Let me start by saying thank you friends for your prayers and support and thank You Lord for your goodness. After a long period of praying, asking, knocking, and seeking, we are heading to Crossroads Church in Decatur, Texas. We are so excited as we begin! This past Sunday Aug 10 was my starting day and this Sunday Aug 17 will be a special recognition/commitment service as we acknowledge the call of the Father to Crossroads Church. It's been an amazing, bittersweet journey to get to this place... and we look forward to this next step of destiny!
Our next steps are to finish preparing the house to sell, sell the house, and move to Decatur. Obviously our desire is for this to happen quickly so we can get moved and plugged in right away, but we know His timing is perfect!!
Again, thank you all for praying for us to get to this place, and we ask for your continued prayers for our family as we make this transition!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Friends - thanks for the continued prayers!! Today is 13 days after surgery and my recovery has been absolutely miraculous!! This past Tuesday, July 22 I celebrated my 42nd birthday and it was a very special day of celebration for me!! Thank God for HIs mercies!! We are so blessed and so grateful for all the Father is showing us during this time.
Today I had my first follow-up visit with the neurosurgeon since being released from hospital last Thursday, July 24.
We didn't receive a lot of info... did get the stitch out of my back from the spinal fluid drip, didn't have hormone results yet from endocrinologist, gave me freedom to drive and slowly start being active. Will have yearly MRI's for 5 years for observation, will have vision test in a few months, will have another follow up with him in 3 weeks.
So, right now we're praying for:
- adrenal gland function to be stimulated to work so I won't have to take medication (we don't know yet that it's NOT working properly, we just don't have results yet),
- energy and strength to continue returning
- normal sleep cycle
- ability to bring life of Jesus to neurosurgeon (Dr. David Kosmoski) and staff
We are SO grateful for your continued love and prayer support. We have been carried in the grace of the Father and the prayers of the saints!! Thank you all so much for showing amazing love and compassion and very practical expressions of the love of Jesus during this journey!!
Barry and Alyssa Garrett
Friday, July 18, 2008
Friends - praise God, I'm home! Short recap:
Monday July 7 - emergency room visit
Tuesday July 8 - admitted to hospital
Friday July 11 - BRAIN surgery to remove tumor from pituitary gland
Wed July 16 - shocked surgeon confirms healing with MRI
Thursday July 17 - HOME!!
I am a blessed man. Does blessed get to be a trite word? Not today, not for me... I am blessed.
Recovery is going to be SLOW... Fatigue is incredible... Strength is gone... 4-year olds are loud... Support is incredible... sleep is unfamiliar... God is SO GOOD!!
I know the grace and nearness of God like I never have and am thankful for this "lying down" time. My personal prayer/desperation is to NOT lose this sensitivity and awareness to the Father's presence.
You know that verse you've heard thousands of times... from somebody else... the one that talks about a peace that passes all understanding... it's in Phillipians 4:6-7... check it out...
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. MSG
Now that's REAL!! I can't explain it, but I know it, now, and I'm forever grateful for my experience because I know it... now.
Thanks for your continued prayers as we transition into a new season of life. You have all been SO supportive and the Garrett's will forever be grateful to you.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
My heart is so full tonight that it will take a while to process, so the note will be short.
Actually here's how Alyssa put it...
a shocked surgeon just came in to tell us that the pituitary tumor was GONE--even above the spinal fluid membrane that he could not reach
from below. That is EXACTLY what we prayed for. The surgeon said he asked to see the name on the MRI because he couldn't believe it was the same brain he had scanned last Tuesday. He thinks we must have connections! Yahoo!
Friends, we are connected. The supernatural bond we have with each other through Jesus Christ is an amazing connection that we can so easily take for granted.
But I have experienced the 2 things the laws and prophets hang on: love for God through the love of His people.
Will include some follow up prayer requests later, but tonight we are so grateful and blessed by the outpouring and goodness of our Faithful Father and the Garrett's wanted to again say thank you for being so connected to us.
