Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A night at Abuelo's



There are no other words to say except Thank you to all who showed up at lunch, dinner, carry out, and through cash donations.

We could not do this with out all of you! We love all of you.

Blessings,
The Lothrop family

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day!

 
Alright, well we actually had all twenty Lothrops together for Christmas for the first time since, well, no one can remember if we have ever had everyone together for Christmas! We have an awful lot to be thankful for. My brother Dave and his family drove up from Orlando.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We are home from our unexpected three day stay in the hospital. Elizabeth is feeling better but by no means great. Her headaches are do-able and we are trying hard to keep the nausea under control.
We are very thankful to be at home and hope to stay here until Tues., when we are off to clinic for her IT MTX (chemo in the spine,) and her Vincristine chemo. The nice thing about the hospital is that she has every drug to make her comfortable at her disposal but at home we are limited as to what we can give her and she suffers more.

Her thoughts on life are changing, growing, and sounding more like a person who has experienced life and is reflecting on it. She is definitely more wise than I am at 45. It would be wonderful to have that kind of insight about life and know what is truly important. I admire Elizabeth more and more each day. Just watching what she has to endure to survive inspires me. If I could take her pain and cancer away and carry it myself I would. I swear, I will never complain about feeling sick again and if I do, you have the right to remind me of the statement I just made.

There is nothing more important then your health and the health of your family. May God grant you Health this Christmas season and beyond.

Blessings to all,
Christine

Merry Christmas!

Written on the wall of Saint Benedict's Monastery...
I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly God was speaking, "My name is 'I am.'"
I waited. God continued, "When you live in the past, with it's mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not 'I was.'
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears,it is hard. I am not there. My name is not 'I will be.'
When you live in the moment, it is not hard. I am here.
"My name is,'I am.'"

"Be sure of this-that I am with you always..."
John 16:32

His presence
Is the present
That means everything!


Merry Christmas from that Lothrop family!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Liz's attempt to get you to give blood tomorrow!

For anyone who is wavering on whether or not to give blood tomorrow, Liz thought she could intimidate you with her overall size and girth!
Coincidentally, Liz has received FIVE pints of blood in the last two days!!!

"ME" of little Faith!

It just occurred to me this morning... yesterday, when Liz was experiencing these headaches beyond anything I could imagine, that i cried out, I quickly tapped into the elders and pastors of our church to pray for Liz, to bring these headaches to an end. The doctors at Children's knew that if these headaches persisted that it would be important to rule out bleeding on Lizzy's brain. I am very happy to share with you this morning that Liz has had a very comfortable evening and nights sleep. Those horrible headaches went away!
So was it the fluids they gave Liz? The medicine to settle her stomach? The Tylenol? We were already giving her Tylenol at home...
Then it occurred to me, wow, how quick I was to enlist everyone to pray for Liz, yet when Liz suddenly was feeling better I wasn't nearly as quick to thank God for answered prayer!
That is unfortunately how I often operate, quick to enlist God's help and not as quick to recognize answered prayer.
So this morning I praise you God for answered prayer!
I thank you for putting up with me when I fail to recognize how you are moving through this whole experience.
Thank you for Liz's health, the people at Children's hospital, all of our friends that continue to pray for, and support Liz.
You are an awesome God! I give thanks and praise to you! Randy

...said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:23-24

Blood Drive Tomorrow!

Good morning all! Our blood drive tomorrow could not come at a better time. As I write this to you Liz is receiving a blood transfusion.
Someone graciously donated the blood that Liz is receiving with no idea who the recipient would be, that's the Christmas spirit!
Last I heard, we had well over 60 people signed up, that is awesome...sure would be nice if we had another 20 donors!
Call Dan to set up an appointment at our church, Wellspring, right beside Lakota East High School. Here is some of the info:
What: Hoxworth Replace Blood Drive for Liz Lothrop
When: 12:00 - 6:00PM Tuesday December 23
Where: WellSpring Community Church - Worship Center "The Bubble"
Address: 7689 Bethany Rd, Liberty Township - Just East of the Lakota East
Freshman Bd at the intersection of Bethany and I-75 overpass.
Contact: Dan Reed 309-9117 for any questions
Who: Anyone who is 16 (with parental consent) or older
Capacity: Hoxworth is bringing alot of equipment. We will be able to provide spaces for over 100 donors throughout the afternoon. We will be able to do Platelets and Plasma in addition to regular donations. No need to decide on which you want to give until you arrive.
Scheduling: Every 15 minutes from Noon to 6 PM. Call to schedule a time 309-9117
Food: Eat and drink before coming. No caffeine please.
FREE T-SHIRTS for every donor. We will also sign a T-shirt for Liz during the day so it can be presented to her after the drive!
Children 17 and over can donate.
Children who are 16 can donate with a Parental Consent form.
You must weigh at least 110 lbs..
Donors do not need to be a match to Lizzy's blood type (although I hear she is a universal recipient!).
Donors who want to check on whether they can donate based on any medication they are taking (aspirin, ibuprofen, heart, blood pressure, diabetes, recent operations, etc can call Hoxworth at 513-558-1304 prior to making an appointment.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unexpected hospital stay

Well, we left for Children's this morning around 10:00 am after an eventful three days. Elizabeth has had a headache for the past three and a half days accompanied with nausea. She started vomiting very early this morning and her headache increased.

In the ER the doctor was ordered by her oncologist to do several blood draws to check all her blood counts (CBC,) kidney, bladder, enzymes, electrolytes etc....Not to our surprise, her platelets had dropped to 47,000 and her HGB (hemoglobin,) oxygen in her blood, had dropped by almost three points to 8.5. She has been admitted and will receive a blood transfusion with possible platelets ordered for tomorrow. They are hoping that once she receives her blood, her platelets will go up on their own. If her headache persists, they will do a CAT scan to rule out any type of brain bleed. Brain bleeds are rare but do occur.

Please continue to pray for the side effects of her chemo to be minimal, that she does not have any type of brain bleed, that she has a good nights rest, and we all stay healthy.

May God continue to bless all of you as he continues to bless us and shower us in peace.

Blessings,
Randy and Christine

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


Wow, what a wonderful way to show your love and support for Elizabeth, the Lothrop's, and for the awareness of Leukemia. I can not even begin to explain how it felt for our family to walk into Abuelo's Tuesday night and see so many of our family and friends out to support us. Sometimes, while in the hospital, waiting for the next doctor, nurse, health care worker, therapist, phlebotomist, or whom ever to walk through the door, it could feel very lonely and scary at times. Please know from the depths our our hearts how much Tuesday has rejuvenated our spirits.

A special thank you goes out to Mike Fatzinger, General Manager of Abuelo's and Karen Turner, a sixth grade teacher on Team Success at Mason Intermediate for making this wonderful fundraiser happen. Mike is also a cancer survivor and felt it was his time to give back. Thank you for making such an investment in my family and bringing more awareness in the field of Leukemia.
We realize that there were many people who were out to support us at lunch, through carry out, and dinner before 7:00 pm, when we arrived; we just want you to know that we are very thankful for each and every one of you and you have made a difference in the life of Elizabeth.
Our day began with our weekly visit to the clinic on the 5Th floor of Children's Hospital. Elizabeth received her ARA-c, chemo through an IV. We were then transported to 3rd floor building B for surgery to put in her port. This is placed above her breast on the left side. When the surgeon was finished, Dr. Absolon, her Oncologist, came over to finish up by doing the IT MTX, chemo in the spine. The entire procedure took about one hour. We left the hospital at 6:15 pm and made it to Abuelo's at 7:00 pm to celebrate and support Elizabeth. I kept whispering in her ear "Abuelo's" while she was waking up and telling her everyone was waiting. It was really important for Elizabeth to make it to Abuelo's and see everyone. Thank God she felt well enough to make it to the fundraiser.
We have survived our first week of me giving Elizabeth her chemo. It is not as hard as what I thought it would be. It is just a bit daunting when you allow yourself to think and understand what it is you are giving your child. I use to panic giving them Motrin or Tylenol and now I am giving chemotherapy. Elizabeth has had a semi rough week. Her body does not like the ARA-c that I have to give her; it causes Liz to have bad headaches. She is now off of it for two weeks and we could not be happier.
Our family wish is that all of you have a very blessed Christmas and a wonderful, safe, and healthy New Year and that God will continue to watch over your family and ours.

