Beating MS, cancer leads ‘miracles’ in Wesley book

       For 22 years (until 2007) many Westsiders knew Virginia “Ginny” Wesley as the upbeat founder and owner of the Mountain Moppets children's clothing store in Old Colorado City.

Ginny Wesley poses with her recently acquired miniature sheepdog, named Photon.
Westside Pioneer photo

The cover of Ginny Wesley's autobiography.
Courtesy of Ginny Wesley

       What most didn't know were the peaks and valleys in an adventurous life that she describes in her autobiography, published this year and titled “To Begin Again: A Life of Tragedies and Miracles.”
       A book-signing is scheduled at Cucuru, 2332 W. Colorado Ave. Saturday, April 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both hard-cover and paperback copies will be available for purchase. The publisher is Xlibris, which covered the main costs of printing 250 copies, Ginny said.
       The book, 200 pages (including pictures) in the paperback version, picks up her life at age 14, when she met her eventual first husband Mike (who would be wounded in Vietnam and later crippled after falling from a roof), details the life-threatening health issues her daughter Page had to fight as a child, discusses scores of people Ginny has cared about, tracks her business accomplishments and winds up describing her own close calls over the past few years with both cancer and multiple sclerosis (MS).
       The story of how she won out against those illnesses fills the latter half of the book. In October of 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and then learned that it had metastasized in her liver. Called Stage 4 cancer, “it constituted a death sentence,” she said in a recent interview. Normally, “you can't stop it. It just keeps growing.”
       Worse, this was three years after she'd been diagnosed with MS, a disease in which nerve cells are damaged by the body's own white blood cells. Recalling how she felt, Ginny said, “I had to ask myself, 'Do I want to do the chemotherapy treatment [for the cancer] when I'm just going to come back to MS?'” But she went ahead with it, losing all her hair during the 16 weeks of treatment, and then amazed her oncologist when a scan showed the cancer was gone. “My doctor said it was a miracle,” Ginny said.
       Her fight against MS took her to China in the spring of 2009. She had resisted the normal western medical treatment, because of her concerns they would destroy her auto-immune system. In China, by chance, she met an acupuncturist who determined that her ongoing problems with coordination and dizziness were not MS-related at all, but due to a long-unnoticed, hard-to-find pinched nerve. “Miracle number two in six months,” writes Ginny in her book. “I am one lucky girl!”
       But upon returning to Colorado Springs, she had a hard time convincing some family members, as well as her doctors, that she truly was healed. They thought she'd gone manic. In fact, the first chapter of the book is devoted to that experience, which included her being forced at one point to take an ambulance to see a psychologist at a local hospital.
       That all worked itself out over time, and Ginny said she holds no hard feelings. She can see why some people, even those close to her, may not understand. She describes herself as a “super-positive” person, which puts her in a minority of about 5 percent of the population.
       But she said more people should try to be that way, because she is certain her attitude was key in her cancer recovery. “When you do that [become positive] you release healing hormones in the body,” she said. In getting over the cancer, “the chemo was responsible for 60 percent of it, but the my positive attitude was the other 40.”
       That's why she hopes people will read her book. “I wrote it to give people hope,” she said. “It has a lot to offer people who have had adversity in their lives.”
       A Westside resident for the past three and a half years, Ginny said she is now starting a new company with a friend, called “Happiness Heals.” She said the product line will be geared mainly for children and chiefly sold in hospital gift stores.

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