Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Lizzy swimming under the water in gma and gpa's pool!

It has been a bit so I thought I would let you know what we are up to.

We had the OK to travel so we did! Probably a bit further then they meant for us to go.

We left Dec 26th at 4:40 am for Fort Myers and arrived 18 hours later. We have had a great time and are enjoying having some wonderful family time. First time on vacation for over 15 months.

Today we spent the day at the beach. I believe every other person on the planet did the same thing, but that did not stop us from having fun. Liz and Randy did some passing and bumping of the volleyball on the beach, getting ready for the day she steps back on the courts.

We will be leaving for home on Fri. morning and getting ready to begin school and the real world again.

Please continue to pray for:
Liz to stay in remission
minimal side effects from her chemo
her strength to return
for the families on A5 South
The doctors and nurses that continually take care of these children and their families.

Happy New Year and blessings,
Christine

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and God's blessings upon you in the new year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

First day of Maintenance


Dr. Jen and Liz signing her Maintenance papers.

We have finally made it to MAINTENANCE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth has 433 days behind her now of very hard chemos and treatment plan.

Elizabeth has 427 days left in her maintenance phase.

Elizabeth's five year remission will occur in 2016.

Elizabeth's cure will come in the year 2021, when she is 27 years old.

Elizabeth's faith remains strong, if not stronger, in the Lord.

Be faithful unto the Lord, always.

Blessings,

Christine

Sunday, December 13, 2009

ORANGE!

Jim's basketball team busts out the orange uni's in support of Liz!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wahoooooooo!

We are home. We came home yesterday around 11:00 am and could not be more thrilled, her ANC is 290. It is good to sleep in your own bed but better to know that your daughter's body is producing the new bone marrow.

Thank you to all how have been faithful to us during this difficult time. Upward and onward to a brighter future.

Blessings,
Christine

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We're moving on up


Jam 5:13 Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.

Lizzy's lab came back and her ANC is 180 WAHOOOOOOOOO! They need to be over 200 and consistently rising before we can go home. This is the highest her ANC has been in close to a month.

Liz was allowed out of her room yesterday with a mask. We were so excited! The weekends are awesome around here because no one is around down stairs. We went downstairs and low and behold, there was Brittany and Cindy Dodson waiting to see Liz (wink wink) It was a wonderful moral booster for Liz to see her best friend and feel slightly normal.

Maybe, just maybe we will get to go home by Mon. Please keep the prayers coming.

Blessings,

Christine

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yuck

Well, it got worse. Her ANC dropped to zero. I guess we should have been happy with the 20. I asked the doctors if there was anything I needed to be concerned or worried about and they said "no." Dr. Burns said it is not typical but she has seen kids do this before and Liz has never had a direct up with her ANC's. She is a little bit like a yo yo with them and is going to do this typical "Liz style."

Please continue to pray that she gets out soon and is able to begin Maintenance. I want her to be a normal kid. She should be going to Christmas in Mason with all of her friends, not battling a war.

Continued prayers ~ Christine

Please Pray

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)


Lizzy's counts have all dropped from yesterday. Docs have ordered a new CBC to be done. Please pray that for some reason her first results were a mistake. Please pray that there is nothing wrong with Elizabeth and if they did truly drop it is normal and not due to anything going wrong within her.

This has been a blow to her mental state; mine too. Please pray for us and all the children and families on A5 South.

Blessings ~ Christine

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Still here



Believe has been Lizzy's mantra from the day she was diagnosed.

Quick up-date. Liz is doing well but we are still here. Her ANC is still at zero and all indications point to her remaining here until next week maybe being released mid-week. Her spirits remain high; thank you for all the prayers and cards being sent to her.

Once her counts reach 750 for an ANC and 75k for platelets we will begin maintenance. As far as Liz and I are concerned we are in maintenance. No more 57 day phases of hard chemo.

Liz is keeping herself occupied with movies, games, and magazines. I am really proud of her because not only is she in the hospital without visitors, due to the hospital restrictions, she is also in isolation and not allowed to leave her room. These walls can become very small after 13 days. We may hit 3 weeks in here, almost as long as the Induction Phase when she was diagnosed and we stayed for 33 days.

Please pray that Elizabeth's counts come in sooner than what the blood work shows. Miracles happen :-]


"Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever."
Psalm 30:10-12

Blessings and continued prayers,

Christine

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Celebrate, we are done with Delayed Intensification 2!




Elizabeth took her last dose of chemo on Friday for this final phase before Maintenance. I did an end of the phase dance and Liz looked at me and said "Don't ever do that again." Of course we all laughed and I continued to dance while adding a little singing with it. Don't get me wrong, we are a long way from the finish line, but the treatment will not be as intense and she should be able to resume a more normal life; life beyond just Children's!

Liz is looking ahead to the future with me for the very first time since being diagnosed. She asked for soccer shorts! A sign that she is getting back into her athletic mind set. She is looking forward to a new game in life, one that she can call the shots in. We are hoping that she will go back to school March 9. This will be the beginning of the third trimester, new for everyone at school, not just her. Liz has not been to school since Oct 13, 2008. She is looking forward to spring conditioning with the Mason Volleyball team, and lifting weights at Lifetime with her mama :-) Life is good and only going to get better. I know we will still have hard days but that is just it, it will be days, not months.

We are now day 10 of the antibiotics but Lizzy's ANC is at zero still. What does this mean????? We are not being discharged. Liz will remain on the antibiotic for the duration of her stay. We do not know how long that will be because it depends on the count recovery of her ANC. At the moment there are no signs that they, her neutrophils, are trying to come in. The inside of her body is a war torn battle field. The bone marrow is so fragile, immature, and little of it, that it is not enough to help her out and keep her safe from bacteria. As you all know by now, from reading the blog, that her cancer, ALL, is a blood cancer and grows in the bone marrow.

Thank you to our church, Wellspring. Your prayers on Sun. and throughout this week, making Liz your prayer focus, has helped her spirits. Normally at this time she would be so mad and upset that she still has to remain in here waiting for her counts to recover, but with all the support and prayers that you are sending on her behalf she is much more at peace and less combative. Thanking you for loving her and our family like God loves us. This journey would look completely different without our faith and you. May God enrich your lives as he has ours over the past 13 months.

Blessings and happy belated Thanksgiving.
Christine

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You made her smile!




You made Liz smile, giggle, and laugh with all the ecards sent through the Children's website. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to get on line and send her good thoughts. She has them hanging all over her room!


Lizzy had a rough start to her day but is getting better as the day progresses. She has been given pain meds, anti nausea meds, and platelets and will be sleeping peacefully soon.

I am calling it a morning and going to snuggle with Liz and watch Prancer. Please continue to pray for Liz and the side effects from these drugs and her own body's bacteria.

Blessings,
Christine

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It is a bacterial infection


A gift from her Aunt Theresa and her cousin Haley! Haley says "If you just believe"

Liz came down with a bacterial infection in her blood this past week; good news is we were already at Children’s when she really needed medical attention quickly. She was admitted on Wednesday and we will be staying at Children’s for a minimum of 10 days. Everything seems to be under control, her blood pressure is now stable and she has received multiple blood transfusions to help with her hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in the blood.

I felt bad for Randy on Thur. of that day. He walked into Day Hospital just as everything started to go askew. He was wonderful though, he never lost his composure. He calmly walked over to the chair, placed his items on it, turned around and walked directly to the bed and took her hand and rubbed her face. It was such a tender moment to witness. Lizzy's blood pressure had just dropped to 70/35, if you know anything about BP, you know this is extremely low and dangerous. Her normal BP is 107/85 or 107/90. This is the time people with a bacterial infection slip into septic shock.