Blessings,
The Lothrop family

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Relay for LIFE !


Hey Everyone!

If you didn't already know, I have recently joined the Relay for Life team at the University of Cincinnati with the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life is a huge event that we put on around the end of April and it raises a lot of money for cancer research as well as lifts up the strength of cancer surviors. The motto for this event is “Relay For Life Represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.” They have asked me to be the chair of the Luminaria service for this event and I am happily taking on the responsibility. If you are wondering what this service is, it is the night of the event where everyone lights a candle with someone's name written on it around the track on campus. This is not just for college students! We want as many people as possible to come and to be involved! I have a favor to ask from all of you. Along with this service, they are thinking that they would like a slideshow to be playing all day with cancer survivors pictures and their favorite quotes/stories, and they have asked me to help with that as well. Sadly, I am sure that almost all of you know someone who has had some type of cancer or is still fighting. I ask that you send me a picture of them along with their favorite quote so that I can start to gather these things. We have not had a meeting yet so I don't know for sure if I need their names or the type of cancer they had so you can go ahead and tell me that as well just in case. Also, please pass the message on along with my email address! (Catherineclothrop@hotmail.com) These don't need to be people I know or know through you, I just need as many as I can get becuase we are celebrating their strength! And we are celebrating that one day cancer will be eliminated! Thank you all so much for your help and I am looking forward to getting this started!

Cat

*Be sure to send me these pictures knowing that they will be put on a public slideshow on campus during this event on April 24, 2009

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hope!


Well it has been about a month and half now since Liz's diagnosis. We are spending more time at home than we are in the hospital and Christine is administering most of the chemotherapy drugs to Liz from home(I know she never thought she would be doing that in a lifetime).

It has given me some time to start to reflect as we continue, day by day, in our new reality. As I look back on our first month I think of the HOPE that was so prevalent in Liz, Cathy, Jim, Christine and I. If you are a parent I think you will really be able to relate to this...
How many times have my wishes and dreams and my prayers for my children been hidden beneath my breath?
We all HOPE for the best, right?
What is hope? To want? To desire? To expect that what's envisioned may indeed happen? YES to all the above. Is hope the gut feeling that it's worth holding out and hanging on for just a little longer?
ABSOLUTELY.
Is hope the core of our being?
CERTAINLY.
Can you have hope without faith and humility and wonder?
THAT WOULD BE PRETTY TOUGH.
Just the thought that there's something bigger, something truer, something totally surprising out there waiting for us is...
PRICELESS.
What would we be without hope growing deep in our bones, thriving in every inch of us?
NOTHING.
What does it take for us to have hope?
EVERYTHING
Hope takes never ceasing to be amazed...
Wearing your soul on your sleeve...
Holding your breath, waiting to hear Gods still small voice...
Believing that tomorrow could be better than today...
that you will get a second chance...
that you'll make a difference...
that you matter...
I am well familar with the pharse, "Faith, Hope, and Love... yet "hope" has taken on a whole new meaning for us.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.(Romans 15:13)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blood Drive in honor of Liz!

We have no idea who the donors have been, but we do know that their selfless giving has saved Lizzy's life! She has had more blood transfusions over the past month and a half than I can remember. Will you join us in giving back to Hoxworth this Christmas season! You too can save a life!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Prayers for Claire Pope and Dr. Jen Pope

Hello everyone,
I just wanted you to know that I gave Elizabeth her first dose of chemo. It was SCARY!!!! The important thing is we both survived the experience, thank God.
Elizabeth and I ask you to join in our prayers for her doctor, Dr. Jen Pope, who gave birth to her first baby, Claire Pope, yesterday. Claire came into this world premature at 3.12 pounds. She is at University Hospital and doing as well as any baby at 3.12 pounds. We ask that you pray for the health of Claire and the strength of this family. We obviously admire Dr. Pope, not just due to the fact that she is one of Elizabeth's primary doctors, but because so much of her time and energy is devoted to helping and saving the lives of children, some you do not know and some you do...like Elizabeth.

Father, we pray for your protection, peace, strength, and love upon the Pope family. Let them feel your serenity upon them in a time that could be a time of trial for them.
In Christ's name we ask this....................Elizabeth and Christine

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lizzy's counts were high enough Saturday night for a walk down the snow covered streets in our neighborhood!

Can you say, "Abuelo's"!

Just double click on the flyer and then choose print to get a copy.
Good morning everyone! Well our first night in the Consolidation Phase was a success. Elizabeth had no adverse reactions to any of the chemo so far. I know God's hand is upon Elizabeth, her wonderful doctors, nurses, pharmacists,.......and the list goes on. There are so may wonderful, gifted people working with Elizabeth; they have been entrusted with such an enormous gift, the gift of healing and curing and letting go of the ones that they can not heal. I thank God for them and their responsibility to do what the Lord intended for them to do with their gifts. Okay, I know I am babbling but I just can not find the right way or words to express my gratitude and love I feel for each and everyone of them.

We should be allowed to go home later this evening. We had a little goof-up on one of her meds, 6-mercaptopurine or better known to me as 6-MP; but if you want to regal everyone with your vocabulary...go right ahead and use the biggie, I will stick with 6-MP. I guess you can not have any food an hour before hand or take with milk, well unaware of this we were enjoying a movie with popcorn, if you consider a great movie watching Dr. G the Medical Examiner a movie. Yuck! what we don't do for our children....although it is a good diet plan women, I did not finish the popcorn! We ended up getting it at 11:45 pm and she takes this one roughly every 24 hours.

Elizabeth has several new chemo drugs this round. Cyclophosphamide (cytoxan) given day 1 (Dec/9) and day 29 (Jan/06), these are her two admit days into the hospital after her clinic visit. These stays will last about 1-2 days the chemo is given through her IV which takes about 30 minutes. Please pray for the common side effects which are: hair loss, tiredness, nasal stuffiness and congestion, loss of appetite, swelling of hands/feet, sore throat/mouth or difficulty swallowing.

The second drug is Cytarabine (ARA-C). This is given through her IV as well and takes about 5 minutes to give. Liz will receive ARA-C on day 1-4 (Dec/9 - Dec/12), 8-11 (Dec/16 - Dec/19), 29-32 (Jan/06 - Jan/09), 36-39 (Jan/13 - Jan/16). The side effects to pray for are as follows: hair loss, tiredness, loss of appetite, sore throat/mouth or difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, and tingling or numbness

Drug number three is Mercaptopurine (6-MP). Liz will receive this drug orally on days 1-14 (Dec/9 - Dec/22), 29-42 (Jan/6 - Jan/19). The side effects to pray for are: soreness in the mouth or throat, loss of appetite, and nausea.

Liz will remain on a few of the chemo drugs she had in the Introduction Phase like PEG-asparaginase, Vincristine, and Intrathecal Mexthotrexate (chemo in the spine). the combined side effects of these three drugs to pray for are: nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, drowsiness, soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site, increased thirst, appetite, or urination, hair loss, muscle aches, swelling of the lower legs and feet, spinal headaches and brain bleeds.

Every Tuesday for the next four weeks Elizabeth with receive the Intrathecal Mexthotrexate. She will receive the Peg shot Dec. 23 and Jan. 20, and Vincristine on Dec. 23, 30, Jan 20, 27.

All of the dates are subject to change if Elizabeth gets a fever, cold, cough, even a runny nose this delays her treatment so please if you think you are sick, you are sick and please visit her when you know you are well. Two plus years is a long time for treatment and any delay just prolongs the treatment time

I know I have given out a lot of information and not nearly as well as Deb, but now you know how overwhelmed and ignorant I can feel at times. Just thought I would let you into my world ;-) You know what though, I would not change a thing because through adversity I grow more than any another time in my life and I can not wait to see the changes God has in-store for me.

