Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If Liz can do this...


Hi all!
As you may have read in Christine's post on the blog, Lizzy did well during her 2 procedures yesterday. She actually walked down the hall to the procedure room! She had a BM (Bone Marrow Aspiration) , and a ST (Spinal Tap). The doctors are checking both for blasts (immature white blood cells). The hope is that they would be minimal, thus indicating she is a Rapid Responder. The preliminary results last night showed too many blast to consider her a RR, but the conclusive results come back today. Please PRAY that she leans more towards the RR end of the spectrum.

If she is not considered a total RR this time, she has one more week.
She received more high dose chemo yesterday (as planned), and will have
another BM on on November 11th (Day 15). Regardless of where she
falls, she will receive the same chemo protocol either way. The results will be confirmed on November 25th, (Day 29). Day 29 will determine what the next steps are. Of course, a RR will have fewer steps in the protocol, and a Slow Responder will have more, including radiation. After today, and day 29, I will detail the next steps.

Here is a quick clarification: Regarding Lizzy's "counts"...(Lots of new terminology these past few weeks!)...
When we say "counts", we are refering to her Complete Blood Count (CBC). In a nut shell, and specifically, we are looking at her White Blood Cells (WBC), her Red Blood Cells (RBC), and her Platelets.

WBC - There are many phases a WBC goes through to become "mature", and be able to fight infection. In leukemia, the body is producing massive
immature white blood cells, generally called blasts. (Blast is a bad
word!) Basically, the bone marrow, that make our blood cells, is stuck. It is like when a record gets stuck, and stays on the same few words over and over again. (Remember records?!) So we have WAY, WAY too many blasts, crowding out any room for RBCs or Platelets. The blasts are not able to fight infection, which is the job of the WBCs.

RBC - In the RBC we look at hemoglobin and hematocrit (H/H). These function to bring oxygen through out the body. With a low H/H, Lizzy will be tired, and pale. This could also affect her heart function.

Platelets are the clotting factors in the blood. With so many blasts, there are minimal platelets to do the important job of clotting, so Lizzy may have trouble with her gums bleeding, or nose bleeds...(common with low platelets), among other, more serious bleeding.


So - you will be hearing, or asking..."What were Lizzy's counts?"
"Her WBCs were at zero!"
OR
"Her platelets were down"
OR
"Her H /H were down."


When her blast "counts," this week, had hit zero...that is VERY good, and the goal.

That means zero blasts in her blood. Yesterday, they tested her bone marrow, and spinal fluid...she still had blasts there, (not sure how many yet)..but the goal is zero there too.

So, yes, we want competing things....no blasts, high platelets and high H&H. We will not be able to get all that at the same time. The priority is no blasts, and they will give her RBCs and Platelets when those "counts" go down.

The dilema is, with a zero / low count of WBCs, Liz has no ability to fight infection. So it is counter intuitive...Low counts, (indicating we should not visit), are actually the goal at this time.

Now, in the future, after she is at zero for awhile, the goal will be for her body for start to make mature WBC's again. (Getting the record unstuck). At this point we will want to hear that her counts are up...but that will not be for awhile.


So, Lizzy got high doses of Chemo yesterday, as planned...one intrathecally (spinal), and 2 IV. She was tired last night, but peaceful. She has not been conked out all day as predicted... she has generally felt good. The chemo will continue this week, and she will have another BM on Tuesday, the 15th. She will continue to get predisone each day. A side effect of prednisone is increased appetite. Lizzy is enjoying the likes of Burger King, and burritos...and even ate Christines dinner the other night, in addition to her own. You go girl!


I do have a few more fun things I want to share with you. God is revealing himself to the Lothrops in amazing ways...more on that later...

Please pray:
Thank God for the amazing ways He is providing for the Lothrops.
Thank God that Lizzy is feeling good.
Thank God that he has protected Lizzy from and 2ndary infections.

Pray for continued protection.
For Lizzy to be a Rapid Responder...
That each and every blast will be quickly eliminated form Lizzy's body For peace and wisdom for Randy and Christine

By the way...please remember...WASH YOUR HANDS, WEAR A MASK, and GET a FLU SHOT if you are going to visit Lizzy.
Momma Bear, Christine, will uphold this non-negotiables...and I wouldn't mess with her!

More later this afternoon/evening!

