the Gold – that a Silver or Bronze Metal was not going to do it for me. I confronted the disease, made a plan, walked through hell and survived.

I had an attitude adjustment. I decided that I WOULD NOT die from breast cancer. All the books and literature that I read state that if you BELIEVE that you are going to die – YOU WILL DIE. However, if you decide that it is just a bump on the road of life you will survive. I honestly believe that you and only you make the decision as to when and how you are going to die.

I never threw up, never lost a hair on my head and never missed a day at work. I had completed eight months of treatment before my mother even knew I had breast cancer. I did not share my diagnosis with people other than my immediate family as I did not want them to look at me differently, feel sorry for me or think that I was going to die so they had to give me flowers. In order for me to believe that I was OK I needed other people to also feel and know that I was OK

Another Story: Jarvis had a heart attack on April 10, 1993, which resulted in quadruple by-pass heart surgery. His brother had died at the age of 54 from a massive heart attack. Jarvis accepted this as a warning, changed his attitude and did what he needed to do. Jarvis has never been on heart medication and they now run him on the treadmill and tell him that he has a heart of a 22-year-old. All his reports show NO SIGN of heart damage – the doctor tells us that his heart has healed itself.

Yet, Another Story: My sister, Eloise’s colon rupture and they wanted to do a colostomy – she refused, flew here from Alabama and went through the IVY treatment for six weeks. Her colon healed itself and there is no sign of damage to her colon. Don’t get me wrong, she was deathly ill and it was touch and go for awhile, but she survived because she wanted to live!

A great quote from Marianne Williamson: No matter what the illness or addiction or distorted physical expression, its cause is in the mind, and only there can it be healed. The greatest power given by God is the power to change your mind.

I recommend that you read, As a Man Thinketh.

Suggestions for Survival next time…

Recipe for Christmas

Nothing says “welcome” as graciously as a table attractively set with a punch bowl and glasses. I always greet my guest with a specialty drink to let them know that they are special and we appreciated them coming.


Kir Champagne Punch
Makes 30 (1/2-cup) servings

1 10-ounce packages frozen raspberries, partially thawed
1 32-ounce bottle (4 cups) sparkling water, chilled
1 cup crème de cassis, chilled
3 750-ml bottles chilled champagne

Pace one package of partially thawed raspberries in blender or food processor bowl; cover and process till smooth. Strain mixture to remove seeds. Pour puree into punch bowl with sparkling water and crème de cassis; stir gently to blend. Break up remaining raspberries with fork; add to punch bowl. Resting bottles on rim of bowl; slowly pour champagne down side of bowl, stirring gently with an up-and-down motion. Serve at once.

Peg’s Notes: Freeze additional raspberries and orange slices in an ice ring mold to float in the punch bowl.

Here is a good non-alcoholic punch for the children during the holidays.

Hot Christmas Punch
Makes 1½ gallons

1 gallon apple cider
1 quart orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 large can pineapple juice
24 cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
1 cup honey or sugar, optional

Simmer all ingredients in a large stockpot for 10 minutes. Remove spices. Serve hot.
Can also use crock pot and keep warm during party.

Variations: Use Cranberry-apple juice instead of cider for a festive red punch.
Use grapefruit juice for the pineapple and you have a great drink for cold or flu.

Peg Notes: Apple cider is non-alcoholic in the USA, and it is what makes this recipe so unique. However, if there is a concern about the small alcohol content you may substitute unsweetened apple juice.

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