I have been overwhelmed, in a good way, as to how many people Elizabeth has touched. She was a fighter when I carried her for nine months and she will continue to be a fighter and now a survivor.

May our Lord touch your lives as he is definitely touching ours.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lizzy will begin Day 1 of Consolidaiton tomorrow, December 9th! The Lothrops got great news today...Lizzy's ANC is 1,653!! It has to be 750 to get chemo. Lizzy's other counts were good as well...hemoglobin, platelets, white blood cells...all going up-up-up! Of course, we can expect them to go back down in response to the chemo, but the fact that presently they are going in the right direction is very good and encouraging news!

(By the way, I continue to be amazed at what we now term "Great news"...
"Great news....Lizzy gets to get more high dose chemo!"....That perspective causes me to pause / ponder....)

Anyway, Day 1...Lizzy will be at the hospital at 6:45 to recieve IT chemotherapy (IT = Intrathecal = spinal). Then she will be admitted for more high dose chemo, and will be expected to be inpatient for 2-4 days. Christine is hoping/praying for 2! The plan is then for Lizzy to go inpatient on Day 29...which I think is December 30th (?).

The wonderful news is that, with this schedule, Lizzy may very well be home for Christmas! Of course, the variables are fever, low-low counts, bleeding...then she will need to back to inpatient right away. But for now, the plan and prayer is that Lizzy would not experience any of these, or any other unfavorable variables. The term "Have Christmas Tree...will travel" will be a mute point!!!

In between Day 1 and Day 29, Lizzy will be going to the clinic to get chemo on an outpatient basis. She will also continue to have her counts monitored very carefully.

Regarding visiting: Christine asks that you call first. They are not sure how Lizzy will react to the new chemo, but it is very strong so at the very least she will be tired. The meds they will give her to fight the nauseau will also make her tired...but better sleeping than sick! Although Lizzy really wants to see her friends, Christine asks us to realize that Lizzy will put on a smile and push through if she has company. So, please make sure to check with Christine before you visit. (Christine's cell is 349-5966).

In Psalm 139: 13-16, David is speaking to The Lord. He represents Truth for all of us as he speaks to God:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well! My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together - your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

"All the days?" I ask myself...ALL my days were ordained for me? How can that be so when there is such pain, and grief? I do not pretend to understand...but I do know that God is very real and very close...all the time. I try to remember that David had many ups and downs...grief, angst, fear...and he was able to be very real with God. He models for us. He praises God, gives thanks, laments, complains, crys, expresses fear, celebrates....he models for us how to come to a very real, caring, loving, safe God.

As I remind myself, I wanted to reach out to you...God is on the mountain top, and in the valley, and on the paths in between...we are not, nor will we ever be, alone!

The sad part comes though, when we forget to go back to God to acknowledge Him and give thanks. Often, even in Jesus' time...people would receive a gift / blessing, and off they would go. Rarely did people consider to stop to say "Thank you." We need to understand that we can cry out to God in the hard/impossible times...but just as important...maybe even more so...is to remember to say "Thank You Lord!"

Thank you for Lizzy's counts going up, Thank you for consolidation, Thank you for Jimmy feeling better, Thank you for the benefit dinner on the 16th, Thank you for the staff and Drs. at Children's Hospital, Thank you for all the people who have paved the way for Lizzy to recieve the amazing medical treatment she is recieving...Thank you...Thank you...Thank you for_____________!

Please remember the new Delayed Hug Strategy: 1) Get a flu shot, 2) Wash your hands with the soap just inside the door at the Lothrop home, and at the hospital, 3) Wear a mask 4) {{{{Hugs!}}}

Tuesday is Lizzy Orange Day - Walmart has a new shipment of orange finger nail polish!

Mama Bear Doctor Christine, AKA Bouncer, sends Thanks and appreciation on behalf of Lizzy and their family!

Thank you for praying...
All the thanks as noted above, as well as:
That Lizzy would respond well the consolidation, That Christine would feel better (sniffles), That Lizzy would have minimal side effects, That Lizzy will only to stay in the hospital 2 days this time, And that Lizzy will be home for Christmas!

Pls join us for the benefit for Lizzy on December 16th...Randy has it noted in a previous blog. What a gift!

Lord, thank you for the Lothrops inviting us to join them on this journey. Thank you that they are real and transparent. Thank you for this community that surrounds them in love, prayer and encouragements. Thank you for Lizzy...she is an amazing reflection of your love!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

From our friends up north!!!

Wanted to share an e-mail from dear friends. They live in Canada, we in the U.S. But when it comes to family time we know eachother well!
Hi Randy & Christine,
We were so THRILLED to hear that Lizzy got to come home for Thanksgiving and be with family! Praise God for this blessing! How nice for all of you to be together in your own home sharing a meal, something that we all take for granted when life is somewhat 'normal'. It's in these little blessings that remind us that God loves us & provides, He's always with us and directs our path..
We LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH and we are walking this path with you as so many friends and family are. Know that you are not alone in this and that others LOVE and CARE deeply for Lizzy and your family. It is clearly evident how your family is continually touching so many lives while you walk this path. Each day we read Lizzy's blog we can see how God is working through her and your family.... her incredibly strong spirit, faith and determination, the outpouring of love from family & friends, the testimonies of faith from friends & strangers....Your family is a living testimony of God's love.. as hard and difficult as this is to understand, and probably the most difficult experience you will ever go through, your family is a blessing to many lives!
Our family in particular have been awakened to a renewed sense of gratitude and mindfulness of God's love and provision. While we live our busy filled lives and time marches on, we as Christians often can easily fall into a 'slump of faith' and get down on ourselves when we find times tough & challenging. God, through Lizzy and your family have given us a much needed jolt of mindfulness and gratitude. We continue to be blessed by your family and we Grieses' sure love and appreciate you and are thankful for you being in our lives. God has blessed us in bringing our families together to share some great times and we continue to look forward in sharing life together. When we talk about your family, all of our family have smiles on our faces, that's truly a God thing! (Randy, you coined that phrase :)
As hard as it must be for you to understand why you are walking this path, take comfort knowing you are not alone, we and others are walking it with you with God by your side, leading the way...keep believing and trusting Him and He will provide the strength and peace that passes all understanding. God is love. You are love and are loved.
Our prayer for beautiful Lizzy and your family is to continue to stay strong in faith and hope, continuing to be thankful for His provisions, trusting God unconditonally for His love and healing.
Stay strong.
Believe.
We love you all & miss you.
Yours because His,
Karen & Jamie & family
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Praise you in this storm!

Wanted to share a song that I think many of you have heard. The lyrics really have resonated with me. My hope is that they will with you also. We all have "storms" in our lives, many of us are in the middle of one right now! I guess when things "happen" that make life tough we all have a choice. My hope and prayer is that I too can "praise Him in this storm". I know when I do His will seems clearer than ever. And His light shines in ways I couldn't even imagine! Praise God! Randy

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Can you say, "Abuelo's" December 16th?

