Monday, March 28, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 41 - TREATMENT DELAY?

Monday morning as I prepared for my morning treatment, I received a text from my son-in-love, Adolfo. It read: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. To whom can you compare him? Or who is his equal? There is none like our God!
No matter what you are facing today, God is bigger. TRUST IN THE LORD!! Adolfo.

Within minutes of receiving that text I received a call from the Cancer Center letting me know that my treatment would be delayed. They were having some mechanical issues and the technician was on his way from Oklahoma City. They said if it was fixed I could get in that afternoon, if not, we would add another day to treatment.

Immediately, I realized that the Word Adolfo sent was for this situation!! NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE FACING TODAY, GOD IS BIGGER. I did not want any delays!

So we began to pray that the equipment would be good to go, and I would not have to delay any treatment. Shortly, they called and said I could come in at 2:00 p.m. PTL!!!

Matt and Lisa left for Colorado and arrived home safely that evening!!

Love having my kids here! I just look forward to the day that I can ENJOY our time together to its fullest!!! TRUSTING!!!

TRUSTING - DAY 40 - SUNDAY - FAMILY DAY


I was able to go to church on Sunday morning. I didn't want to miss our special guest Huldah Buntain. Although I was very weak, I enjoyed being able to be with our church family! Matt and Lisa took care of getting me home and settled in for some rest.

The family was able to have a wonderful lunch at Mama-the-Great's house! She is such an amazing woman! She drives every Sunday afternoon to Edmond to stay with her daughter, Johnna, and drives back to Lawton on Friday morning. It is her joy to fix lunch for the family on Sunday afternoons!

THANK YOU MAMA for the selfless example you are to your family!

YOU ARE LOVED BY ALL WHO KNOW YOU!!!

Matt and Mama Pratt

TRUSTING - DAY 39 - TRUSTING GOD

I continue to TRUST even on the "OTHER" days

TRUSTING - DAY 38 - MATT AND LISA!!

I haven't seen Matt and Lisa since they went back to Colorado after Christmas. So much has happened in the short span of time. Both of our families have really been through a lot. This weekend will be a special time for both the Pratt Family and the Taylor Family. Lisa's brother, JT, whom we have all been praying for was home for the weekend, from MD Anderson.
We were all looking forward to their visit.

They arrived today around noon. I was so glad to see Matt walking without crutches!My daughter-in-love, Lisa

Lisa, Mom and Matt
I told Matt I got my "high and tight" haircut, so we could look like twinkies:)
It was a really beautiful day out! Love spending some time on the bench!
And then........it was time to rest:)

I would like to ask everyone that reads this blog to take time to say a special prayer for Lisa's brother, JT. We are KEEPING THE FAITH with JT for a miracle in his body. We love you JT!

TRUSTING - DAY 37 - YELLOW BOX SHOE FRIEND

Last August, I had the privilege of speaking to the District Directors of Women's Ministries at Seminar in Springfield, Missouri. It was such a great time of connecting with the incredible women in leadership all across our Fellowship! On the last night, we loaded up on a bus and went to Branson to enjoy some of the great entertainment that Branson offers. We of course had to make a stop at Branson Landing to give all of us a chance to do a "little shopping". Have you ever had a very brief conversation with someone and instantly your hearts were knitted together? Well that happened that evening with a young woman named Angela. She is the Director for the Northwest District. We shared a fantastic meal together and then took off shopping. Those of you who know me, know that I am ALWAYS looking for a bargain. I told Angela that I had seen some SHOES on sale and wanted to go check them out. They were having a huge sale on Yellow Box Shoes!! She said she hadn't heard of them, so I felt the NEED to introduce her to them:) All in all we had the best time and bought some shoes (imagine that!)

Since that time Angela and I have stayed in touch. She has such a refreshing, encouraging spirit of FAITH! When she found out that I was facing treatments, she was very quick to send me encouraging messages.

One day recently when I was experiencing an "OTHER" day, I received a package in the mail from Angela. GUESS what it was!!!! YEP, a pair of YELLOW BOX SHOES. She said she chose the style because it is named "Debbie", and that she bought herself a pair also, and when she wears them she will be reminded to pray for me.