Your love and support has meant the world to us and we are blessed to call you friends.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I can't stop saying it... miraculous! What a miracle working God! Thank you for your prayers, today was miraculous.
This morning started with the beautiful sunshine in the room around 6:30am. By 8am I had my spinal fluid drip painlessly removed and was off to a big day.
Again today, no nausea, no pain, no sickness, etc thank GOD!!
After getting to walk to the other side of the room and sitting in a chair for about 30 minutes, I was wiped out by noon, but not before I took this beautiful picture.
Back in bed after Alyssa and Mom saw me doing my trick (sitting). Met with my Endocronologist who will be checkin out my hormones.
Took a short nap and woke to the nurse informing me that my private room was ready.... ahhhhh my oasis of peace rest and delight.
Got moved to Room 214, a huge energy-buster, and had some wonderful friends drop by to bring me contraband and love!!
Reconnected with pre-op nurse types who are looking after me tonight! Got up a couple more times to stretch out and I am feeling great.
Tomorrow will see my first post-op MRI and will continue with some minimal rehab... scootin' around the halls. If you drop by HEB bring me a Hugh Hef-type smokin' jacket to cover my Army/Navy Surplus Hospital Gown!!
God is good, His mercies ARE new... everyday! His joy is my strength and I am so blessed.
Thanks again today my beautiful friends for your continued prayer support. I am carried!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Hello Dear Sweet Friends and Praying Partners,
What a miracle working God! Thank you for your prayers, today was miraculous.
The spinal drain was capped at 7am this morning, and at 11:15am I began my ascent. After a couple of hours I got to dangle my legs off the bed. After some rest, I got all the way up standing up and even a little swaying.
No nausea, no pain, no sickness, etc thank GOD!!
Dr. Kosmoski already has supplies in place to remove the spinal fluid drain from my back early tomorrow morning. I'll be flat for 4 hours after that and then I can begin tomorrow's ascent and then minimal activity (sitting/walking). And also be moved to a private room (yeah for less restrictive visiting hours and I can see my four year old Jack)
Today was a day of strength and energy and your prayers are making a huge difference.
Please add sleep during the night as a big prayer request. I need night sleep, continuous restful sleep.
Love you all so much and I look forward to the celebration feast we will share when I am OUT!!
And our family wants to let you know how blessed we all are for your support.
Love, love, love,
Sunday, July 13, 2008
again, I want to start by giving thanks and praise to Jesus who continues to orchestrate a wonderful healing recovery.
and i want to thank all of you, my precious, sweet family and friends who are continuing to pray during this time. we are so covered in the grace of Jesus and are so grateful for your vital support right now.
today is day 2 after surgery to remove tumor attached to pituitary gland and i am doing great. i have had NO pain or nausea. i have had rest, food, drink and LOTS of TLC. my wife Alyssa has been my rock - the picture of grace and strength in a dark storm. I love you Alyssa!! She has had a great team helping her - my mom and my dad, Karen Taylor, Tim Michael, Brent Jones, and so many others I'm sure. And I have to mention the greatness of the staff at HEB ICU who has done a fantastic job - seriously they have.
my neurosurgeon Dr Kosmoski is top shelf and I am so blessed to have him leading my team.
because of the type of surgery i had, i have a spinal fluid drip to keep from putting too much pressure on the brain.
tomorrow is a big day as Dr Kosmoski is going to stop the draining to make sure the seal in and around surgical area will hold. as he stops the drain, they will slowly be elevating my head tomorrow to make sure there is no fluid drainage. so please pray that my head can handle the pressure of the fluid inside the body, and that there's no drainage through the head/throat.
if no drainage, on tuesday the spinal fluid drain will be removed from my back and I can begin minimal activity (sitting/walking) and prayerfully be moved to a private room (yeah for less restrictive visiting hours and I can see my four year old Jack)
If that works out on Tuesday, then Wed will schedule another MRI to verify healing/shrinking of remainder of tumor that could not be taken out at surgery.
then another field of vision test
and then hopefully go home around Friday.