I would like to share an e-mail Christine and I received last week:

Randy & Christine:
PRAISE GOD! I'm so glad you are all back home for Thanksgiving. What a miracle! Have a wonderful time and get some much-needed rest.
My next-door neighbor, Mike Fatzinger, is the general manager of Abuelo's restaurant in Mason (Deerfield Towne Centre.) He is also a lymphoma SURVIVOR!!! He would really like to host a night for Lizzy in which 20% of all the checks go to your family for whatever needs you may have (medical bills, room renovation, etc.) Please let me know if you would be okay with me coordinating this with him. I could disperse flyer's to Mason Schools, Sycamore Schools, your church, etc. You wouldn't have to do a thing. You wouldn't even have to show up if it wasn't a convenient time. I would just ask people to wear orange and mention Lizzy's name so their check would be attributed to the fund for Lizzy. Please let me know either way. If this is something you aren't comfortable with, I understand. No pressure at all :).
Have a GREAT day.
Karen

We would be honored and humbled to have an evening hosted for Liz. Sounds to me like an awesome opportunity to celebrate how well Liz has responded to the chemo thus far and how thankful Christine and I are for the support and prayers that we have received from you!
Blessings!
Randy & Christine

Friday, December 5, 2008



Hello everyone,

Just wanted to give everyone a quick up-date on Elizabeth. As of today, Dec. 5th, we have not been able to start the Consolidation Phase. Her ANC's have to be at 750 and they are at 630. Good news is they are on their way up! Bad news is we could not start Consolidation. The doctors are hoping that we can begin on Tues., Dec. 9th; so please pray that she continues to rise in her counts. Her Platelets, the blood clotting agent is at 204,000, right in the middle of normal, and her Hemaglobin is at 12.3; just above low end of normal.

We are encouraged by her response to the treatment and are looking forward to moving on and not delay the treatment any longer. The doctors say that that her response does not effect her outcome it just prolongs the end of treatment.

Elizabeth continues to be in the best of spirits and has a positive outlook on her future. She looks forward to seeing friends in a school setting again and just being a 14 yr old without any worries.

Please continue to pray for her counts to be high enough for this procedure, also for her procedure on the 16th when they put her port in. The port takes the place of her pick line which distributes her chemo, blood draws, and any other meds. that they give her. Also on day 29 of her protocol she must be at an ANC of 750 once again to go on to the rest of this Consolidation Phase.

There is a benefit for Elizabeth on Dec. 16th at Abuelos at Deerfeild Commons on Mason/Montgomery Road for lunch/dinner. She will receive 20% off your total dinning bill. Just mention Elizabeth Lothrop and bring in the flyer. I have not figured out how to attach it yet but I will keep trying. If not, our email is rlothrop@cinci.rr.com email us and we will send it to you. Just print it off and take it to the restaurant with you. Just a side note, the manager at Abuelos is a Lymphoma survivor and he is also a good friend of one of my friends from Mason Intermediate School, Karen Turner. Thank you Karen for making this wonderful event happen for Elizabeth.

She will receive her port on the 16th of Dec. but we plan to be at Abuelos for her celebration and Jimmy, our son's 17th birthday.

Thank you to all who fasted and prayed last week. We truly believe that God heard the prayers of his faithful followers and granted her the prayer of less than 1% blasts. Ours prayers have been answered once again and God is the true physican.

Please keep Elizabeth covered in prayers for a full and complete recovery and let God lead us one step at a time on this journey of faith, learning, surrendering and love.

Blessings to all,
Randy and Christine

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Greetings!

First, I just wanted to express my deep appreciation for our friend Deb who does an amazing job educating us on exactly what's going on so that we know what to pray for! She has a way of breaking things down so that common folk(like myself) really understand a whole new vocabulary!
I also wanted to share an e-mail from a friend who is teaching in Cambodia that student taught with me last year at Sycamore. His perspective seems to be right on!

Randy-
I realize that you probably are getting tons of emails these days, but just wanted to let you know that I checked out the blog and was encouraged and bummed out at the same time. Just sad that she is sick. My primary reaction to tragedy is to just remind myself that God is VERY aware of what is going on and that He hurts deeper and loves more than any of us (even incredible dad's like you) could.
AND, that NOTHING is more powerful than our Father, Creator, and Lord.
Sorry you are having to go through this. Glad you and your family have so many people who love you.
-Scott

Consolidation 101!

Good morning!
We can all celebrate that Lizzy is entering The Consolidation of treatment!
The goal of consolidation is to get rid of each and every teeny, tiny, minute, even undetected blast! Consolidation lasts 57 days...roughly 2 months. The difference in Consolidation -vs- Induction is that now Lizzy is off of 2 initial chemo meds and will be started on 2 new ones. And, 2 of the chemo meds will remain the same. Additionally, if I understand it right, she will be off the prednisone..so Panera may not be getting quite as much business...(Or Chipolte, or Bone Fish Grill etc...!)

Consolidation starts over with Day #1. Lizzy was to start Day # 1 today, but yesterday, after the home health nurse came to draw her blood, the Docs called to say that Lizzy's ANC was too low, so she will need to wait a week. ANC = Absolute Neutrophil Count = Good, infection fighting white blood cells. Lizzy's ANC must be 750 or higher to get chemo. (If she is in the hosptial, it has to be 500 to be discharged.) Yesterday her ANC was 360. When her ANC is low, she is much more prone to infection. The chemo is working on the bad cells (blasts), but it also hits the good cells...so this is the dance... the chemo/counts dance. It is a bit frustrating b/c just when you think you are on track...the counts can hold you back...but to be safe, Lizzy's ANC needs to be 750 or higher to get the chemo. So, waiting a week is a bummer, but not unexpected.

Additionally, if Lizzy gets a fever she will need to, immediatly, go back into inpatient for antiobiotics. This is a fine line...they thought she may have to go back in yesterday...not for chemo....but b/c her ANC was low, and she is much more prone to infection. The new buzz word we all need to be familiar with is Fever Neutropenia This refers to low counts (ANC), with a fever. It is not all bad, and can be quickly treated, but it also can be very, very serious if Lizzy gets sick, and is not able to fight infections. Thus....when her counts are low, like they are now...she may have to go back to hte hospital immediatly. And, if we go to visit her, even if she is at home....we HAVE TO WEAR A MASK! (More on that later!)

Lizzy's Platelets and hemoglobin were good yesterday! As a matter of fact, this is very, very good! When Lizzy was in the hospital, you may remember that she would get transfusion of platelets, but her platelet levels would not remain high for very long. Futher testing showed that her body was recognizing that the tranfused platelets were not her own....so her body attacked and destroyed them. The platelets are very, very important as they are the clotting factor that prevents bleeding. Now, however, Lizzy is making her own platelets!!! Her Platelet count yesterday was 175K, up from 117K when she left the hospital. Her platelet count only has to be 75K for her to proceed with the lumbar punctures. (Spinal tap)

Lizzy's hemobglobin was 12.5 yesterday. If she were in the hospital, it would need to be 8 to be discharged. The hemoglobin is what transfers the oxygen throughout the body. (Kind of an important job!!)

So, all in all, Lizzy is doing well. It is dissapointing though, that she was not able to start Consolidation today. She is now scheduled to start Day #1 on December 9th. The process for consolidaiton is Inpatient for 2-4 days every 3-4 weeks. Her Inpt. stays will start with an early morning trip to the clinic (Which is on the same floor as the oncology unit I think)....today she was to be there at 6:45.... She will get a LP (Lumbar Puncture), they will draw spinal fluid and give her chemo IT (Intrathecally = in her spine), then she will be admitted the 2 new IV chemo meds. In between LIzzy's inpatient visits, she will visit the outpatient clinic each Tuesday (And sometimes Friday)...for boht IV and IT meds. Additionally, Lizzy will also be taking meds by mouth daily, either at the hospital or at home.She will continue to be monitored closely via blood draws to check her counts....I am not sure how often, but my guess is daily either at the hosptial, or a Children's outpatient satellite (Mason?), or with the home health nurse.

As I talked to Christine yesterday, she mentioned that this routine in now the "new normal." She said she has their bags packed and ready to go inpatient on the drop of a dime. If Lizzy gets a fever, or her counts get too low, or she has a big nose bleed etc...off they go to Childrens. Christine also mentioned that she believes with Consolidation being pushed back a week, that Lizzy will now probably be in the hospital on Christmas. December's slogan is "Have Christmas Tree...Will Travel!!!" Of course, this is not what anyone would want, yet, the Lothrops have a peaceful / "Can do" attitude!