Septic shock is a life-threatening reaction to a severe infection. During septic shock, the body tissues and organs do not get enough blood and oxygen. The problem may start with a small infection that overwhelms the body's defenses and spreads. In some severe infections, the germs make harmful toxins that can cause fluid to leak from blood vessels out into the tissues. The toxins may also prevent the heart from beating strongly enough. Together, these reactions lower blood pressure. If blood pressure gets too low, the body and its organs become deprived of oxygen. The body tries to help itself, but without enough oxygen, it makes too much of certain waste products. These extra wastes can do additional harm.

Septic shock is an emergency that requires treatment in the hospital. Thank God we were at the hospital and it did not go into septic shock. However, her treatment is the same regime as if she had gone septic.Liz was put on medicine to fight the infection, plus IV fluids. Without treatment, septic shock is usually a killer. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your chances of recovery.

Red Man Syndrome is a reaction to the drug vancomycin. Patients typically develop symptoms within 5 or 10 minutes of receiving the drug, and they experience itching and flushing of the face, neck, & torso. They may also experience swelling of the lips, face, or eyes and/or a drop in blood pressure, but this is less frequent. Red Man Syndrome is not a true allergy, even though the symptoms look similar to an allergic reaction. Red Man Syndrome can usually be avoided by pre-treating the patient with antipyretic and antihistamine medications (like acetaminophen and diphenhydramine) and infusing the drug at the slower rate, which is what they did with Liz and she has been ok since then.

It will be a race to see if Lizzy's ANC count comes up by Sun. If not, she is in here until they do. At the moment she is blazing a trail at ZERO. Appearance wise Liz is looking much better but her insides, where the battle is waging, tells a much different story. I truly understand the old adage, "You can't judge a book by it's cover". Lizzy needs God's will, your prayers, and the advances that the medical profession and researchers are making.

May God grant you nothing but beautiful thoughts today.

Christine

Friday, November 20, 2009

Make Lizzy smile

If you want to make her smile, go to the Children's Hospital web site and send her an e-card. We are on A5 South room 46. She needs to decorate her walls.

On a very sad note, Natalie passed away this morning at 6:30 am. She has gone home to her father and is now healed of her pain and suffering. Please pray for her parents, Steve and Rita, and her brother TJ. They have been staying with her and were with her when she took her final breath.

God's love and grace is sufficient if we just allow yourself to except it.

Blessings to all of you.

Christine

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A few days stay

Well Liz has bought herself a few days stay in Children's Hospital. She woke up feeling pretty lousy today, nauseous, lethargic, and just plain crappy. We had a blood draw at 9:00 am, by 10:00 am we had her blood results. Liz needed more platelets, she was back down to 19k. While in the hospital being pre-medicated to receive her platelets, she spiked a fever. Being neutropenic, meaning an ANC of <500, a fever will cost you a hospital stay until the docs can find out the cause of the fever. Liz's ANC is zero still and is not showing any signs of coming up. The doctors ordered blood cultures and had a nasal swab for the flu, AGAIN! The swab will be back in 24 hrs, the blood cultures are about 48 hrs. I will update when I have some answers to why she is sick.

Please pray for Natalie Bradley and her family. Natalie is dying; it is only a matter of time. They are keeping her sedated and pain free. Steve, Rita, and TJ, are staying in her room until the end. Please pray for peace and comfort during what must be the most difficult time in a family's life.

Blessings, peace, and comfort to all of you.

Christine

Catherine's endeavor for Relay For Life


Hello Everyone!
I think I left a lot of people out on my last email and for the few I sent emails to, I have yet to see any of you on my donation page. Not a big deal as long as you didn't forget! No one is obligated to donate. I just wanted to remind everyone that I am trying my best to raise money to find a cure for cancer again this year.
I am doing all of this in honor of Liz Lothrop, Joel Brown, and Karan Witham-Walsh. I wish that there was enough funding before that there was a cure before any of them had to go through anything like this terrible disease!
Please take a moment to check out my page and decide if you can help out with the cause.
http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?px=10539235&pg=personal&fr_id=23477, as always, I like to remind you that the smallest amounts help and add up. Even $5.00!
Feel free to forward my message to any friends or family that you may know who would like to help with the cause I support and share with millions of people.
Thanks so much,
Catherine Lothrop
Relay for Life Luminaria Chair

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prayers are needed for a friend

"I heard your call in the nick of time; The day you needed me, I was there to help." 2 Cor.6:2

Please pray for our friend Natalie Bradley, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in Dec 2008. Natalie has finally undergone a bone marrow transplant with the perfect match from her brother, TJ.

Natalie is not doing well, as far as we know, the BM is good and she now has changed to TJ's blood type. BM transplants are very dangerous, not the procedure itself, that is just like getting platelets, it is all the pre and post work and drugs that damage every living organ and cell in your body. Below you can read Rita's, her mom, last entry:

Natalie had a rough night again last night. Another ultrasound was ordered to check for blood clots, because her leg was more swollen, but none were found. She also received platelets last night, because there was some bleeding in her mouth. This morning an echo and chest x-ray were ordered as well as another engraftment study. They have the OR booked for a bone marrow aspirate tomorrow, since her counts keep dropping and the CT scan revealed that additional lymph nodes have become swollen. They are hoping she will be stable enough to undergo the procedure.
The chest x-ray revealed that there is now fluid in her lungs. In addition, she is becoming more and more disoriented. Nat is still on an oxygen mask and heart and respiration rates remain high. Nat's hemoglobin and platelets are low, so they will be giving her packed reds and platelets. Lasix has also been ordered to draw off some fluid. No results from the echo at the time of this posting.
Please pray.
W.I.N.


Thank you for being faithful to my family as well as new members of my family; those on A5 South/North.

Blessings,
Christne

Monday, November 16, 2009

saying goodbye to some wicked drugs :-p





In the above photo you will see Elizabeth and I giving her her final dose of ARAc! What a glorious day today is!

This is a time of goodbyes ........... a final goodbye to the following wicked wicked chemos: Cytarabine (ARAstinkin c), Doxorubicin, Dexamethasone, Radiation, Daunorubicin, Cyclophosphamide, and the Peg asparaginase shots.

As we head into the end of this DI2 phase, we just want you to know how thankful we are for all of the above drugs. Without these we would not have Elizabeth. Thank you, all of you, who have given financially to our cause, Light the Night, to find the cure for blood cancers. Because of your giving, these drugs and their combinations are available for Liz and the children on A5 South and North.

God willing we will never see these drugs again. Please continue to pray for her counts to rise. She has receive platelets again but did not need blood. Elizabeth's ANC, immune system, is a big fat goose egg ...... ZERO. At this time it is not safe for Liz to have visitors. I will let you know when her counts are up and she can see her friends again.

Blessings and prayers,
Christine

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Low counts



Due to radiation, Lizzy's hemoglobin and platelets needs to remain at or above 10 and 50k. This morning her HGB was 8.8 and platelets at 41k. We went to radiation at 11:40 and then directly to clinic for 1 unit of platelets and 2 units of packed red blood cells. We have about an hour yet to go and then we can go home. She is sleeping due to the pre-meds that are given to her for before receiving blood products. If you have not given platelets or blood before, please consider doing this as a true life saving gift. 80% of platelets donated goes to children with blood cancers. You are their hero and mine as well. I was scheduled to give platelets and plasma (plasma which goes to burn victims) today but had to cancel due to Liz needing them; little ironic don't you think?!