Deb

12 comments:

Mr. Reutter said...

Lothrop's,

My wife and I pray for you everyday. You are such a great family and I know you are all strong and can fight this off.


Where there is great love, there are always miracles

- Will Cather

We love you,

Jill and Jay Reutter

Anna* said...

Hey babe! i miss you soooooo much! i know this is my second comment today with in one hour but this is a new update and i just cant not say anything about it :) lol. geez! if you dont get an A in health class i will be so surprised! i dont know if i have heard so many big words in one sentence! im praying that all those blasts (yes, i did my research :)) go away soon! i cant wait till i finally get to see you! make sure you text me soon! o btw are you running low on coloring books, crayons, or markers? if you do, tell me! id hate for you to be bored all day! i know how the movie channel works. anyone can only take so much of one movie in a day! keep being strong love! fight this just like you did to kiva! love you lots and dont you EVER forget it! <3 anna*

Kristi said...

Hey Lothrop gang,

Just sending lots of love your way..and praying hard for great results..hang tough and know how much we are praying and loving you.

My mom sent me a nice note and she is thinking of you. At the end it said..

If God brings you to it.
God will bring you through it.

I have faith that God will bring you through this difficult road you are traveling on.
Just like footprints in the sand, remember that..
For when there were only one set of prints in the sand, it was then that I carried you...he is carrying you Liz...

Much love,
Chuck,Kristi, Luke and Annie

ashley_cherry said...

Hey all!
You are all in my prayers! Christine, everyone at work is thinking about you and praying for Liz and your amazing family. You are all so strong and will make it through this tough time, dont worry. Just keep smiling and, Christine, if its dark outside, ill know youre not with that 1000 watt smile so keep it up ;)
Love you girl and get well Lizzy,
Leah

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz!
My name is Sara K Lindsay, I know you don't know me, but your dad does. I have the pleasure of having him as my math teacher this year. Today he was telling us about how good you were doing with your chemo. I was very amazed because I know its difficult! I said you must be a champ because I would be strockling. (By the way... "strockling" and "champ" are words he uses constantly!) From everything I hear it sounds like you are being tough and fighting off this cancer. That's good to hear!! Keep up the positive attitude and always stay motivated. I will keep praying for you and I hope you will continue to do well with responding to the chemo.
Sara :)

Jenny McDowell said...

Praying for you from Georgia...EVERY DAY!! Kayla's Aunt...Jenny

Uncle Greg E. said...

Hi Liz!
I just want you to know that Aunt Theresa and I are praying for you every day. Keep strong!!!
We will see you this weekend.

Love, Aunt Theresa & Uncle Greg

Cindy Dodson said...

Good Morning Liz!

Here's a quote to start your day ...
"The brick walls that are in our way are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. They're there to give us a way to show how much we want it."
-- Randy Pausch

Remember what coach K said, "...
focus on the next chance to win and succeed." That means to do what your mom says, too ;)

Keep fighting girlfriend!
Mrs. D

Greg Ulland said...

Hello Liz,
This is Greg Ulland, Sycamore’s Volleyball Coach. I wanted to thank you for approaching these past weeks with such an amazing spirit and positive attitude. Hearing about your triumphs over these challenges helps me put so much in perspective. You have been an inspiration to all of us, and your family is just so proud of you. I enjoyed working with you very much last summer, and I know that we will be back at it again, sooner than you will believe. In the mean time continue to meet your goals and overcome your challenges. Again, I am so lucky to know you and gain inspiration from you.

Love and Prayers,
Greg

Best Babysitter EVER said...

LIZ! Look at this picture of us....you look so young! And take note of my screen name....LOL
LOVE YOU!

MamaBird said...

Dear Lothrops and all the wonderful people updating this blog~

You are all uppermost in my thoughts and on my mind. I have a question: When are good/bad times to plan a visit? I have a care package I'd like to deliver to the whole family and some healing games I'd love to share. I just got my flu shot yesterday, so should probably wait until next week. What is the best way to find a good time?

Sending prayers for healing, laughter, and beautiful dreams to all,

~Robin Kissel

Melissa Grablovic (Lohman) said...

Liz,

We're missing you here in class. The trimester is almost over and it's not quite the same without you. However, keep in mind you are working on something very important now, and learning things we usually don't learn in school. Keep working and praying. See you soon.

Love ya,

Mrs. G