Alhough I have a little more I would like to share with you, I will close with this declaration from Christine aka: Mama Doctor Bear...
aka: BOUNCER! There is a new slogan in the Lothrop home...a new strategy....it is called THE DELAYED HUG STRATEGY! It goes like this....1) Get a flu shot, 2) Wash you hands IMMEDIATLEY upon entering the Lothrops home, or hospital room (There is hand sanitizer just inside the door both at home and at the hospital) 3) Put on a mask 4) Give Lizzy a huge {{{HUG!}}}!!! Additionally, if you have been around anyone sick at all, in any way....pls. do not visit....home or in the hospital...virtual hugs are good....but not in person. Espeically now, winter, flu season... we are all around lots of people...we are all suseptible to those bugs....lets purpose NOT to bring any of it into the Lothrop home! All of this is SO important as you never know where Lizzy's counts will be one day to the next...

Thank you for your prayers and acts of love and practical support!
Christine is concerned b/c Lizzy is so beautiful and vibrant on the outside, yet a raging unseen battle is happening on the inside. Let us not be fooled, or passive. Please coninue to pray unceasingly for Lizzy's continued healing and protection. I told Christine yesterday that when I think of Lizzy throughout the day, I pray...and I just automatically wash my hands...!!!Image Blocked

Lets' Keep praying....
Thank God for Lizzy's increased platelets and hemoglobin.
Thank him for a wonderful Thanksgiving at home.
Thank him for the meals, and acts of love and kindness extended to the Lothrops.
Thank Him that Christine can be home with Lizzy!
Pray for:
Increased protection from infection
That Lizzy will be able to start Consolidation on Tuesday the 9th.
That Lizzy's platelets and hemoglobin will continue to hold, and that her ANC will come up.
Continued Peace that passes understanding...

Thank you for your encouragement as you join the Lothrops on this journey

Deb

PS - Orange is THE "New black" on Tuesdays!!
PSS - Mama Doctor Bear...aka: THE BOUNCER asks you to strictly adhere to the new DELAYED HUG STRATEGY...or risk being ejected...!
She is a Mom... we need to consider ourselves duly warned!!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A beautiful day!

Difficult to express in words what this weekend has been like for us! We have throughly enjoyed having our entire family home for thanksgiving weekend. We have alot to be thankful for!
Lizzy's new room, which has been created to be a safe haven for when her ANC's are low is complete! Hardwood floors, air purifier, no tables left unturned! We are ready for round two, Consolidation! The purpose of consolidation therapy is to kill any remaining leukemia. Consolidation therapy starts tuesday morning and lasts about 57 days. We are expected to be at Childrens for the first 2-4 days after the chemo Liz receives Tuesday morning.
Christine and I are SO thankful for the prayer support that you all have provided for us. It is SO evident, God has blessed us with your care.
Your cards, meals, comments on the blog, emails have supported us, lifted us up everyday! The night we came home our neighbors even had our neighborhood lit up with luminaries, it brought us to tears. Liz is refueled and ready to go!
I wanted to leave you tonight with a verse that a friend of Christine shared with her that really moves me. Hope it resonates with you as well.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ANC's!!!

ANC's are something that we will be very tuned into these days. ANC is the real or actual number of white blood cells that a patient has to fight an infection. White blood cells are the part of the patients blood that work against possible bacteria, fungus, or viruses that may make the patient sick. A normal ANC is greater than 2,500. A safe ANC is greater than 1,000. After chemotherapy, a patient's ANC may drop low as 0. When the ANC drops below 500 , it is important that patient's remain away from crowds and people who have colds, flu, or runny noses. If a patients is in the hospital with ANC below 500, he will be placed in protective isolation (how we spent most of the last month). This is to protect the patient from being exposed to possible infections. Well...We are pleased to say that Liz was well above 600 when we left the hospital! She spent most of the last month at zero!!! Those numbers provided a whole lot of normalcy for her yeserday! Her friend Emma Harvey came over in the morning and they "hungout". Then she went to the movies with her sister Cathy. Liz then spent most of the afternoon with her brother and friend Andy out shopping and finishing with a little Subway! Interesting side note...both Cathy and Jim had very strict orders from their mom that they were not allowed to go anywhere where there were crowds so... Cathy and Liz choose a movie that no one else went to and Jim and Andy scouted out stores in the afternoon time where few people were shopping(a difficult thing to do yesterday!)and finished with a vacant Subway. I think they were perpard to "boxout" anyone that got within 10' of Liz! Haha

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's for real, we are home for thanksgiving!

Words cannot even express what Christine and I felt when doctors Jen Pope & Trent Hummel walked into are room at 1:45PM this afternoon to tell us to pack up our bags and go home for thanksgiving! Tears filled our eyes and streamed down our face, we hugged. The very thought of going home was for me the furthest thing from my mind!
I am writing you now from home! My youngest daughter is upstairs sleeping in her own bed! God has blessed the Lothrop family in so many ways! Your support and prayers have impacted us in ways that you will never comprehend, we are truly grateful. Everywhere we look we see God's ever present love, compassion and faithfulness and He shines through each of you!
Tonight, on the eve of Thanksgiving we have so much to be thankful for! I do firmly believe that God uses all things for good. One of my prayers has been that Liz and her diagnosis might somehow impact others to draw them closer to our Father and maker. I'd like to close this evening with an e-mail that I received this week. It does not need an introduction.

Randy,
I just thought I would let you know that I start my day almost every morning reading The Glitter Girl Liz blog.
I know, I am one of the 4600+ who have visited this site which is AMAZING, but let me share one intimate detail relative to my daily visit.

I want you to know as a 32-year old father of two, who has recently accepted Christ (in September) & who is currently going through a very challenging personal time (no need to explain now), I have found inspiration in your daughter Liz & the rest of your family. THANK YOU. Amongst the many personal matters I pray about each night, I pray for Lizzy's continued strength & recovery. She is amazing & has made a huge impact on my life.

God bless you Coach, your family & Lizzy,
Adam

P.S. And, I am taking my girls to father-daughter camp someday... I can not wait!
Hi all!!

I received a call from Randy's dad, Mr. Lothrop just a bit ago. He called to let us know that LIZZY WENT HOME TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

According to Mr. Lothrop, yesterday's report on the blasts were the preliminary findings. The final results came back today, and Lizzy's blasts are <1%!!!! (Guess those preliminary results aren't always what they're cracked up to be!)

We believe that means Lizzy will not have to have those 2 extra weeks of Induction Chemo therapy, and that she can go into the next phase which is Consolidation. My understanding is that Consolidation is when Lizzy will be inpatient for 3-4 days every 4 weeks or so.

I will update you with details as soon as I get them!

Philippians 4:4-11
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord IS near! Be anxious about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the Plans I have for you," delcares the Lord,plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity."

Thank you for your faithful prayers and friendship for Lizzy and the Lothrop family.
Let's keep praying, offering that "sacrifice" of praise, and thanking God for his perfect timing. (Even when things are hard!)

As Christine's mom said: "Have Turkey will travel!"....I'm thinking that means travel right over to Mason Ohio for Thanksgiving with Lizzy and her family! Thank you Lord!

Perfect song choice Sami!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday update

I talked to Christine briefly this evening. The Drs. gave Lizzy a 4 hour pass, so she is going home to see her dog, house..etc...and then to Bone Fish Grill. Her ANC was good (The white blood cells that help fight infection), so the Drs. said this would be a good time to take a breather.

I am sure you have heard by now that Lizzy was not at zero today. Of course, the Lothops are dissapointed. Christine called me just a bit ago b/c she knew I was on my way down to the hopital... Except she wasn't there....and neither was Lizzy! Christine said she is on a strict restriciton for the next 4 hours to not talk about Lizzy's counts / treatment....etc... Apparently, Lizzy drew the line!

Chrisitine will call later, and I will make sure to update you on the follow-up details.

As we know, there is a provisional avenue for Plan B. Lizzy is still on Plan B, just for 2 weeks longer...which is a real bummer, but not a total change in plans.