We are half way through radiation. Her last day will be next Wed. She is doing well and with little side effects from the radiation. Between the ARA-stinkin-c and radiation, it is knocking the heck out of her blood counts. Her ANC is also down to 280 which means she has no immune system again. If you are planning to come and visit, call me first at 349-5966. If you are sick in any way, shape, or form, please visit at another time.

Please continue to pray for:
blood counts to rise
ANC to be at least 500 and above. This is not great by any means but better than 280!
minimal side effects of radiation
no long term permanent damage from radiation or chemotherapy

Praying for all of you daily ~ Christine

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Radiation

Liz is doing well with her radiation and cytarabine, ARA stinkin c. She is receiving radiation for 8 days, Mon. - Fri., a break Sat. and Sun., then finishing out next week, Mon. - Wed. Elizabeth will continue with ARAc again on Fri. - Mon.

The radiation is causing some discomfort in her ears and jaws. The pain does not last all day, only a few hours. The ARAc has some ugly side effects. This drug put Elizabeth in the hospital last Christmas, please pray that it does not this time. So far she is doing very well on it.

Please pray for minimal side effects of radiation and ARAc
Hold Natalie Bradley in your prayers. You can follow her on her carepage:
https://www.carepages.com/carepages/NataliePage/updates/2414865?client_code=cincinnatichildrens&ipc=mur

Blessings,
Christine

Friday, November 6, 2009

Orange Out!!!


Lunch time today at Sycamore high school! In support of Liz and the race to find a cure!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Once again, NO DELAY! God is good

If you look closely, you will see Lizzy's two frogs, Bud, the bigger one, and Tebbir (ribbet backwords).

Can you believe it???????? NO DELAY, this is the phase where Liz has a 30 day delay and they did a bone marrow aspirate to see if she had fallen out of remission in June. God has a great sense of humor!

Tomorrow we will begin the end of this wicked phase and by Dec. 8, we will hit maintenance. I can hardly believe it. Please, this is going to be a rough phase with ARA-stinkin-c and radiation so continue faithfully to pray that she remains healthy and out of the hospital. The light is shinning brightly at the end of this very long journey and it is something that we could not have gotten through without your prayers.

We still have a long road ahead of us but not nearly as intensive as the first 1.2 years have been. She will always need prayers, this is the only way, mentally, a person can get through such a difficult time.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT *********ORANGE OUT FOR LIZ******* tomorrow. Just wear orange for Liz, this also brings awareness and honor to all that are fighting Leukemia/Lymphoma.

Blessings to all of you,

Christine

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Walk on Water!!!

One tough week down


Please pray for a better week for Elizabeth. No child should ever have to endure what she has this past week.
Liz has once again lost her hair; Randy finished shaving off what little fighters were left on her head after church.

Blessings,
Christine

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home sweet home


Once Elizabeth was a confirmed case of H1N1 this is what they did to the door to her room. She was not real happy about it because we know what other parents and patients are feeling and thinking when they see that. They freak out and want to make sure their nurse is not the same nurse entering that room. All nurses have two or three patients a day to take care of and of course that means someone is going to have "that" nurse. We had a second door to the left of this door that went into an anti-chamber that all doctors and nurses had to enter. Anyone entering the room had to put on a gown, gloves, and a mask in the anti-chamber and pitch it in our trash before going back through the anti-chamber. We were both quarantined to the room. If I left I had to wear a mask and could not loiter in the halls.

For the next two weeks, anyone having any type of health issue, asthma, heart condition, or any type of immune suppression can not come to visit Liz. THIS IS FOR YOUR PROTECTION! The last thing Liz wants is to make anyone sick. If you have had the flu shot and are not sick in any way, shape, or form, you can call ME at 349-5966 to see if it is OK that you come. I would prefer that she not have visitors until she is cleared of this but sometimes that is not helpful for her mental state either.

We have been discharged from the hospital and are now at home. Liz is soaking in the jacuzzi and just relaxing before going to bed.

We had rounds with the team of doctors, pharmacists, and various other medical personal this morning around 10:00. The game plan was to have a CBC, complete blood count, taken at around 3:00 pm. If her ANC remained at 250 or above she would be able to come home. They changed their minds and said "We have three consecutive ANC's above 200, we are going with that and she can go home after we make sure she does not need a platelet transfusion." She did not so therefore we were turned loose, literally, and sent on our merry way by 5:45.

We have a CBC at Liberty tomorrow at 8:00 am, an appointment with Dr. Brenneman, at the Barrett Center for her radiation at 9:30 am, and then onto clinic at Children's after that. The said the appointment with Dr. Brenneman could take two to three hours.. They will be making a mesh mask of Elizabeth face to place over her face and snap her to the table during radiation. She must remain perfectly still at all times. We do not want the radiation going anywhere but where it is intended to go. Liz has great stress over this. They will also be doing CAT scans and MRI's for the correct placement of the radiation. It is extremely confusing and once I understand it better I will share it with you.

Thank you for your vigilant prayers for Elizabeth and our family during this trying time. Please continue to pray, we are not out of the woods and she can still have major complications. By now I am sure you all realize what they are ... renal failure, heart failure, high blood pressure, lung damage, etc etc etc. Please just pray for complete and total healing on Elizabeth's behalf with out complications.

God's love in unfailing. Lean on him in all situations in life. It is a privilege to share our joys with him.

Blessings,
Christine

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It is confirmed.

It has been confirmed that Elizabeth does have the H1N1 virus. Please continue to pray for wellness and peace of mind during this time. We are still waiting for the blood cultures to come back hopefully with no trace of bacteria.

Liz is scared but the the docs. have made her feel a little less frightened and she is resting comfortably.


Pray for:
NO complications from the H1N1
Liz to feel peace
For the cultures to be negative of bacteria
For family that came to celebrate her life and one year anniversary, that they remain flu free

Thank you for your faithfulness ~ Blessings,

Christine


Liz playing Monopoly with her cousins, Melissa and Tyler.
Quick update on Liz ~

First off, we had a wonderful day celebrating her life and our lives together on Sunday. We had a great dinner and played one of her favorite games, Monopoly!

Secondly, Liz came down with a fever of 101.8 last night and has bought herself a stay at Children's Hospital on A5 South. When a cancer patient is neutropenic, ANC of >500, and running a fever, they are hospitalized. In the ED they stabilized her by administering two different antibiotics, fluids, and anti-nausea meds; they also did a CBC, flu swabs, and blood cultures. These tests will take 48 hours before the results are back.

Just came in from rounds. She must be fever free for 48 hours, cultures must come back negative and that also takes 48. With that being said, we will be in here until at least Thursday.

We are praying that the fever is simply due to the chemo she received on Fri. Her body is worn down and tired and seems to not handle all the intrusions as well as in the beginning.

Continue to pray for the following:
All patients and families on A5 South
Liz's fever to break
That her cultures come back negative
That Liz is not so fearful of the unknown
For my family to remain healthy

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Christine

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Giving thanks one year later...


Above is a picture of Liz before diagnosis and her now. She is beautiful!