NOW, DON'T TELL ME SHOPPING IS NOT A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE!!!!!

Love you sweet Angela!

Friday, March 25, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 36 - It's All About HIM!!

Wednesday is my early day. Arrive for Radiation at 8:30, met with the Doctor and it was good news, I had only lost 1 1/2 (opposed to the near 5 pounds I had lost the week before). The doctor said I was doing well, to continue doing what I was doing, because it was working for me.
What I have been doing is TRUSTING! So, as I continue to TRUST, I want to thank you all for the prayers you are praying on my behalf daily! I am being sustained.
While they prepared me for my IV, Gary had gone out to the front desk to take care of some business, when he returned he had this crocheted hat. Volunteers bring them to the center to give to patients going through treatment. It is very warm. I felt like I had received a BIG HUG!


This round of Chemo went rather smoothly. We returned home around 3:00. I took a long nap and when I woke up, it was time for Gary to go to church and for Linda to come sit with me.
Linda has such a nurturing spirit. Among the staff, we say "Linda has a need to feed" She often prepares meals to share with others. She has been such a blessing to me on Wednesday nights. She has done more than feed me physically, she has fed my soul.

I felt good enough to go for a short walk out to the "first" bench. It was a little cool, but it felt so good to be out!

Thank you Linda for the Wednesday nights that you have cared for me, whether I felt strong enough to visit, or too weak to fully function. You have gone over and beyond your call of duty. This isn't in your "job description". It has been a ministry of the heart, that I am deeply grateful for.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 35 - TUESDAY - JUST RESTING

Well, today has been a quiet time around here. Gary has been at the church most of the day, staff meeting, etc. So, there's not a lot to report to you today.
I appreciate your prayers for tomorrow as I enter into the 6th week of treatment. God has been faithful and I am grateful for the wonderful network of people that lift me up in your daily prayers.

I am personally praying for many needs within our church family also. I continue to pray for Jim Russell, Harley Locklear, LaVerne Selstad, only to mention a few. Also we continue to pray4Gray. Go to this link so that you can know how to pray for this precious family also.

TRUSTING - DAY 34 - WORKING ON GIRLFRIENDS

I woke up feeling good after having a couple of days of rest. Here's the fun hat from DisneyWorld. Have you ever seen the T-Shirts that say "Grandpa and Grandma went to "wherever" and all I got was this T-Shirt"?
Well, Ron and Patricia went to DisneyWorld, and........
I'M REALLY HAPPY that I got this hat. Thanks!

Later in the afternoon Natashia came by so that we could go over some details concerning the upcoming EMPOWER Women's Leadership Training this coming weekend. Although I was scheduled to speak on "Big Events" I am not going to be able to make it. My voice is very limited and I still have 2 more weeks of chemo, all in all rendering me very weak.

Some of the TaskForce Ministry Team will be teaching the class for me! These Girlfriends will do an outstanding job. They have worked on all of the Big Events that we have done here at LFA.
I can't wait to hear the exciting reports from the weekend.
We are so blessed in Oklahoma, with the leadership of Michelle Pilcher.
She is leading the women across the State into new and exciting territory!
Check out the link below for more information about EMPOWER!
http://okag.org/files/Downloads/Church%20Ministries/WM_EmpowerBrochure.pdf
Tashia and I went over some details for the upcoming GIRLFRIEND'S BIRTHDAY BASH, which is scheduled for April 15. Tickets are on sale now! Get your tickets early!! I am so excited about our guest speaker, Thelma Wells. I know I say this every time, but you DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUT ON THIS EVENT.

I'm grateful to have Tashia on my team. She has been a blessing to me in so many ways during this difficult time. Thank you Tashia for attending to so many details in the office. You have gone over and beyond your "job description" and have given so much of your personal time.
What a gift. THANK YOU!





