Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some thoughts...

The older I get, the more I realize that we were made by God and for God, and until I figure that out, life just wasn't going to make much sense.If you think about it life could very easily be viewed as a series of problems: you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.
I think maybe the reason for this is that God is more interested in our character than our comfort.
God is more interested in making our life holy than He is in making our life happy.
Ya know, we can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been one of the more fulfilling years of my life; in many ways I sense a better understanding for God’s will. Yet at the same time this year has been the toughest, with our daughter, Liz, being diagnosed with leukemia.
I used to think that life was filled with a series of hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop experience, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's more like standing in the median of a highway; things are coming at you from both directions. Sometimes the heavy traffic is coming from one direction; like the hills, yet at the same time there is traffic coming at you from the other direction, the valleys. At all times you have something good and something bad working in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
We can focus on how God might choose to use you, or you can focus on our problems.
When I focus on my problems, I'm going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain. But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get my focus off myself and onto God and others.
We, (Christine & I), discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of people, God was not going to heal Liz or make it easy for her.
It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her the opportunity to share her faith and spirit, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
We have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more, and to love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
I remember reading, that's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

Throughout the past four months one word seems to have risen to the top, so to speak. That word is, “believe”. Tonight I would like to add to that word. A friend of Christine’s gifted Liz with a cross and on the cross it reads, “Believe, there is always darkness in the light … and know there is light in the dark.” God can use all things for good, according to His perfect will!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fundraiser for Elizabeth Lothrop and Joel Brown Feb. 28

Garage sale fundraiser for Elizabeth Lothrop and Joel Brown Feb. 28

This is going to be a fun and an amazing time for all. Hopefully Liz and Joel will both be feeling well enough to come and help us out. I will just have to watch Liz because she will want to buy everything she sees.

If you would like to volunteer on Fri. Feb. 27 and/or Sat. Feb. 28, please contact Barb Williams at

Thanks in advance for your help and support.
Posted by Christine, Randy at 6:41 PM 0 comments

Monday, February 23, 2009

Relay for Life Slideshow

Hello everyone!
For the University of Cincinnati Relay for Life event this year we will be trying something a little bit different. We are creating a slideshow that will play throughout the whole event and will be showing pictures from last year’s event as well as people’s personal photos. This is where we need your help! If you could send me, Catherine Lothrop, an email with a picture of someone you may know (or yourself) that has cancer, had cancer, or passed away from cancer, along with a favorite quote or bible verse, that would be fantastic! Also if you want to you can let me know the type of cancer that the person had/has and I can incorporate that. I have another request; I have been putting together a lot of pictures that look like this one of Liz. As you can imagine, it is very time consuming! If you are able to, it would be great if you could send me them already edited. If you consider yourself ‘artistically challenged’ I understand and just sending the picture and information is fine. But if you can help in this way it would be tremendous. I will supply you with some instructions so you can try it on your own if you are willing.

2. On the main page, click on get started now. Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to your computer and there are no fees unless you choose to go premium.
3. You will then click upload a photo which is on the left of the screen
4. On the first screen with your photo you can crop or auto enhance it in any way to make your photo better quality
5. Next click on the create tab
6. Under this tab if you click on text you can type in a quote to add and change the color and font to whatever you like as long as it is readable!
7. If you click on stickers there is a cancer ribbon awareness section and you can pick the ribbon color that goes along with the type or types of cancer the person had.
8. Feel free to click on other things and change the picture however you want. If you’re super into it you can even whiten the teeth!
9. Finally when you are finished, click on the save and share tab and type in a name that you would like to save your new picture as. Be sure to change the name that is already filled in or it will overwrite your original picture.
10. From there press save photo and send it to my email,, as an attachment.
Thank you all! I look forward to seeing everyone’s photos! Feel free to email me with questions as well!
Catherine C. Lothrop

Friday, February 20, 2009

A story to share...

In Liz's first stay at Children's(some 30+ days)she was reluctant to leave her room. In part because she had limited strength, however there were many days that we would go on walks up in down the hallways on the 5th floor late into the evening. She did not like walking the halls during the daylight hours when everyone else was up and around. I believe this was in part due to the fact that Liz knew that outside the walls of her room were very sick kids that had been fighting cancer for a while. Their appearance was everything you would come to expect from a cancer patient: bald; pale; round faces; very thin. A lot of uncertainty about what the future holds. In short, it was all overwhelming for Liz to step outside her room. I don't think she felt like she was ready to take all that step at a time RIGHT!!!
Well, last night when I visited Liz at Children's about 5:30 she informed me that she had plans @ 6:00. You see most of the kids on A5 south are considerably younger than Liz. Liz as a teenager is in the minority. Liz went on to inform me that she had plans to watch High School Musical III with Leah, an 11 year old down the hall who is fighting her own battle with cancer. The clock struck six and Liz was on her feet, lines dangling from her port, rolling her meds along with her down the hall. She had a date to be kept!
A while later Christine and I peeked in the room and what I saw was so much more than a couple of kids watching a movie.It sent shivers up my spine! I saw Liz sitting with a number younger kids, most bald, all sickly, all fighting the same fight. All with their meds hanging from posts, all sitting as close to each other as they could! Liz was loving them like a big sister loves on her baby sister.
I can't imagine anything God would have rathered Liz be doing in that moment in time. She was supporting her young companions in a way that maybe no one else can.