Tomorrow is Elizabeth's one year anniversary. A lot of people would probably not look on this day with thanks but I do. This is the day we were given to save our daughter's life. This is the day our world, for a brief moment, fell apart. This is the day our already close family became even closer. The bond between our children is unbreakable and beautiful and I know it will always remain this way.
Life throws curve balls all the time and if we did not have our life preserver, God, we would have sank like Peter did when walking across the water. As long as we keep the preserver pulled close to our heart we will always prevail, no matter the outcome.
I am on my way to the grocery store to buy and prepare our Thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow. A new tradition in our family is a celebration of thanks on Oct. 25. Giving thanks to God, our family, and a chance to grow old together.

May all of you be blessed with the same gratefulness, gratitude, and love that we feel.

God bless,
Christine

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Numbers update and not her phone numbers!

Well, we are on the slippery slope down hill. We had Elizabeth's blood work done this morning and the results are just as we predicted.
I will give you a little refresher course on Leukemia, ANC, HGB, WBC, Platelets.

Leukemia is a cancer in which abnormal white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. These abnormal cells, called leukemia cells are cancerous. In other words, they grow out of control. Eventually they spill out of the bone marrow into the peripheral blood. The leukemia cells are not able to function as immune cells like other white blood cells, and their population keeps growing. Eventually they crowd out normal blood cells, including normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. There are so many leukemia cells that the normal blood cells cannot do their jobs of preventing infections, carrying oxygen, and causing the blood to clot.

ANC is the real or actual number of white blood cells that Liz has to fight an infection. White blood cells are the part of Lizzy's blood that work against possible bacteria, fungus, or viruses that may make her sick. A normal ANC is greater than 2,500. A safe ANC is greater than 1,000. After chemotherapy, Lizzy's ANC may drop low as 0. When the ANC drops below 500 , it is important that she remain away from crowds and people who have colds, flu, or runny noses. If Elizabeth is in the hospital with ANC below 500, she will be placed in protective isolation. This is to protect her from being exposed to possible infections. Lizzy's ANC is 90, not too impressive.

White blood cells protect the body from invasion by pathogens, and when levels of specific types of these cells are low, Liz has a lowered resistance to bacterial infection. White blood cells ( WBCs), or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes"), are cells of the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system. A normal WBC is 4.5 to 13.5. Elizabeth is at .08. When she was diagnose on Oct. 25, 2008 her WBC was .05.

Hemoglobin is a protein carried by the red blood cells in the body. Hemoglobin will pick up oxygen when it passes through the lungs so it can deliver the oxygen to all of the tissues in order to maintain the health and viability of those cells. Hemoglobin is created by two similar proteins which will stick together. Both proteins must be present in order for the hemoglobin to pick up and release oxygen as it should. One of these proteins is called alpha, and the other is called beta. Beta does not appear until after birth. During the pregnancy, a protein called gamma functions in its place. A normal HGB is 12.0 - 16.0, Liz has fallen to 10., when diagnosed she was at 5. They usually transfuse her between 8. and 9. When her HGB is low it causes a lot of body aches, labored breathing and fatigue. She said it feels like the flu.

Platelets are fragments of cells in blood that are another important part of the clotting process. They work with the clotting factors in plasma to help prevent unwanted bleeding. Platelets come from special cells called megakaryocytes. Like other early (immature) forms of blood cells, megakaryocytes are mainly found in the bone marrow. A normal platelet count is 135k -466k, Liz is at 88k. When she was diagnosed she was at 17k

So as you can see the body is complicated and Liz is complicating it even more; I am sure she would stop if she could :-)
Liz will probably remain neutropenic, ANC below 500, for the rest of this DI 2 phase. We are praying that she will be done with this and into maintenance by Christmas.

This is an extremely difficult phase and Liz and the Lothrop's need all of the prayers you have to give. Please pray for her health, that she does not come into contact with anyone who is ill. Liz, at the moment, she can not even fight off her own bodies bacteria. Pray that Jim and Randy remain healthy. They both are going to school every day and coming home to her. It is a true answer to prayer that they have remained flu free given their circumstances.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me verses and inspirational sayings and quotes. I will arm myself with them when Liz goes back on the steroids tomorrow.

Blessings,
Christine

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Favorite verses



Liz and her brother, Jim, at the homecoming!

I have a lot of faith and hope but let me tell you, last week was one of the most helpless feelings I have had in a long time. If you have had moments of helplessness in your life and there is a favorite bible verse or inspirational verse you can share with me I would love to have it. I want to arm myself with verses that can help me and possible help Elizabeth through next week. One that is bound to be another "helpless feeling" times.

Thank you for praying, being faithful, and riding this roller coaster with us.

Blessings,
Christine

Sunday, October 18, 2009

update on day 9 of DI2


Great news for a friend from Children's, Natalie Bradley. Her bone marrow transplant (BMT) was a success! Natalie was diagnosed with AML, a different form of Leukemia, before Liz was diagnose. She is now in remission! Her brother, TJ's, bone marrow was as perfect of a match as possible and she has life to look forward to again. I believe Nat had about a 1% chance of survival. If you don't believe in miracles you may want to visit Children's on the 5th floor. Yes, there is great sadness but there is also great joy, joy like a lot of us have not experienced and by God's grace and the exceptional staff, the Bradley's are experiencing this joy. They are a strong family of faith and excepted what the odds were but never gave up their faith in our Father. You can read and follow Nat's progress on her carepage.

Liz is tired and sick of being sick. her mental state of mind is being affected by the steroid, dexamethasone. It is causing her sleepless nights and days, anger, depression, and sadness. She is off of the steroid right now but will be going back on them this Friday for another seven days. The doctors are going to put her on a drug called Seroquel. Seroquel will help with her sleeping issues and mental state while on this steroid. Once she is done with the steroid, she will also go off of the Seroquel. She is also on Tamaflu for the next 10 days. For her, this drug is causing a lot of pain in the stomach and severe light headedness. I am sure her side effects are aserbated by the fact she is on so many other heavy drugs. Liz is not sick but was in contact with her cousin who at the time was not showing any signs of being sick but was in fact contagious and came down with a fever about 8 hours after spending the day together. Please pray for Melissa and her baby as she is eight months pregnant.

Liz has a lot going on before she hits maintenance but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. God is good and he is showing us wonderful things in life that we may have missed if we would not have hit this LITTLE glitch in our lives. Remain faithful to HIM and you can get through anything and come out being a better and stronger person for it.

We will meet with Dr. Brenneman on October 29 at the Barrett Center in preparation for radiation that will begin sometime in November. They will be making a mask of her face that will be used during the radiation procedure. We will also be getting a schedule of her treatment and taking a tour of the center and the area of where she will be receiving her radiation.


Continue to pray for all the families on A5 South and Nat's miracle of remission.
Side effects from all the drugs
Lizzy's vital organs to be protected during this phase
Lizzy's mental state of mind
Her team of doctors and nurses that take care of her all week long

Blessings and good health.

Christine

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Need sleep

Please pray for sleep for Elizabeth. The steroids are keeping her awake all night long. During the day she sleeps most of the time but it is not a restful sleep like we get.

There are four stages of sleep before you get to the Rem cycle, the deep sleep. Liz, on steroids only makes it part way into stage one: a light sleep where you drift in and out of sleep and can be awakened easily. In this stage, the eyes move slowly and muscle activity slows, also in this stage many people experience sudden muscle contractions preceded by a sensation of falling. Liz does not even make it to the falling stage of one. Probably a good thing becuase her steroids are making her a crabby pants. You can pray for that too, her crabbiness, while you are praying for her today.

