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!!!!