Ya see,cancer does not define who she is but Liz has absolutely found a way to use here circumstance for good in the lives of others! Praise God! On Thursday night, on A5 south, God was smiling!!!

Interim Phase I update :-)

Tuesday started out very early at 5:00 am. Liz needed to be down in clinic for her 6:30 am check-in time. The actual procedure time was 8:30 am, she was the third in line for her LP (chemo in her spine) and bone marrow biopsy. Great news, her preliminary results show ZERO blasts in her bone marrow meaning that they can not see any cancer cells. YEAH! Elizabeth was allowed to push her own medicine syringe that puts her to sleep. She was told by the doc that no one has pushed it all the way through before falling off to sleep, of course this was a challenge to her and one that I am sad to say she lost. I did get it on video and it is the cutest thing. That sounds really weird to say your child falling off into a drug induced sleep is cute but in some situations you have to find the cute or adorable moments. She always gives a sweet yawn after she closes her eyes and I finally have it on video.

She was admitted and assigned a room, room 539, at 3:30 pm and at this time they started the high dose Methotrexate. She will probably never drink Mt. Dew again because that is the color of her high dose Methotrexate. She made me put her jacket over it so she did not have to look at it, it was making her sick.

Elizabeth has had very strong chemos this time around and is having minimal side effects due to your continued prayers. Her potassium level is low and they are giving her a higher dose of it through her port. She also had an inch long potassium pill this morning. We were allowed to cut it in half for her to take but I can see now she still has not taken it. :-( She is trying to rub the edges smooth from where we cut it so she will not feel it go down her throat. She is such a trooper I can't help but marvel at her spirit and her little tricks. She really is a funny kid. :-D

The docs have given her a 24 hour dose of Zofran, her anti-nausea med, so the nurses do not have to interrupt her fluids. The fluids are extremely important because the methotrexated needs to be flushed out of her system ASAP. The 24 hour dose of Zofran gives her a headache so they just give her Tylenol for that.

As devastating as Elizabeth's diagnoses is to me, it is also a wonderful gift of time. I do not allow time to slow down unless I am forced to make it slow down. This is the gift God has given to me and my family. God has not given us Leukemia to deal with, he has given us the wonderful gift of time. God is about relationships. He is our strength and our father. He loves us more than we can ever begin to imagine. God loves us more than we love our own children. He sent his only son to die for us, I know I could not do that, I do not have that all encompassing agape love.

Please continue to pray for the minimal side effects of all the drugs.
Her caregivers.
Please also pray for her friend and classmate Joel Brown who also has ALL.
Please pray for the family of her teacher, Mr. Daugherty. He lost his battle to Lymphoma yesterday.
All the children and families on the 5th floor of children's.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lifting for Liz!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tonight on Fox 19 news!!!

A story was shot at the end of last week about the Sycamore football programs Liftathon for Liz. It will air tonight on the FOX 19 10 O’clock News and again tomorrow morning on the FOX 19 Morning News. Should be pretty cool.

We are a GO!

We have just gotten back from Children's and it is a go for tomorrow. We will be starting on the Interim Phase I protocol.

Elizabeth's ANC is at 800 and her platelets are at 163,000. We are so thankful that she is finally getting to continue with her treatment.

This phase will consist of 57 plus days. She will be hospitalized Tomorrow for four days and out for ten. This cycle will continue for the 57 plus days. The reason I say "plus days" is because on day 29 of this cycle, March 17, her counts will need to be at certain levels before she finishes out the phase; Liz's ANC must be at 750 and her platelets at 75,000 sustained on their own, if not we will have a delay until they reach those numbers.

Elizabeth will be admitted at 6:30 am for a bone marrow and IT MTX (chemo in the spine,) she will also be starting on the high dose Methatrexate which is a 24 hour chemo given through her port. The port is like an IV but can handle stronger meds. and will stay in her for the duration of her protocol.

The bone marrow will give us answers to how well the chemo is working. This will be checking the amount of leukemic cells still in her bone marrow. I am not sure if we will get those results back tomorrow or if it will take a few days, but when we receive them we will let you know.