Joel is still in the hospital and as far as I know they have not been able to find the source of the problem. Please continue to pray for the Brown family and Joel.

Blessings and a good nights rest to all of you tonight!

Christine

Monday, October 12, 2009

First 29 day in Delayed Intensification 2


Andy, Liz and brother Jim

Liz and Conner

Liz and Joel

Liz and Joel

Our family had an awesome weekend. Liz and her friend, Joel Brown, were elected as the Freshman Attendants. They absolutely had a ball. Something that they have had very little of in the past year; normalcy. They were just two kids that belonged.

We are now into DI2. This phase will last 60 days if she does not have any delays. The first 29 days goes like this. We started Friday, Oct 9 at 6:30 a.m. She had an LP (lumbar puncture) with Methotrexate. When Liz came around and was brought back to her room the docs wrote her orders for Vincristine and Doxorubicin, her chemo's. Are you ready? Here comes your pharmacy class.

Vincristine is one of a large group of drugs known as "antineoplastics"; these drugs are also known as cancer drugs, chemotherapy, or "chemo". They are used in the treatment of various cancers to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. A combination of different types of cancer drugs will often be used to achieve a greater effect and minimize side effects. Likely side effects are: Nausea, vomiting, loss of weight, diarrhea, rash or bloating, hair loss, reversible nerve damage, jaw pain, joint pain, body pain, vision problems, muscle weakness, low cell counts (white, red, and platelets). Rare but serious - we won't go there - just pray she does not have "rare but serious side effects." Vincristine will be given day 1,8, and 15.

Doxorubicin, a chemotharophy, must be given slowly and directly into a vein (IV). Side effects of Doxorubicin may cause damage to the heart muscle (including heart failure), bone marrow suppression, trouble breathing, swelling of the hands or feet, easy bruising or bleeding, hair loss, low cell counts (white, red, and platelets), mouth sores. One rare but serious side effect that scares me and I ask for you to pray against is a new cancer or leukemia. Doxorubicin will be given day 1, 8, and 15.

Here is one she really hates, Dexamethasone, a steroid. She said this one changes her appearance more than any other drug she takes. Side effects are: difficulty sleeping, decreased ability to fight infection, mood swings, weight gain, or the side effect called "moon face." This is where their face become very round as well as the abdomen, bleeding of the stomach, headaches etc, etc, etc. This one has so many side effects it is hard to list. Just pray, that is all I can say and ask for. Liz will take this drug day 1-7 and 15-21.

PEG-asparaginase or PEG shots. This chemo will be given on day 5. This consists of three shots given in the thigh muscle at the same time. I hate this one. Side effects are increase ammonia found in the blood, extreme tiredness, weakness, decreased blood clotting factors, severe kidney damage, fever, rapid heart rate, and on and on and on; another one that has horrible side effects but Liz has no choice but to take these drugs to survive.

I am asking for prayers for her good friend Joel Brown, who is battling ALL as well. He has been admitted to Children's this evening with a high fever. He spent last night until 4:30 a.m. in the Emergency Department and went back down tonight. His fever was 102. Please pray that he is just worn down from all the fun and excitement of being on the homecoming court and that he just needs some fluids for hydration. I ask that our Father pour his protection on Joel, Liz and all the children fighting blood cancers. We are needing prayers for Liz's protection from the flu. Mason had about 400 high school students out today from the flu. If Leukemia patients get the flu and it turns into pneumonia it is deadly. Not one pediatric patient has survived pneumonia while going through treatment with Leukemia. This is a very scary time for our family and extended families on A5 South.

Gob bless you and continue to protect you.

Christine

Friday, October 9, 2009

We're on!


Woke up at 5:00 am for a 6:30 am procedure downtown at Children's. Liz's counts were good enough to start Delayed Intensification 2, ON TIME! This has never happened, she has never started a phase on time nor has she ever ended a phase on time. God does still work and show miracles.

I will up-date you with what this phase will entail later on this weekend. Please pray that she gets to go to the homecoming. She has been nominated for freshmen attendant and we will find out in a few hours if she will be on the court or not. Joel, her cancer buddy and classmate has also been nominated. More importantly, in the grand scheme of things, please pray for her vital organs to be protected in this phase. DI2 is intense on her heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Effects from these chemo's are irreversible.

Please keep all these children and their families in your prayers. Children's is such a blessing and I thank God everyday that we have such a wonderful hospital in our backyard, but it can also be a very sad place to be.

Love and prayers to all of you,
Christine

Sunday, October 4, 2009


While we are waiting for the DI2 phase to start, I thought I would let you know what Liz has been up to. She is feeling really good right now, her last dose of chemo was September 22.

October 2, Liz and I went for a small jog around the neighborhood. She loved every minute of it especially when I ate the sidewalk. She was laughing so hard at me when I fell that she swallowed an insect and I did not feel the least bit sorry for her. How come if I had fallen at age 26 I would be a klutz but at age 46 it is just because I am old???? Can anyone answer this for me?

Last night she went out for a walk/jog again and had Corrine, a friend, come over to hang out for a little while. After Corrine left she stayed up until 3:30 a.m. talking to Connor on skype. I don't know about her but I am exhausted. If you have skype, this is a great way for her to stay connected. Her counts will be down under 500 most of this new phase and with the flu and respiratory season clearly underway her visits with people will be limited.

It is great to see Liz feeling good again. She is still having issues with her joints and muscles but all-in-all she feels great. She is being a typical teenager and giving me fits about wanting to go and see and do. I have to be the bad one and always say no no no! She is not really digging her mother right now. I love it!!!! This house feels normal for a little while!

Please continue to pray that Elizabeth gets to go to homecoming,
her counts rise so we can begin the last phase before maintenance,
her internal organs will be protected from all the chemos in the next phase,
she remains healthy,
all the families and children on A5.

Blessings to all of you.

Christine

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For Riley Stanforth. and Lisa Brown; your update :-)



Cousin Melissa and Liz at Children's on the Pulmonary floor for her breathing treatment.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27: 1, 3)

We are now in the waiting phase. DI2 should start on Oct. 9, if her counts are high enough. Her ANC has to be 750, she is only at 300, her platelets are at 76k and they need to be at 75k. Please let's pray that she makes it on time. With that being said and her ANC only being 300, you MUST have a flu shot to visit Liz. While Liz is neutropenic, no immune system, please call first if you would like to visit. If you know that you have been in close contact with anyone sick, please do not come by to visit at this time. We have come too far to let anything happen to her. Liz will not be in school the rest of this year. We are hoping that she will be able to go back sometime in January or February 2010.

Even though Liz will not be able to have many visitors because of her ANC, she is feeling much better. We are thankful for the good days.

Please continue to pray for the following:
counts to go up
pain to subside
she is able to go to the homecoming Oct. 10
her Doctors, Nurses, and anyone involved in her care
the families and children on A5 South

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

YES, we are done with Interim Phase 2



Uncle Gene, from New Jersey, visits Liz!

Yuck, yuck, and double yuck, that is all I can say for this phase. I know it is a necessary step in saving her life but what an awful experience. Elizabeth has been more sick in this phase than any other phase so far. I do know that because of your prayers she has had a mental toughness and inner strength and spirit that can only come from our father. Thank you for being faithful.