Sunday, March 20, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 33 - SUNNY WINDY SUNDAY

I was able to go to Morning Worship this morning. Of all days for me to decide to wear my wig:) The wind gusts were up to 32 mph. I have to tell you, I wondered if we would be chasing my wig through the parking lot of the church:) But it was all good! I was greeted at the church by our wonderful valet team. Jay made sure I got in safely. I was a little weak today. After being greeted by the incredible Greeter Team, the first person I got to see was Major Rhonda Williams who is home on R&R. I was so delighted to get to see her. She continues to be in my thoughts and prayers as she serves our country!

It is always so good to be with our church family.
Being with you in Worship as we enter into the presence of God, gives me strength.
Although I'm not able to hug many necks, please know that I am hugging you in my heart!
Thank you Darlene and Miweon for driving me to Mama's. I laid down for a while until the family arrived for lunch. Today, I wasn't able to eat with them, so I went on over to the house and rested. I did however eat some mashed potatoes and squash later. Thank you Mama for preparing it for me.

Gary went to the church around 5:00 to prepare to cook for the singles. Later in the evening, Ron and Patricia came by. They have been on vacation with their family in Florida. Thank you for the hat (I'll probably have to wear it tomorrow), but most of all, thank you for the prayer time that you shared with me.

I'm truly grateful for the many friends and family that continue to pray on my behalf.









Saturday, March 19, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 32 - DAY OF REST

Today has been a total day of rest. No treatment, just rest for me. It seems like the 3rd day after chemo, my energy level is a bit drained, but we got up this morning, had breakfast, got dressed and went out for a walk to the bench. Of course, while we were at the bench, Gary was looking around trying to figure out what all he wants to do to clean the area up after the winter. Lots of tree trimming, brush clean up, etc. etc. etc.

Gary went to the Chili Cook-off at the church around noon. I always encourage him to go WHEREVER food is served:) He had a good time and enjoyed all the fellowship and GREAT Chili! I hear congratulations go out to David Hubbard - The Chili Champ!!

This evening, Gary officiated at the wedding of Zac Zuspann and Whitney Horn at the Medicine Park Music Hall. He said it was a BEAUTIFUL wedding! He really enjoyed being a part of this special occasion for two very special young people.

Now he is home, I'm going to bring this to a close, because he will be joining me on the couch. We will hold hands and he will tell me all about his day..............I treasure this time of the day.
Goodnight

TRUSTING - DAY 31 - I LOVE MY BIG SISTER

Friday morning Gary attended a funeral, so Dee took me to Radiation. I was glad she could be with me and meet the wonderful "Girlfriend Radiation Techs" that take such good care of me. They showed her around and explained the process to her. She then sat in the private waiting area, reading scripture and praying over me while in treatment. I'm so grateful for all of the prayers that so many friends and family pray daily over me! Those prayers are sustaining me. After treatment we came home. It was a beautiful morning, no wind, so we went out to soak up some fresh air!!

We decided to take a stroll to the bench and I took this awesome picture of Dee.
Sitting on the bench and listening to the birds sing, the fountain in the pond splash, dogs barking, and just the fresh feel of spring is so refreshing to me. I cherish each moment on the bench, where words never have to be spoken in the quiet conversation of hearts!
I'm so blessed.

Dee had not seen me in my wig, so I put on a fashion show.

There were several errands I needed Dee to run for me before she headed back to Ardmore, so when she returned in the afternoon, I knew that her time with me was coming to a close.
I was feeling very emotional about it.

I enjoyed every moment that she was here. I have been so touched by her tender care for me. She has done laundry, cleaned house, shopped, more laundry, decorated, and more!
She has been sensitive to the quiet that I need (I think she got some good reading in also:)
As she prepared to leave, I could not stop the tears.
I love you Big Sister!

Friday, March 18, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 30 - ST. PATRICK'S DAY


Today is so much better than last Thursday. I am actually feeling stronger today. I had good rest last night and I'm having the breakfast for "champs":) Actually, it's just Malt-O-Meal. While we were sitting in the living room, the sun was coming up, shining through the living room door, casting it's beautiful rays throughout the room. Dee said when she looked up it appeared to be a rainbow over my head. I'm not one to want to take pictures early in the morning, but..........it is what it is and it was a GOOD morning!