We can all take comfort in the fact that we, nor Lizzy, nor The Lothrops are alone. God is, and will continue to be ever-present. He will carry us all through this valley, especially Lizzy and her famly. When I first started started on my journey with The Lord, I was confused at why it says in the Psalms to offer God "The sacrifice of praise..." Over the years I have come to understand that praising God can indeed feel like a sacrifice. Especially when things are hard.

Yet, let us join the Lothrops in knowing that, although this is hard...God IS good. We can offer Him the sacrifice of praise.
I encourage you to sing song of praise to God, even if it is just "Jesus Loves Me." (Or, Jesus Loves Liz!) God wants our hearts. He is big enough to take our grief and pain and confusion. We can be who we are / however we are with God. He is a God of peace and comfort.

And for those of us who fasted, or tried to fast....take comfort...God knows our hearts, that is the very most important!

Pray -
Offer the sacrifice of Praise!

More later!

Deb

Leave No Doubt!!!

This will be our theme over the next two weeks. Doctors are not certain that they have killed all the cancer cells in Liz's bone marrow so they will most likely extend this initial high dose chemotherapy for an additional two weeks. Liz will then have another bone marrow aspiration at that time.
Fight the good fight Liz, LEAVE NO DOUBT!!!

Cut and paste the address below!

http://www.fox19.com/Global/category.asp?C=144288&nav=menu63_2_4_3

Monday, November 24, 2008

Awesome email from a former student of mine & some pictures from Kings JH! Girls that Liz played basketball against and soccer with organized the day!


Hi Mr. Lothrop! (and family)

I received word about Liz's diagnosis from Lauren Goedde. She forwarded me the e-mail that your neighbors sent out. I was heartbroken when I heard the news. I wondered how something so tragic could happen to someone so healthy and active. I meant to send an e-mail at the time, but honestly I didn't know exactly what to say. I tried thinking of the right thing to say, but I know there isn't really anything I could say to make things better. I just wanted to let you know that I think about and pray for Lizzy and your family every night.

I just spent the past hour or so reading the blog,looking at all the pictures and slide shows, crying, and smiling. I realized that I still hadn't sent an e-mail and felt awful about it. I know I have never met your daughter, but from reading everything and seeing the pictures, I can tell that she is such a positive, cheerful, strong, brave girl. I know that her amazing personality and outlook on life is helping her through this and will only make things better. It's so great to hear that she is able to keep such a positive attitude and see the glass half full through all of this. I don't know if I would be able to do the same. I also know that she has a wonderful family there for her to love and support her. I couldn't think of any other dad who would be better in a situation like this. You were always so encouraging, positive, and helpful in math class. And as important as Algebra 2 and Pre-Calc are in life (ccccllllllearly extremely important), this is much bigger than that. You taught us to SLAC(solve like a champ) and GIDLAC(get it done like a champ) and I know you are helping her do many things LAC.

It is really amazing to see all the support that Liz and your family is receiving. From reading the blog, I can tell that everyone from your closest friends and family to people you have never met in your life are thinking of Liz. I am sure all of that support is helping everyone stay positive. I can't even imagine what it must be like going through something like this, but I know your family will get through it together. It really makes me reevaluate "tough situations" in my life when I think about things like this.

I am glad to hear that Lizzy is doing pretty well. I will continue to pray for her and your family everyday. I know Tuesday is extremely important for her, and I wish and pray for the best. It is clear that God is with her and the rest of your family and I know he will continue to be throughout. I wish you all the best during this long, tough road. I know the holidays might be a little different than in the past, but I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Circumstances like this really open our eyes to what we are thankful for.

I'm praying for Liz and wish her and your family strength. :)

I hope everything else back in Cincinnati and at Sycamore is great. I miss it!

Love,
Paige Keefe

Good Morning from Deb!

I spoke to Randy and Christine tonight as they were at home preparing Liz's room, for her to come home. They want to be ready for when the Drs. say she she can go home....they can GO! The Drs. suggested taking up the carpet in Liz's room, and putting in hard wood. This will make her room easier to keep extra, extra clean and germ free. Of course, there is new paint, bedspread....etc....so fun! Randy and Christine seemed to be having fun...laughing and cutting up. : ) They have put in a few really long days in preparation for when Liz can come home!

Randy and Christine just celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. They went out to dinner while Catherine stayed with Lizzy. I popped down real quick to see them, but they were out. I told them not to worry, they were just my cover to see Liz anyway!

Christine mentioned in her blog...The battle cry is "ZERO, EL ZIPPO, NADA!" The hope, and prayer for this Tuesday, November 25th, is for there to be ZERO blasts. Christine noted that if we have never been nudged to get on our knees and cry out to God, this would be a good time to start! I might add to consider fasting. There is just something amazing about fasting. It is this unseen experience of petitioning our Lord, and praying without ceasing (At least for me...b/c when you are hungry it helps you to remember to pray...and I tend to be very hungry the whole time I am fasting!) I encourage you to fast and pray on Liz's behalf - a meal or two, a day, 2 days...you will know what will work for you, but I want to encourage you to challenge yourself. Don't sell yourself short just b/c you feel hungry. I can only speak from experience. When I fast, I experience God as very close and real, and I end up having this bond with Him that is in-and-of-itself nothing short of amazing. For me, sometimes it is not until after I fast that I look back and get a glimpse of just how close God really is...but without exception, I always walk away from fasting in awe. In a nut shell - fasting helps us keep our focus on God, and on praying and on listening to Him...His still, small voice...his promptings...He will even acutally lead us in how to pray...GO FOR IT!!

As Mr.Locke mentioned in their note on Liz's blog:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight." ( Proverbs 3:5-6 )

Regarding Thanksgiving...(How's that for a follow-up after a prompt to fast?!) Mr. and Mrs. Lothrop have told Randy and Christine... "Have Turkey will travel!" I love that! Liz should be about ready to come home, but she may still be in the hospital. The determining factor is her "counts." Her white blood cells need to be up enough to be able to resonably protect her from infection, and her platelets need to be up enough to protect her from bleeding (nose bleeds, gums bleeding). Her counts are going in the right direction, but she will be hit with more chemo on Tuesday, so we need to wait and see. So, if on Thanksgiving they are at Childrens...or if they are at home...Thanksgiving abounds...in more ways than just turkey!

On Tuesday, the 25th, Liz will get a bone marrow aspiration, and a spinal. They are checking for blasts in her bone marrow, and spinal fluid...(Can you say/pray "ZERO, EL ZIPPO, NADA!" ) She will also get chemo IV & IT (intrathecally = via her spinal tap). Christine said that each week the preliminary results of blasts has been accurate, so she is thinking this week will be no exception. The results will be posted on the blog asap...promise!

Please continue to pray:
Thank God in faith for zero blasts and for minimal side effects for Lizzy. Thank Him for 21 years of marriage for Randy and Christine! Thank Him for all the ways He is revealing himself to the Lothrops and Co. Randy has mentioned that aquantainces, friends - old and new, and even people who do not even know the Lothrops are sharing how the Lothrops journey is bringing them closer to God...

Mr. Lothrop, Randy's dad has said ....
" And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Pray for: ZERO, EL ZIPPO, NADA blasts on Tuesday!

******Wear orange on Tuesday, get a flu shot, wear a mask & wash your hands when you visit, consider fasting for Lizzy's total and complete healing - as evidenced by NO blasts on Tuesday!******

Deb

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A note from someone Liz has never met, thanks Lorraine!

Liz,
I wanted to send you a note letting you know that I am praying for you to become healed. Even though you have NO idea who I am, I feel like I know you just from the Blog. Your spirit SHINES through like the sun in the pictures and videos, and your smile inspires everyone! I worked with your dad at Sycamore, where I no longer work, but also played early morning games of basketball on Wed. & Fridays. Your dad is an amazing person and is always positive. I enjoyed working with him because he was never one to complain. After reading your blog, I'm finding this is the case for you...(unless you are hungry). I've heard about the new ipod and the gift cards, so I'm on the hunt. And every Tuesday, I'm trying to wear orange! I'm finding that I need to buy some more orange articles of clothing because I don't have enough! Hopefully I can find orange clothes, because I have this crazy feeling that EVERY store is sold out because you have SO many people supporting you with the battle! No worries...I will find some orange.