We will be going on to the next phase which is called Delayed Intensification 2. This will have drugs she has had before plus a new one, radiation. I will fill you in on the details when I get them. If all goes as plan, and we know she never follows the plan, she begin this phase on October 9. Her counts have to be at 750 for her ANC and 75k for her platelets. Her platelets are falling and she is down to 50k. A normal count is 150000 to 400000. Here is a quick lesson on platelets. Platelets are cells made in the bone marrow and then released into the blood. The platelets stick together to form blood clots; blood clots help stop the body from bleeding. The body has a normal process that creates new platelets and destroys old platelets. This process keeps the right number of platelets in your blood. In people with ITP, known as thrombocytopenia, the process is not working the way it normally does.

Here is a quick refresher course in ANC's. The absolute neutrophil count is the real number of white blood cells (WBCs) that are neutrophils. The absolute neutrophil count is commonly called the ANC. Neutrophils are key components in the system of defense against infection. An absence or scarcity of neutrophils (a condition called neutropenia) makes a person vulnerable to infection. After chemotherapy, radiation, or a blood or marrow transplant, the ANC is usually depressed and then slowly rises, reflecting the fact that the bone marrow is recovering and new blood cells are beginning to grow and mature. A normal ANC is 1.5 (1500) or higher; a "safe" ANC is 500-1500; a low ANC is less than 500. A safe ANC means that their activities do not need to be restricted. So on that note, you will need a flu shot in order to come and visit Elizabeth. Randy, Jim, and I just received our flu shot at Walgreen's this evening. Our insurance was accepted and we paid nothing for it so please remember to check when receiving your shot. We have not come this far to have her life put in peril or jeopardy because she catches something from a visitor who has not taken the time to get their flu shot. I don't mean to sound rude or ungrateful but I am a mother who is is frightened and fighting for her child's life.

Please pray for the following:
All the families and children on A5 south
Dale and Sally, Alex's parents, that they feel some peace and comfort
Liz can start her next phase on time
for minimal side effects
she remains on her own two feet without complications from the Vincristine
she can attend her homecoming dance Oct. 10 ~ she really wants to go ~ small in the scheme of things but big to her :-)

Blessings and praying for all of you,
Christine

Monday, September 21, 2009

Awesome video!!! created by Laura Brown(Joel's mom)

double click on the picture so you can watch it on youtube(better quality)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thank you!






WOW, you guys rock. I would say amazing, but you already know we think you are amazing. What you have done for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of Liz and Joel is just mind boggling. Thank you for your prayers, generosity, support, and love. Like Lizzy said "I don't think I could make it thought without you".

I am still blown away, yet I am not, about the amount of money raised so far. $23,000!!!!!! Our family, friends, and communities have been so supportive of us and have gotten behind Elizabeth in her battle to survive. I can not even begin to tell you, as a mother, how much comfort that brings to me; when in the middle of the night sitting alone, staring at her, and praying with all my being for her to be cured. It is a lonely place and one that would be even more of a desolated place if you were not there, in spirit, praying right along with me.

Elizabeth goes in for her final treatment of chemo in this phase. Please be vigilant in your prayers for the protection of her body. These chemos together are a wicked combination. The IV Methotrexate is an escalating dose; this is the one that makes her vomit within 15 min. to an hour after she receives it. The Vincristine is the one that causes the excruciating bone and joint pain. The docs have put her on Nurotin for the aid in the joint and bone pain. We hope she will remain able to walk on her own with this drug. If all goes well and counts stay up at 750 ANC and 75k platelets, Liz will start her last tough phase before maintenance on October 9. God is good! We still have a rough road ahead for three to four months but we have made it through 11, we can do four more. I will study the Delayed Intensification Phase II and let you know what to expect as we get closer. I do know that the cranial radiation is frightening for her so please pray for her anxiety over this.

Blessings to all of you, may God continue to shine on you.
Christine

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Update on Liz and Light the Night Walk



Thank you for all the prayers for Liz over the weekend. It was a pretty tough weekend but the chemo picked on the wrong girl. She fights back and fights hard. Her treatment was Friday morning and she just never recovered from it. Things progressively got worse until she spiked a fever and her resting heart rate was at 147. They gave her fluids, drew blood for cultures and nose swab to check for the flu. We are relieved to say that all in negative, her heart rate is down to 85, no fever, and she is keeping her food down. Liz was released on Tues. and she is looking forward to the walk tomorrow. A new medicine called Gabapentin, formally used as an anticonvulsant (trade name Neurontin) used to control some types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy; also used to manage neuralgia caused by shingle, is now being use on Liz 3 times a day for the joint and muscle weakness and pain in her legs. Liz will remain on this for the rest of her treatment but it should allow her to walk without the aid of her crutch or a wheelchair.

ON TO INFO FOR LIGHT THE NIGHT!

Team Blazin' with <3 will meet in front of the stage. There will be food and drinks provided. Liz and Joel will share their stories between 7:00 and 7:15.

Registration opens at 5:30 pm. Free Food will be available from 5:30 to 7:00, thanks to our generous vendors. There is also a Kids Area to include a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, and other fun stuff. We will have a short program, including the Remembrance Ceremony and Guest Speakers, that will begin at 7:00 pm. The Walk itself will start around 7:30 pm. The Walk distance is a little over a mile.

Any Walker having raised $25 will receive a balloon. Red balloons are carried by Supporters, White balloons are carried by Survivors, Gold balloons are carried by a team who has lost someone to a blood cancer (1 gold balloon per team). Any Walker having raised $100 will receive a Light The Night T-Shirt. If you are a Cancer SURVIVOR, make sure to ask for our special blue SURVIVOR shirt! Any Walker having raised $1,000 will receive a long sleeved Bright Lights T-Shirt.

We have worked on improving the parking situation at Mason Sports Park this year. You can park in the parking lot until the lots are full, then they will be closed off so no traffic will be able to get into the park. We have opened up a new parking area across the street from the Sports Park in the large, empty grassy area. There will be volunteers and police directing traffic into the parking area, so please slow down as you approach the Park. There will also be police escorts to help everyone safely across Mason Morrow Millgrove Rd. Although we've opened up quite a bit of parking spaces, please carpool if you can!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Fundraising Page

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Quick up-date


Liz had her chemo on Fri. and has had a rough time since. We brought her to Children's last night around 8:30 p.m due to fever, pain, and vomiting. We were admitted and in a room around 5:00 a.m.

In the ED they did a CBC (complete blood count,) running cultures for possible viruses, and a nose swab for the flu. Once on the floor she was given morphine for the pain and feel asleep. She is resting now but her resting heart rate is still high at 102 to 115. Lizzy's normal is 45 to 50. She will remain overnight again. They will continue to give her IV fluids for her dehydration. The HR can be elevated from dehydration, pain, and the fever. I am glad to say she is fever free, therefore they believe her heart rate acceleration is from the dehydration and pain. They will continue to medicate her and monitor her closely.

Liz is in Respiratory Contact Isolation, you will need to wear a mask if you come to visit. This is for her protection and yours. Please call before coming. She has some friends coming down around 1 p.m. and an interview with the Enquire at 4 p.m. We welcome visitors but need to keep it to a few at a time, with down time in between for her to rest. She puts a lot of energy into not being sick when friends are around and it exhausts her. She really wants to see her friends and it is important mentally for her so this is our compromise. If you have a cold, sniffle, or think it might just be allergies but are not sure if it is just allergies, please come at a different time.