I got ready to go for treatment and since it was St. Patrick's Day I decided to go all out with the GREEN!

Every day when I arrive at the center I am greeted with a very beautiful, bubbly smile from Alison. They went all out on the decorating for St. Patrick's Day. Even the sign in pens were light-up Shamrocks. Even on those days when I don't feel so good, I always feel the warmth and care, as soon as I
walk in the door.




After we returned from treatment, I rested and then felt like taking a walk out to the bench. Even though it isn't that far out to where my bench is located, I found that I needed a resting spot. We will probably need to put a bench at this tree for me to rest at on the way. It was a beautiful day and I was so glad to be outside!
When we arrived at the bench, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers waiting for me. I had an idea who might have put them there.............so I called my neighbor, Renee and ask if she would come out and take a picture of Dee and me on the bench. Thank you Renee for the BEAUTIFUL flowers! I will continue to enjoy them everytime I come to the bench!
It was a GOOD day! I am so grateful that my sister Dee is able to be here for a few days. Most of you know that Linda Barnes has been staying with me on Wednesday nights. This week, Linda wasn't feeling well and was home sick herself on Wednesday. Another detail that God took care of. Dee was on Spring Break and was able to come spend a few days! I'm so blessed to have such a loving, caring, sister! I'm not looking forward to her going home!When Gary got home, Dee told him about needing to move something for me to sit on halfway out to the bench. So our neighbor, Brent came and helped Gary move another bench to the halfway point:) That evening, Gary and I walked out to our new spot for watching the Sunset and was able to enjoy the sunset together. Our favorite time of day, our favorite moments spent together. WHAT A WAY TO END OUR DAY! In the glow of the Sunset, grateful for the love that Gary and I share for one another. I LOVE THIS MAN!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 29 - ROUND 5

My sister Dee came in Tuesday evening to stay with us until Friday. This is her spring break and she chose to come spend it here. We are SO GRATEFUL!

Our day started early on Wednesday - Radiation first, doctor appointment, lab and then chemo. Although it wasn't the best news concerning my weight loss, the good news was that my blood work was better this week than it was last week! Thank you Jesus! So this week, I will endeavor to put on a couple of pounds:)
While Jan was visiting the other day, I was showing her some of the beautiful gifts that I have received. One was a "Trust" cross. She ask me if I had ever seen the cross that you can clutch in your hand. She described it to me and I said, that would be great to hold onto during treatment. Instead of a stress ball "CLING TO THE CROSS". When my sister Deatra arrived later in the evening, she said she had a gift for me from my mother and daddy's next door neighbor, Linda Mackey. When I opened the gift it was the "Clinging Cross". Exactly what Jan and I had discussed earlier. WOW!!

This is the poem that went with it:

When my mind is fuzzy
And my eyes are dim with tears,
I need to feel Your presence, Lord,
And know that You are near.

When my heart is racing
And my thoughts have such a sting,
I tightly grasp this little cross and prayerfully I cling.

It's not a magic piece~
This cross Your father planned,
But when I cling to it
I feel Your nail-scarred hand. (poem by Jane Davis)

Some of my medication was changed this time during my chemo and this time I actually took a nap during treatment. Gary got a pic while I was resting with my cross.


Around 12:30 Deatra came to sit with me. Gary was able to go home and spend time in prayer and study for Wednesday night service. I miss being in service on Wednesday to hear him preach. With a little help of a few good friends, they sent me pictures of him.
I LOVE THIS MAN!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 28 - TUESDAY

Tuesday morning after treatment, we took a quick photo in front of the Leah M Fitch Center
When I got home, I needed rest. I was able to eat lunch and rest some more.
About 2:00 my girlfriend, Jan from Chickasha, came to visit. Jan and I have been friends for over 25 years.
Jan gave me a much needed back massage. After the massage, I took a nap for about an hour.
I felt refreshed when I woke up.
Thank you Jan! I love you more:)

Later in the afternoon, my next door neighbor, Anna and her granddaughter, Ronni came by for a few minutes. Ronni is such a sweet ray of sunshine.
All in all, it has been a good day.