I can't wait to get out of here and celebrate with each and everyone of you. telling you thanks every day online is just not enough for me. I want to give hugs and tell you of the hours I cried and cried as I knew you were praying for me.
there has been a lot of healing going on inside my heart as well as my head this week and I'm a grateful kid of the most high God surrounded by terrific family and friends!!
grace and peace to you and yours -
Saturday, July 12, 2008
A short note to testify of the greatness of our Healing God!!!!! we are so richly blessed and right now want to exalt and lift up the name of Jesus Christ, the name given above every name.
I believe You're my Healer, I believe You are all i need
I believe You're my portion, I believe You're MORE than enough for me,
Jesus You're all I need
Nothing is impossible for You, Nothing is impossible...planetshaker
He loves us oh how He love us oh How He loves us oh how He loves us!...kim walker
Hallelujah what a Savior, I owe everything to Him
Hallelujah what a Savior Hallelujah to My King
Hallelujah, hallelujah to my King
Hallellujah, Hallelujah to my King,,,Paul Baloche
This is my story, This is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my Story, This is my song
Praising my Savior All the day long!!,,,,Fanny Crosby
How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God
He's the name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing how great is our God---Chris Tomlin
Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee
How Great Thou art, how Great Thou art
Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee
How Great Thou art, how Great Thou art
We Praise Jesus for His Presence and for blessings of comfort, care, grace, and support through all of you, our dear loved ones and friends.
Recovery has been a breeze so far. I'm just resting under the watchful care of a great team.
Thank you for continuing to pray for complete healing throughout this week.
We LOVE each of you!! We are receiving your comments, your emails, phone calls, texts, etc. and are so blessed. Thank you for continuing to stand with us throughout this process!
Barry, Alyssa, Wil and Jack
Friday, July 11, 2008
The surgery went great. The doctor said that he was able to get all the tumor beneath the spinal fluid membrane. The pathology report came back saying the tumor was non-cancerous. The doctor did see a couple drops of spinal fluid, he put super glue over the leak and didn't see any more for the rest of the surgery but did have to put a drain in his back to prevent an infection, just in case =]. He will be in ICU for two days and will be able to come home at the end of the week. they will do a scan of the brain before he leaves to see how much of the tumor is above the spinal membrane, if any. we are praying that he will not find any. Please continue to pray with us that the functions of the pituitary gland will function normally.
Praise The Lord!!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We've reserved the HEB Harris Hospital Chapel from 7pm-7:30pm for a time of anointing, healing prayer. It's on the first floor across from the lobby. Calling all elders, pastors, friends, and neighbors. Come one come all if you can. Thank you all for your prayer and support! Tomorrow's surgery has apparently been moved from 7:30am to 9:30am tomorrow morning. Look forward to seeing any of you tonight!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
We had a consult with the neurosurgeon today and here's the picture... my pituitary gland has a tumor on/in/surrounding it that has caused it to swell to larger than 1.5 inches. A normal picture is like a 3-layer dip (mmmmm). On the bottom is the pituitary gland (pt gland), on top of that is a spinal fluid sac, and on top of that is the optic nerve.
My MRI shows that the pt gland/tumor has grown vertically all the way up to the spinal fluid sac and has even grown more vertically through the spinal fluid sac... think of the hour-glass figure with the spinal fluid sac being a barrier in the mid-part of the hour-glass. On top of that the optic nerve has been severely stretched.