We hope to be out by tomorrow if her HR will stabilize at around 80. Please continue to pray for Lizzy's body to be healed and cured of this cancer. Please pray for all the children and their families on A5 south.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This is a poem sent to me by a true blog follower of Lizzy's. It was an answer to a very strong pray of mine that morning and brought such relief and a new flood of tears that day, the first day of school. Enjoy the poem, it has spunk just like Liz.

THE CANCER CHANT, I WILL RANT!

Cancer I did not give you the right,
To invade my body and take a bite.
This is my body and with all my might,
I will prevail with one hell of a fight.
To the cancer inside, I will battle and kill.
For that is my body's God given will.
To my cancer, these words I do send.
Your life is short and near the end.

Thinking and praying for you.

The Merklinger's


Mark your calendars for the bd's Mongolian Grill fundraiser to benefit Liz Lothrop & Joel Brown. Their treatment is still going strong and both seem to be doing great! Both have at least another year to go in treatment.

bd's has agreed to donate 10% of food sales on September 14th from 6pm - 9pm to these great families!

Word is we have David Fulcher & some other former Bengals players as guest grillers in addition to our own:

Laura McCalmont
Liz Waltz
Pat George
Diana Williams
Amber Hawk
Laura Palmer

Come on out and join us! Please print the flyer to give to your server.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Fundraising Page

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Check out our Team Blazin With <3. If you have not donated or signed up and wish to do so, just click on "my fundrasing page" and donate away.

Thank you and blessings ~ Christine

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This is a beautiful poem sent to be by a new friend I have made through another family's battle with cancer; the good in the mist of the bad situations. Her son, Nick was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, (ALL) July 4th and lost his battle to All in October of 2008. His Fight was short but fought with valor. His mother said this poem was "a source of strength for Nick."


The Oak Tree
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.


A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew



Fight to be Healed Liz!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Update


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ Psalm 139:14

Karen Zando, a friend, talked about this Psalm at a breakfast several years back when she was a guest speaker. I have used this Psalm on myself since then whenever I am feeling bad about myself. I am now saying it to Elizabeth all the time. God has designed her and she is uniquely Liz.

I hear these statements all the time, "God will not give you more than you can handle," " I don't understand why God allows stuff like this to happen." Here is my response to statements like these. "GOD DIDN'T give Liz cancer." I feel cancer is a by-product of our sinful world. When Adam and Eve disobeyed they brought suffering and disease into our lives. GOD did PROMISE to be there through our troubles, carry us when we are too tired to go on, to take all things bad and use them for good. We have free will, a gift from God and one that is often abused by us. My question is: how can God still love us? Because of our fallen world we will never understand that sort of love; we must just BELIEVE.

This round has been both physically and mentally a tough phase. If Liz was a rapid responder in October of 08, she would be into maintenance at this time, but because she was not she has four more months of heavy chemos. It is basically a repeat of the last two phases. The new and unknown will be the radiation in October. Starting back to school has also been a roller coaster for Liz. She is excited to be normal and go to school yet she is only going half a day, has to use the elevator, is exhausted and in pain when she comes home, does two classes online, and will not be in school by the end of Sept, until after the New Year; how normal is that for a 15 year old? She has not been in school for the past year, friends change, life happens, and she is no longer defined by being an athlete and left wondering "where do I fit in?" She has done things with friends and seems to be more upset by what she sees she can no longer do like something as simple as throwing a ball.

I seem to be weak at the moment. I have a very strong faith but a weak mind. Seeing your daughter see her new limitations and not feel like she fits in anymore is hard to handle. Our relationship is much stronger than it has ever been, this is a good in a bad situation. God has given us a bond and relationship that is forever changed and is and will be stronger than most mother daughter relationships. I would not suggest going about it in this manner but it is definitely a good in a bad situation and THAT is a gift from God.

Please be very vigilant in your prayers for Liz over the next four months. I believe this time will be the biggest battle yet. She has stayed strong for so long and now the demons are really working hard to break her spirit and cause her to worry about her future; no child should ever have to worry about their mortality. A lot of the people she knows or has gotten to know that have cancer since she was diagnosed with cancer have not made it and this makes it extremely tough on her mentally.

We are headed down to clinic today and tomorrow for chemo. This IV Methotrexate is tough on teenagers. The more she receives the harder and sooner the side effects hit her. She was vomiting 15 minutes into the treatment last time. We were at clinic from 10:30 a.m. until 5:40 p.m trying to get her side effects under control. Please pray for Gods peace and protections from the violent side effects she experiences from these chemos. Please pray that the pain in her knee joint is from the Vincristine and not A Vascular Necrosis, a bone deterioration from the steroids. Please pray that she remains free of the flu. The secondary complications that cancer patients get from the flu will kill her. Please pray for my peace of mind. I said "I have a strong faith but a weak mind" and it can play havoc with me. Please pray for the Stoneberger family. Rob Stoneberger was a teacher at Sycamore, in his early 40's. He died from Esophageal Cancer on Saturday.


If you have not signed up for the Light the Night walk in Mason on Sept. 17, or donated, all proceeds go to the Leukemia/lymphoma Society, please go to my fundraising page below and do so. We are so close to saving ALL patients with blood cancer.
http://pages.lightthenight.org/soh/ButlerCo09/clothrop

My you experience Gods abundant love and blessings ~ Christine

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bds fundraiser



Come out and help raise awarness for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society; also 10% of your dinning bill will be donated to the Brown and Lothrop Families. Please print out the flyer and bring it with you to Bds.

Thanks for your continued support and we will have a great time. Hope to see you there ~ Blessings ~ Christine

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First day of High School! The beginning and the end ;-)


6:30 a.m start time 12:30 p.m. end on the couch
She had a great day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The good and the bad of it.

Great weekend!
Today: clinic day, long day, sick day, pain day, scary day, too exhausted to think, going to bed.
Please pray:
for side effects to subside,
for a peaceful and restful night,
Elizabeth spirit to return,
for the newly diagnosed on A5 South,
God's will to always be present in our hearts.
God bless ~ Christine

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Biden comforts ill boy, family | Cincinnati.com | Cincinnati.Com

Thought you might like to read this. This was a special time for Alex.

Biden comforts ill boy, family | Cincinnati.com | Cincinnati.Com

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Update on Alex

We are tremendously saddened at the Lothrop house upon learning that Alex has passed away. Alex died at his home with family and friends by his side last Thursday, Aug. 13 and his funeral was yesterday, Tuesday Aug. 18th.
Alex was a bright and vibrant 13 year old that will be missed by everyone he came in contact with and achingly missed by his family.
Please lift up Dale, Sally, and their two daughters in prayer and pray that somewhere in the depths of their anguish they will find peace and comfort from our Lord. They are strong believers but even the strongest of faith can be shaken with the death of a child.
In Christ's name I pray ~ Christine

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

and on and on and on!


Please continue to pray for Liz and her side effects from the chemo. She is still experiencing headaches, body pain, and joint pain. Her spirits have fallen and she has spent a few hours in tears this evening. I am really at a loss when this happens because she is always a happy go lucky person. When you want to go to Yost just to get out you know things are bad.
Please keep her in your prayers, she has a lot of things coming up that she would like to do, Heritage Festival, her birthday, freshman orientation, and the first day of school.
Thank you for your faithfulness.
Blessings ~ Christine

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend update

Well, as you know Liz started her Interim Phase II on Aug. 13. The blessing in her delay is that we had a family reunion the weekend of the 8th at our house and she was well enough to partake in all the great and crazy things my family finds to do. She also was well enough to meet extended family, Lisa Rowell and her son Aaron, from VT and went to KI and had a great time before she entered into this "easier phase."