LIFE
It isn't about waiting for the storm to pass
It's learning to dance in the rain

(this was on a magnet I received in a card)





TRUSTING - DAY 27 - MOMMA AND DADDY TIME

After a nice weekend, feeling strong Sunday, I went in for Monday morning treatment and came out a little weak. So Monday I spent a lot of time resting.

Monday afternoon around 2:00 my momma and daddy came from Ardmore to visit. It was so good to see them. My syblings and I have the most precious, Godly parents. I'm so blessed. They stayed overnight and when I got ready to go to treatment Tuesday morning they headed back home.

I know that it is difficult for momma and daddy to see me suffer. But they said "we just had to get our hands on you to love on you." I UNDERSTAND that! When my kids are hurting, I want to put my arms around them too! Isn't that a great picture of what Jesus wants to do for all of us?

Even those of you reading right now, you may be struggling with difficulties too, let Jesus wrap you up in His arms and "love on you"!

One of the cards I opened today made me cry! It read: "Life is hard sometimes, crazy, mixed-up, messed, up. And there you are, in the middle of it all, just doing your thing......being strong and brave and beautiful like it's no big deal. But let me tell you, girl, IT IS. Not everyone can do what you can do. Not everyone can handle things the way you can. While you wonder sometimes if you're doing ok....the rest of us are just watching in Wonder"

It made me realize once again, that when I am weak, HE IS STRONG!

On this day, I felt weak. But I am encouraged and I will be ready for Treatment tomorrow. I'm going to let Jesus love on me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 26 - SUNDAY

video

TRUSTING - DAY 25 - LOUNGING ON SATURDAY

Today, I knew that my Girlfriends, Amanda and Diane, would be coming from Dallas, so I wanted to get up and get around so I would be ready when they arrived. They arrived around 11:00 a.m. We enjoyed some time outside lounging and soaking in the beautiful weather. Diane and I took a stroll to the bench while Amanda went to Chick-Fil-A, (they wanted to try the new Banana Pudding Shake) and to Braums for some chocolate shakes for Gary, Mama and Me. Late in the afternoon, Amanda gave me my new "GI Jane - High & Tight" haircut:) out on the deck. Although this was a very different kind of visit, (we usually go shopping at Hobby Lobby) one thing remained the same, "in the presence of a Girlfriend unspoken words are understood."
Diane is a 7 year cancer Victor! She and Amanda have a deep understanding what the care giver experiences as well as the one in the battle! Thank you for your love and support!
They stayed over night and headed back to Dallas Sunday morning.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 24 - YOU'RE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK

Look closely at this card that my precious mom and dad sent: the bird on the top (Debbie & God) the whale (the problem). Inside: You're stronger than you think. After my day yesterday, this truly brought a smile to my heart! Today has been a good day!

This card was sent by Carolyn Wilkinson. Did you know she was an artist? I didn't! This beautiful flower is an original watercolor by Carolyn. I'm finding out all kinds of good STUFF about my Girlfriends!!
You really have a talent for this!

Every card that I receive has such special meaning to me. The timing of the cards that my precious friends and family continue to send, are such a blessing, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM. Thank you for always bringing a smile to my heart!

Gary and I took a stroll out to the bench this afternoon. The wind finally settled down so we could enjoy the outdoors. This picture is in our back yard. The weeping willows are leafing and the stream was so peaceful. Soon Cinco will be coming back to play in the "jungle". That's what he calls the weeping willows! So CUTE!

It's always a bright spot in my day when the grands come by. Cindy and Jason had a great vacation. It's nice to have everyone back home. Meg was telling me all about her latest project; decorating a tent and spending time in it with her friends. The kids are sure loving their new home and living in the "country". Papa and Neely put together a puzzle. Neely LOVES to do puzzles, and she is really very good at it. She was showing Papa how it's done:)
I'm not sure what to do, I'm not sure what to say, But one thing's for sure-I promise to pray!

What do you do when you find out that someone is battling for life?
What do you say when you don't know what to say?