As you are probably thinking, "how can this lady write and she doesn't know me;) I really just wanted you to know I am praying for you! I believe very much in God, His strength, and ability to heal!

I have made it part of my day to read your blog, and I will continue to do that so I know what specifics I should pray for!
I want to thank you for the blog updates, your incredible spirit, your beautiful smile, and inspiration to love life and your belief in God! My three year old daughter loves your blog- especially your pictures. I am teaching her your name, and when I go to the website, she says..."How is Liz today?" She sees your smiling face and says, "She is happy today!"
Thanks for your inspiration!
With much prayer and love your way, we wish NOTHING more than a cure and you to have good health!
Sincerely, Lorraine Hartke

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hoops has prepared you well Liz!


Wanted to share an e-mail from the Sycamore coach that we battled with for three years in the select basketball ranks...I have always had a very healthy respect for Bill; we coached our tails off when we played against them but when it was all said and done we were just two dads who wanted to build into our daughters and their teammates and teach life lessons through a game; the game of basketball!
Liz,
Can you believe a Sycamore family is blogging someone from Mason - what are we thinking?! All kidding aside, Liz, we understand you’re in a battle way bigger than basketball. So sorry to hear about your illness.

Fight this thing with every ounce of effort you’ve got. Run the race until you’ve won. Find something extra that leads you to victory…like you do every time Mason plays Sycamore in basketball! (we know it isn’t the coaching).

One more thing. Just know we are praying for you. We’re asking God for your complete healing and total recovery. We know He’ll give you strength, and that you’ll be back on the court competing again soon. One of our favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6. Hopefully it gives you extra strength, peace, and confidence.

Hannah and Bill Locke

Liz update


I thought I would send a note of encouragement out to everyone regarding Elizabeth. She has been in great spirits over the past several days. We are looking forward to Tuesday, her hugh day, and having ZERO blasts left in her bone marrow. Please, if you have not ever fallen on your knees to pray, this would be a wonderful time to start. We Lothrop's sure are needy on prayers!

One real encouragement is that her platelets are on the rise. She had gone from 31,000 to 40,000, and now today up to 53,000 all on their own. Platelets are the clotting agent in your blood and the normal range is 135,000-466,000. She has a long way to go but they are headed in the right direction for the first time. All due to the prayers and medical staff God has put before us. Elizabeth's white blood cell count is .2 and the normal is 4.5-5.10, we won't go there yet. This is the infection fighting cell, the ones that got us into trouble in the first place and are still causing us grief. Her RBC (red blood) is 8.6 and remains steady with the normal range being 12.0-16.0. Liz's hemoglobin is at 8.6 and has remained around that number for the past several days too. This is her energy level (oxygen in her blood.) Her ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) is at 40. This is the big infection fighter in your body.

Even though Elizabeth is doing very well appearance wise, and the ones who have been here to visit can attest to that, please remember that the battle is taking place on the inside. She is a fighter and a survivor but there is no way she can win this battle without the constant prayer from everyone and the true physician.

Please remember Tuesday the 25th is her 29th day of induction and one that is causing me a lot of anxiety and I am sure Elizabeth as well. Her BMA needs to show Zero blasts for her to continue on into the next phase which is called the Consolidation Phase. The Consolidation Phase will last 53 days with a seven day break before the next phase begins. Our life is all about phases :-). If she is not at zero they will give her another two weeks of Induction to try to reach zero; if she does not reach zero Elizabeth will go off treatment and into another type. BUT WE KNOW SHE WILL HIT ZERO, EL ZIPPO, NADA, ETC.....

So for now please continue to pray for:
Blasts to be at zero
Few effects from her BMA and spinal
Few effects from chemo (Vincristine, Daunorubinsin, and Methotrexate)
And for her spirits to continue to be so positive and upbeat

In His name,
Christine

Friday, November 21, 2008

FACEinHOLE


Create your own FACEinHOLE

God is in the midst!

About a week ago we all watched the "Believe" video here on the blog. What you may not know is that video tribute to Liz was created by someone that we have never met!
I wanted to share an email exchange that I had with the maker of the video. God is good:

From: Randy Lothrop [mailto:rlothrop@cinci.rr.com]
Sent: Wed 11/19/2008 7:11 AM
To: Steve Gallagher
Subject: Heart felt thanks!

Steve, What a blessing you have been to our family! I love to explain
to people who made that awesome video! People are amazed that someone
that has not even met our family would take the time to invest in such
a treasure for us! Steve I am convinced that God has placed angels
along this path since Liz's diagnosis, and you are without a doubt one
of them! Thanks for allowing God to use you in such a special way!
God bless, Randy Lothrop


To: Randy, Christine, Little Liz & your entire Loving Family,

God Bless you for your kind words & thoughts; we all hope & pray Liz is getting better, as we think about her & your family's challenges everyday. As to the Video, I am sure you like all good Christians certainly know the thanks & the credits belong entirely to God. As to the never-ending evidence of God's involvement in our lives & along "The Path" you described since Liz's diagnosis; these events are witnessed so often anymore, that there is no other explanation but "Devine Intervention". Permit me to explain...in something right out of the "6-Degrees of Seperation"..(Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth.) Anyway, this began (1) With a challenge from a recent sermon by our Minister at (4 Corners) Church to do something totally anonoumously for someone we do not yet know. (2) The following Tuesday during a weekly noon time prayer group session at work, your family friend & my fellow Dept Manager, Annette Reed (wearing her orange of course); ask the group to say a special prayer for Liz, WOW...(3) After some further discussion & a visit to your fabulous Blog-Site & could not believe my eyes for all the out pouring of love, care, concern & most of all Little Liz's courage.. (4) The real genesis of the video
came as I just happened to hear that song (Believe) the very next day, (another Non-Coincidence) (5) This lead me to ask Annette if it were possible to get anymore photos about Liz & Family & she obliged with additional photo bucket loads from her files & from her daughter. The rest as this say is HIS-STORY, Praise God! On behalf of my Family & friends, our Church, many who are now just learning about Liz & our fellow workers at Performance Automotive, we all are Praying for Liz, for you, for your wife & your entire family. It is apparent that God has you placed you guys here for Liz, & for you to show the rest of us what Good Strong, Courageous, Christian Parents look like & how to remain strong when faced with a challenge...
God Bless You,
Steve & Linda Gallagher
West Chester, Oh

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thousand origami cranes!


An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.
So that is exactly what 7th grade team journey at Mason middle school did!!! We all enjoyed having Mrs. Palmer and Mrs. Hawks visit! I can't imagine any school, any where that would have more teachers be more supportive then Mason schools have been for Liz!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

OK this takes the cake!


Two of Liz's former six grade teachers, Karen Turner & Lindsey Budde not only stopped by to visit with Liz but also took part in her physical therapy exercises. That is truly above and beyond, true teacher dedication! Greg Sears give these girls a raise! They may be a little sore tomorrow. Take it easy on them Team Success!

"Love for Liz" bake sale at Sycamore High School!

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Sycamore students Kelsey Malof & Sara Lindsay led the charge! Love for Liz bake sale! It was a tremendous success! THANK YOU SYCAMORE!!! Press to play slide show!

Day 23, November 19th

I have not had the chance to get to the hospital, but did finally get to talk to Christine tonight. Liz seems to be doing very well. The nurses and doctors are all amazed. Lizzy's ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) has had a few peaks. The ANCs are the good cells that we like to see. Although, as Christine said, Lizzy's ANC will be back to zero tomorrow, it is encouraging b/c her body is trying to make the good cells. ( The ANC will be back down b/c of the chemo killing all of the bad cells...and the good cells get hacked in the process too.)

