“I wouldn’t let the fears of the next day or whatever was coming bother me,” Peterson said. “I would just pray. And I continue to do that now. I don’t let myself worry.”
When asked about when she first received the diagnosis, Peterson said she was “in shock,” and it was only in telling her son the news that she realized she was worth the fight against it.
“I saw the grief in his eyes, which was way more grief than I had for myself — there was no comparison, and it reflected back on me,” she explained. “And when I saw it, I realized that I was worthy. I was worthy of staying alive — or fighting for my life, anyway.”
“I really didn’t put up any defense or questioning at all until I saw my son, and then I felt this peace just fill me and knowledge that I didn’t have before,” she said. “And I said to my son, ‘You know that doctor — he’s a man, and he has an opinion. Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s not right. The only way we’ll know is God, because God will decide when I’m going to die.’”
When she was in the hospital and things were going badly, Peterson recalled that she had a thought, or prayer, for her husband’s sake.
“When I was back in the hospital again with this more serious problem, my husband was just beside himself,” she said. “And I felt sorry for him, and I wanted to save him some of the pain that he was feeling and so I thought … maybe it was a prayer, right? … I said, ‘You know, I’ll be back at it by Aug. 19.’ That’s our anniversary.”
And on Aug. 19th — their 32nd anniversary — she began to heal.
Peterson also prayed a novena for the sick during her time in the hospital.
“That was at the end, when they finally found out there was a doctor in Pennsylvania that might have been able to help me,” she said. “And it was on the fifth day of praying those prayers that the leak in my system closed up.”
When asked about the doctors’ response, Peterson recalled: “So I was sitting out having breakfast, and their eyes got big and they said, ‘You’re better.’”
“And I went into the hospital ... and in half an hour, I was out of the hospital and then they phoned me every week for a month. At the end of the month, they said, ‘You’re better. Goodbye. Good luck.’”
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Though Peterson grew up Protestant and stopped attending church when she was 12, her great-grandmother was Catholic. When her cousin learned she was sick, she sent Peterson a letter. Pulling out a rosary, Peterson explained: “In her letter I found this rosary. And this was my great-grandmother’s rosary, and she carried it with her always. And so now it would be like 150 years old, I suppose.”
The rosary had passed from her great-grandmother to her grandmother, who then gave it to her aunt, who passed it on to her cousin, until it reached her.
Peterson’s health has been good ever since, and she hopes to continue her mission. In addition to her podcast she travels a lot with her husband and takes the stage to speak and open his events.
“I hope that Jordan and I can continue to speak the truth: to try to tell the stories that we’re inspired to tell, and hope that that can be of some help to people who are listening,” she concluded.
The full Feb. 2, 2024 edition of "EWTN News in Depth" and interview with Tammy Peterson is below.