Beautiful Diagram #1:
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo -- Stretched Optic Nerves
___xxxxxxxx___ -- PT Gland
___xxxxxxxx___ -- Tumor
______xx______ -- Spinal Fluid
______xx______ -- Sac
___xxxxxxxx___ -- PT Gland
___xxxxxxxx___ -- & Tumor
We have tentatively scheduled surgery for Friday morning, July 11. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Kosmoski, will come through the nasal cavity to open the bottom of the hour glass to begin removing the growth. The best action is that as he starts to remove the growth, gravity will pull the top of the growth down, even through the spinal fluid sac barrier so that he can remove all of the growth. Because of the angle he has to work with, he has very little range of motion vertically or horizontally to remove the growth. So we need the tumor to shrink, shrivel, fall, reduce, submit to God's Word that it is not welcome in this holy temple!! It must leave! And the body will return to God's original creative design.
My field of vision test today shows that I have lost about 50% of my peripheral vision from the stretching of the optic nerves.
So goal #1 in the surgery is to reduce the mass of the tumor/gland so that the stress on the optic nerves is removed and we pray that God restores the eye sight.
Because the pituarity gland is like central command to several glandular functions in the body, and since the surgery will be disturbing not only the tumor, but also the pituitary gland, there are several risks to accomplishing goal #1... urinary function, testosterone levels, adrenal gland, thyroid gland, growth hormones.
Also, because of the proximity of the surgery to the spinal fluid sac, there is the risk of displacing spinal fluid which can be dangerous.
We know that we are living under God's authority and kingdom with full access and benefits as heirs of His kingdom, sons and daughters. We are asking for His authority to overtake this darkness and bring grace and healing. We are praying for a miracle to happen before I even hit the operating room for a testimony of the Greatness of our God. We are praying for salvation of nurses and doctors and for His Kingdom to come!!
Thank you so much, our dearest friends for joining with us in prayer and support during this great and testing time.
Barry, Alyssa, Wil and Jack
So for those of you that haven't heard, let me back up and update you with the fun week we've been having.
Monday morning I woke up at 6am with the worst head-splitting headache of my life. I took some Advil and almost immediately threw it up. Took some Excedrin Migraine and almost immediately threw it up. At this point I have the worst ever headache and I can't stop vomiting.
Alyssa took me to the Care Now clinic where they gave me 2 shots - phenegran for the nausea and something else for the pain. And then they told me to get to the Emergency Room immediately.
So Monday afternoon we check into HEB ER and they load me up with IV fluids and continue phenegran and morphine to keep nausea and headache manageable.
I also had a CTscan and an MRI. The MRI showed a tumor on my pituitary gland which has swollen the gland from the normal size of a pea to 10 times that size. It has also severely stretched the optic nerves.
So Monday night after getting pain and nausea manageable I was given the choice to stay at hospital or go home with oral meds. I chose to go home but I think that was a bad choice, because the oral meds couldn't keep up with the pain.
Tuesday morning we got into the neurosurgeon's office (Dr. Koz) for an evaluation of the MRI. He explained it like this: 1 - The pituitary gland/tumor could be producing a hormone called prolaritin (sp?). If this is the case, the tumor and gland can be handled with medicine. 2 - If that's not the case then we'll have to have surgery to at least remove the tumor and possibly the pituitary gland. 3 - The Healer in His grace and mercy shrinks and destroys the tumor and sends it back to hell where it came from, and the pituitary gland shrinks back to normal size and the optic nerves return to normal size (this is my favorite choice)!!
We left Dr. Koz's office around noon? yesterday and have spent until now in ICU. Great folks taking care of me! Love the morphine to keep my head from exploding. Have also been on a powerful steroid treatment to reduce swelling of mass/gland in brain which has helped reduce the pain!! Thanks to everyone who has visited, called, emailed and prayed!!
We should hear on the lab results of the prolaritin today. And I have a field trip at 3:15pm this afternoon for a visual field test at an ophthalmologist.
Returning from the ophthalmologist, they are trying to move me out of ICU to a private room. Which will be good for a couple of reasons. Visitor hours in ICU are strict, and there's a lot of noise/action in the ICU.
Thanks again for all your prayers and visits.
Will keep you updated!!