Lizzy got chemo today. (It is Tuesday ya know! Did you wear your orange?) This time she received 2 IV meds. She does not like to get chemo b/c it makes her tired. Actually, I think it is the pre and post meds that make her tired. The ones to prevent nauseau etc...

It is also a drag b/c just when Lizzy starts to feel better, around Friday...after her Tuesday chemo...she only has a few days of feeling good until she gets hit with more chemo, and that brings her right back down for a few days. She is not digging that so much! Her hard days seem to be Tuesday - Friday, and her good days seem to be Friday - Monday.

Lizzy's walls are COVERED with cards. Each and every wall...minimal white space...!! Christine said the Doctors and nurses pop in just to read the cards!

Lizzy has not had a headache this time. She did not have a spinal...which tends to lead to a headache...so that in itself makes it a good week! Additionally, word has it that Lizzy gets grouchy when she is hungry... that prednisone really increases your appetite! So, make sure you visit right after lunch or dinner! ; )

Next week, November 25th, (Day 29), Lizzy will have another bone marrow aspiration, and spinal. They are looking for ZERO blasts. If, by some small chance she does have blasts, she will get 2 extra weeks of high dose chemo, and they will check her marrow and spinal fluid again. If needed, there is a "Plan C." It would be great though, if we could stay with the current Plan B!

So...picture THIS: Randy and Christine popped out of the hospital together a few days ago. They ran errands..etc...and decided to get a car wash. They went to Shell...(Not the Mr. Clean Car Wash, I might add...since my husband was on the team that got The Mr. Clean Car Wash off the ground)...Anyway...there they are...enjoying a nice little car wash when.....YIKES....the car wash got stuck...with Randy and Christine's car inside the car wash...with Randy and Christine inside the car!!!! Can you imagine....?! So $1,500 of damage later, they are going through the process of getting estimates etc. (Of all things...)....Christine said she thinks she will just stay at the hospital from now on!

Regarding the Lothrops, Christine acknowledged that they all seem to do well when Lizzy is doing well, and visa-versa....They are tired, but seem to find joy and peace in the little things. It is amazing...there is crisis all around them...even within their own room, and yet they continue to be real, and transparent...they continue to seek God for their peace, and comfort...and they continue to invite us on this journey with them...Even when it is hard...

Please Pray:
Thank God for the glimpses or ANC's that we see. Thank him that Catherine is feeling better and can now come see Lizzy. Thank him for small distractions...even it they include getting the car trashed in a car wash....Thank him for the opportunity to expereince Him on this journey with the Lothrops....

Pray for: Zero blasts on the 25th, for minimal side effects of the chemo, for rest and respite for The Lothrops, and for God to reveal himself in Lizzy's healing!

A few reminders:
Wear orange on Tuesday...get our flu shots...wash our hands...wear a mask...know that when we visit, we may just need to leave a note if The Lothrops are resting...and let us not forget to bring food...just in case Lizzy is hungry!!!

But most of all...remember...God's word is a lamp unto our feet...He will lead us each and every step...one step at a time...we can depend on Him!
Fear is not from God...God is a god of peace...even, and especially in uncertain times. When we feel fear...we need to push that away, and accept God's peace, peace that passes understands....

Phillipians 4:4-11....

Deb

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 21, November17th

Good evening! Been a while since we have updated you on Lizzy's progress. Our highlight has been the return of Liz's sister Cathy!!! She spent just about the entire day Sunday with Liz! Christine and I actually left the hospital together! First time since October 24th! Liz's spirits continue to be nothing shy of amazing! She has had a steady stream of friends and we know so many of you continue to lift her up in prayer. THANK YOU! I have come to realize that my most important role is to retrieve Lizzy's next craving, as the steroids that she is on (part of the chemotherapy) creates quite an appetite.
On the lighter side, I thought I would share a funny video that I came across today(Lizzy is going to kill me)... ENJOY, Randy
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The outpouring of people supporting you Liz!



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Day 17, November 13th

Good afternoon!

I have some very good, encouraging news: = )

Regarding Lizzy and Rapid Responder -VS- Slow Responder:
Dr. John visited with the Lothrops yesterday...Randy, Christine and Lizzy. He made a strong point, and wanted to be sure The Lothrops, and especially Lizzy, understand that he is not discouraged. As a matter of fact he is very ENCOURAGED by the progress Lizzy is making. According to Dr. John, the terms Rapid Responder and Slow Responder are irrelevent. He said we might as well say Plan A, and Plan B. The point is...if Lizzy's marrow responds one way, we go with Plan A, and if it responds another way, we go with Plan B. There is actually a Plan C too, if needed.

Dr. John wanted to be very clear...Lizzy's marrow has made amazing progress in only 2 weeks...From 95% blasts to 20% blast is a huge drop. Her marrow IS responding to treatment. It is going in the right direction. We are to be encouraged and look at the glass as "half full" as opposed to "half empty". He made a point of telling Lizzy that he has treated many patients with ALL, and he has seen excellent results. As a matter of fact, 3 of his pediatric patients from years ago are now a doctor, judge and lawyer...( So, let's all dream about how God will guide Lizzy as she goes into her future...hmmm...this could be fun...maybe an olympic volleyball player who is the Poster Girl for THE CURE of ALL!....Her smile alone can move mountains!)

As I visited a little with Randy and Christine, I could see that they are tired. Yet, there was a hope and peace that passes understanding. I asked them..."How can I represent you in the updates that I send out." Their response was amazing...without a second thought they said: "We are an open book, we are transparent...we want people to know about our faith, and that we get our strength and hope from God. We do not know what each day will bring, but we do know that we are not alone, and that God is with us, and loves us, and loves Lizzy."

As I reflected on this, Psalm 119: verse 105 came to my mind..." Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light for my path." And I remembered a teaching that I had heard years ago...Why do we need a lamp on our feet? Because God leads us one step at a time...and we need His Light to show us the next step.

As Randy noted, we are on a path, we do not know what each day will bring, but we can rest assured that we are not alone, and that God is leading each of us, and the Lothrops...one day, one step, at a time. And I then remembered another teaching I had heard years ago...something to the effect of: Why doesn't God just show us the whole, big picture....and the thought was that ...with a step at a time, we realize we need God...if we had the whole big picture, then we probably wouldn't be as likely to seek Him...

So, in a nut shell...be encourged! Consider God's provision on this journey...In Joshua 1:5 He promises..." ...I will never you, nor forsake you!"

Next steps for Lizzy: Tuesday, November 18th, Lizzy will recieve her next many doses of chemo. These will be IV. Then on Day 29, November 25th, she will have another Bone Marrow, and Lumbar puncture. Day 29 is the last day of induction (phase one of treatment), and we are shooting for 0% blasts! (She will also get chemo that evening.)

Looks to me like Tuesday is Orange Day..Lizzy day!!! ...In the future Tuesday will also be her clinic day for outpatient chemo...(and some Fridays too)...

The Lothrops are grateful for your support, and your prayers:
Thank God for Dr. John's experienced perspective and for a treatment protocol that is very hopeful. Thank him for the staff at Children's, and for Lizzy being protected from any 2ndary infections. Thank him for the resturants, and the gift cards..Lizzy is enjoying the vast selection. ( Quick side note...Lizzy was dozing yesterday, and Mr. Lothrop asked Christine if she wanted him to get her something to eat...Well, Lizzy's eyes pop open, and she gets this cute smile on her face..."Hhhhmmmmm...food?.....Panera I'm in!" Thank God for his daily, unquestionable, presence ...in room 45, 5th floor, Children's hospital...

Pray for 0% blasts asap, and especially by November 22nd. For continued protection from 2ndary infections, and uncomfortable side effects. For, Catherine to feel better so she can come to see Lizzy. Pray for rest and respite for the Lothrops, and for God's continued peace to envelope them...

The Lothrop's hope is that you would be encourged, and that as you walk this path with them, you would experience God, right along-side them...
Deb

Believe!

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