I hope this phase gets better because it has not been easy so far. We did have an unexpected trip to Children's last night where she received fluids for hydration, compazine for nausea, vomiting and migraine, and ketorolac for pain. She started to feel good about 1/2 hour into the treatment and fell asleep. We were home between 12 and 1 a.m this morning and she slept the rest of the morning until about 11:00 a.m. I am praying that she is on the upward trend.

Thank you for you continued prayers in this journey.

Blessings ~ Christine

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best Put by Rob Stoneberger

Rob is a teacher at Sycamore J.H. He is battling his own demon of cancer. You can follow his journey and gain strength from his wisdom. I do. http://www.carepages.com/carepages/StoneysNews/updates/2298701?client_code=default&ipc=mur

Below is something he wrote and he said it so eloquently and it is 100% right on that I felt I had to share it with you because it goes for anything in life that you are dealing with, not just cancer. Insert your own demon into the place of cancer.

"Some days dealing with cancer is 90% mental. It works on your hopes and dreams, your fears and anxieties. Today was not that day. Today felt 100% physical. I feel like I was in a fight with an invisible enemy. I guess from the exterior that is exactly what is going on. I am fighting an enemy within myself that none can see and only I can feel its presence. Luckily, I also have an ally that is equally invisible but 100x’s as strong that never leaves my side. Unlike cancer, everyone around me can feel my ally’s presence. Needless to say it is God."

I know Liz feels like this so much of the time and as a parent, I relate to this feeling of isolation, fears, and anxieties. It goes on within and seldom is let out to rear its ugly head. But I know my ally is bigger than anything life can throw at me.

Keep lifting us up in prayer; God hears you!

Blessings,
Christine

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not feeling so well



















Liz has been having a rough time since starting this phase on Thursday. She is experiencing emesis (I use this word for the sake of my husband, otherwise it is known to the common lay person as vomiting), bone and joint pain, abdominal pain, jaw ache, debilitating headaches, and leg cramping etc, etc, etc. They checked the cramping in her leg to make sure it was not a blood clot; they feel confident that it is not and went on with the treatment.

Please double up on your prayers for her; pray that the side effects subside and she remains out of the hospital. This phase is easier on her internal organs but makes her more sick with visible and physical side effects.

Thank you for being faithful to Liz and our family.

Blessings ~ Christine

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here we sit at Children's


Our day started at 5:30 a.m so Lizzy's first part of the morning in done, she has had her LP/IT Methotrexate (chemo in the spine) and it did not go so red hot. She is a tough one to get the fluids out of her spine sometimes on the first "stick" so consequently the doc had to stick hera few times in the lower part of the spine before it was good. I knew as soon as I heard this news that it was not going to be pretty for her. They are now giving her pain meds and anti-nausea meds before she receives her other two chemo's Vincristine and IV Methotrexate. Even though this is suppose to be an easier phase where school could be a possibility, I have been looking at her "road map" for the next 57 days and it has the potential to not be so good either. We started out this phase with a low ANC count, I hope that won't contribute or worsen any of the potential side effects. Please pray that her counts go up and remain at a level where she can start school and get reconnected before she is pulled out in Oct. for the rest of the year. It is now 1:50 p.m and we are going home. She has received all three of the chemos for today and we will be back tomorrow at 10:00 a.m for the rest of her chemo, the peg shots.

The ride home did not go well. She was blaming me for not feeling well, saying that it was my driving. HA, I am a darn good driver. Unfortunately she did get sick on the way home while in the fast lane. Of all times to forget the barf bucket! I felt really bad for her and she felt bad about the mess. I just pulled over and took take of what I could and now my wonderful husband is cleaning out the rest of the car. God did give me an amazing husband and terrific family. I do love my life, LIG!

Liz is such a brave and tough girl. Now I see why she excels in spots and academics. Nothing is going to stop her; may slow her down and cause some pain but it will not stop her. I am so proud of how she is dealing with her life being turned upside down and then for good measures, jumbled and scrambled after that. Seeing all of these kids on this floor is a life changing event/ordeal. I am so amazed by their spirit. This little boy in the recovery room with Liz was so concerned with her and why she was not waking up and what was wrong with her. He knows Liz but did not recognize her without hair, he is only about four.

Please continue to pray for minimal side effects of these nasty chemo's, her counts to stay high, and she is able to attend Spirit Day and start school, also you can go to our team website for Light the Night and sign up to walk with Joel, Liz. and our families at http://pages.lightthenight.org/soh/ButlerCo09/clothrop

Blessings,
Christine

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life is always good!


Westhoven Family Reunion Aug. 7-10, 2009


Just wanted to give everyone a quick up-date on Elizabeth. She is doing great and has ended her Delayed Intensification I Phase. We are now waiting for her counts to come up so we can continue and go on to Interim Phase II. She was suppose to start this phase on Aug. 4, but her platelet count was only at 68k and they need to be at 75K. Her ANC was high, for a cancer patient, at 1300 but by Thur. it had dropped to 780. By all accounts, both counts were high enough to start on Fri., Aug. 7 but because her ANC had dropped so rapidly, they dropped due to her being sick last weekend, they canceled the already rescheduled start date and have now given us the date of Aug. 13. Liz will have blood work done tomorrow to make sure her counts are high enough and we will then be a go for Thursday.

Liz will have an LP with chemo and Vincristine on Thurs. and we will go back on Fri. for the Peg shots. She is pretty miserable after these chemos. The only problem with the chemos are the onset of the side effects have not been consistent. Sometimes they hit her 8 to 12 hours after and sometimes 7 to 10 days after.
Liz does not mind the delays any more because we have found out that it does not take away from the end date. That is right, we have an end date, a no more chemo day ........DRUM ROLL PLEASE .......... Feb. 17, 2011, GOD WILLING, is the last day she will ever take another chemotherapy treatment. I know it is 1.6 years away but it is the light at the end of our tunnel. This is the day my little girl can start to truly dream again and feel normal.

Leah has ended her treatment for Leukemia and is now on the road to waiting for the CURE word. I believe she is 10 years out for a cure too. Please continue to pray for the cure for Leah and that she stays healthy. Also, pray for Ellen and Tony that they may feel comfort at not giving her chemo anymore. This is a quite a scary step for the parents. All of the sudden you are not giving her anything and for the past seven months you have had to monitor Leah so closely. She is still receiving blood products because her cell counts are not completely recovered from her last stay in the hospital but before long, this will be a distant memory for Leah.

Please keep my brother-in-law in your prayers. He was on a mission trip in Haiti, he goes every year, but this year we have just found out he contracted Malaria. He is pretty sick with chills, fever, he is lethargic, pale and has a host of other side effects. I know he will be OK, God is good and will surround John with healing but please pray for minimal side effects, comfort for John, Linda, Ryan, and Nicole, and a true feeling of peace during his complete healing time.

If you would like to walk with Liz/Joel and our families at the Light the Night Walk in Mason on Sept. 17, please go to our website and register to walk with our team at: http://pages.lightthenight.org/soh/ButlerCo09/clothrop


Please pray for:
minimal side effects from the chemo
no abdominal pain
no bone/joint pain
Liz to stay hydrated
the families on A5 South
comfort for Alex and his family

May God bless you and may you know his love he has for each one of you.
Blessings,
Christine