Well, I can tell you. You don't have to know what to do or what to say! Knowing that I am surrounded by people that KNOW HOW TO PRAY, brings me so much peace, comfort and strength. I can truly feel your prayers.

Gary and I are headed to bed. Please know that many of you are on our hearts and in our prayers. We are praying for the families that have lost homes to fire here in Oklahoma. We are praying for the devastation in Japan. So many needs! Such a BIG GOD!

God is GOOD! God is FAITHFUL! I Thess. 5:24

TRUSTING!




Thursday, March 10, 2011

TRUSTING - DAY 23 - TRUSTING THURSDAY

I'm not going to lie to you. Today has been one of those "other" days. I went to treatment this morning, came home and went to sleep. Woke up went out on the deck and enjoyed the beautiful day! I haven't been able to eat much today. I'm working on it. As I type, right now, I am sipping on a vanilla shake. I received in the mail today this prayer: " In Challenging Times. Dear God Draw near to me as these challenges I face, Grant me faith and courage, touch me with your grace~ Let me feel your presence in all that I go through, Calm my fears with comfort for I'm safe right here with you, Amen." I have rested in that safe place today.

This afternoon, Christie came by and kept me company while Gary and Ron went to hit a few golf balls. They both needed the break! So thankful that God is taking care of my precious husband and seeing to it that his needs are met. I can't imagine this journey without having Gary by my side. He has shown me so much love and compassion.

TRUSTING - DAY 22 - CHEMO - ROUND 4 - GIRLFRIEND STRONG

It was not a WIMPY WEDNESDAY! I woke up feeling strong - in fact I felt GIRLFRIEND STRONG, so I donned my shirt and my cap as I went into my 4th round of Chemo. We arrived at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center at about 8:20. First appointment was the radiation treatment, then off to see Dr. Ziegler. I felt sure that if I had lost any weight it was minimal, because I felt strong. When I stepped up on the scales, I was so relieved. I had lost less than a pound! PTL!!! Dr. Ziegler and his nurse Jayne are wonderful! So grateful for their kind care for me.
After my appointments in radiation, I went to lab to have the screening done to make sure I am ok to take the chemo treatment. This usually takes about an hour. Then I had my appointment with Dr. Nimeh, my oncologist. He was pleased with everything and was very encouraging to me. I'm so grateful for the wonderful physicians that God has placed in my path!

Then we were off to Chemo Round #4. As I was being prepped for my IV, the front desk receptionist brought a package back to me. The bag itself was adorable! But what was in it made me cry. It was a Zebra covered heating pad with BLING on it!


We brought the heating pad that someone had brought to the church to donate to the Center. When we presented it to them, they were very appreciative. However, the Zebra one stays with me:) Again, I don't know who brought the gift. But it had a Godly Girlfriends
fingerprint all over it.
I'm telling you, my GIRLFRIENDS ROCK!


I took Alicia Britt Chole's book with me called Conversations. WOW!!!
I will be featuring one of the chapter's in the next G-Life. Alicia will be our guest for the August Girlfriends Event. I also needed to go over the final paperwork for Thelma Wells! I am so excited about the April 15 Girlfriends Birthday Bash. Plans are in full swing! The Girlfriends Ministry Team are getting prepared for a GREAT TIME WITH THE GIRLFRIENDS! Tickets have already gone on sale. Get your ticket early!
We didn't finish treatment this time until 5:00 p.m. I was exhausted when I got home. Girlfriend, Linda arrived about 6:00 p.m. She and Pastor gave me a card that really did make me laugh! The front says: "Some guys are convinced they can fix anything with duct tape. (Inside) Sometimes it's best to leave the fixin to the professionals. You just rest up and feel better soon." They said the card really should have had Gary's name on it, because we all know how much Gary loves duct tape:)

The rest of the evening was a pretty shaky one. I was glad to have Linda with me, although I argued that she should be at the Victory Celebration (our churches business meeting). I'm so thankful for Pastor Don and Linda. They are not only our Pastors, but they are our treasured friends. Thank you for being servants after God's own heart. I'm so blessed by you!