Please pray that her cancer cells are fewer, if any.
Pray for the unknown side effects of this high dose Methatrexate.
Pray for minimal side effects.
Pray for the families and children on 5A of Children's.
Pray for Elizabeth's caregivers.
Pray for yourselves too.

The Lothrop's are praying for you.

God's blessings,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just thinking

Well, here I sit on Valentines Day looking at old post and remembering, remembering things that I thought I did not remember or feel.

The first 33 days at Children's was a bit of a whirlwind but reflecting back on the blog and videos this evening has brought back a lot of dark days. Seeing pictures of Elizabeth, ones we have shared with you and ones we have not, has been a bit sobering. I too can go through a day and think she is ok and then one moment back in time reminds me of the battle that still lies ahead.

One thing I can say for sure is that I have grown immensely in my faith. I look at the pictures and feel the despair that I felt four months ago, even though I had faith. Seemingly so to me, one of little faith. It is something that I can not even begin to describe or make you feel....I guess like what Elizabeth must feel like sometimes when she thinks of her mortality. No one can understand unless you have been there, we try because we love and care for each other but still can't get it.

I watch Elizabeth, Randy, Catherine, and James go through their emotions, each one different from the other, but non less or more and wonder how they cope; just like you probably wonder how I/we cope. I do know this more today than I ever have and I understand it too; it is only by the grace of God that I/we get through this. It is because of the strength we receive from him through your prayers that we can and will survive this journey. We will be stronger and will not be lead by our fears. God did not promise to shelter us from lifes difficuties but He does promise to be with us every step of the way.
As we get ready to head into the next phase we continue to ask for your prayers for Elizabeth and our family. God knows what is ahead for us and he is already prepared the way by bringing all of you into our lives. I thank you for you friendship, love, and support, of our family.

May God show you the love he has for you and continue to bless each and everyone of you.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

and still holding!!!!!

Yes, that's right, we are still waiting. As of this morning her ANC count is only at 410. It is going up which is good but just not quick enough. It has to be 750 to start the phase and 500 to be able to go out without a mask. Her platelets are at 86,000 which is above the number needed to start the phase.....yeah! I know this is God's timing and I am learning about patience and confronting my fears of what delays mean.

We will begin the phase on Tuesday, Feb. 17th. if all her counts are up which I do feel she sill make it. Please pray that she stays healthy because we are all sick with something at this house.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Still waiting........

I don't have much new news. Elizabeth had a CBC today and her counts are not good enough to move forward. Her ANC count is 180, needs to be 750, her platelets are 65,000 and need to be 75,000. As of right now the game plan is to try to start the Interim Phase I on Friday, Feb. 13.

She is feeling well but is limited to visitors so please call first and remember that when her counts are down, you need a flu shot, can not be sick and over 13 years of age. I can't wait for flu season to be over so more people can come to visit and we will not have to worry SO much about her getting the flu.

Please continue to pray for the following:
Elizabeth stays healthy, Randy, Jimmy, and myself, are all sick.
Her counts continue to rise and we can move forward on Friday.
We all remain upbeat and listen to Gods word.
For the children and their families at Children's Hospital on the 5th floor.
All of Elizabeth's caregivers
Minimal side effects of the drugs given to Elizabeth.

Please continue to pray to the true Physician for complete healing for Elizabeth.

May you feel the peace of God and the blessings he has for all of us.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No ANCs, on hold, please PRAY

The title just about says it all. Elizabeth's insides are in a bad place. Her ANC, the antibacterial fighting cells, are at 0.0. She can not even fight her own bodies bacteria. Elizabeth's platelets were at 11,000, this being extremely low. The normal low is 133,000.

We went to Children's yesterday for platelets. We are having a CBC (complete blood count) tomorrow and if need be she will receive more blood products on Thursday. Friday she will have another CBC and more blood products if needed.

Elizabeth is not even being considered for the procedure (IT MTX and bone marrow biopsy) or starting the Interim Phase I for Friday; we will try for next Tuesday. Please pray that God is always in charge and it is on his timing no matter how badly we want her to move on. God's timing is perfect; not mine!

We are all fighting colds in this family with Randy possibly sleeping at his parents as not to infect Liz with anything. If she catches a cold, it will land her in the hospital for 14 days with no questions asked. She would not like that and it would scare all of if we are not scared enough.

Specifics to pray for:
ANCs start to go up so she will be able to fight colds and her own bodies bacteria.
Platelets will take, hold, and begin to rise.
Hemoglobin will not fall and continue to rise.
Spirits stay high and strong.
Mr. D, a teacher at Mason Middle School, that he beats pneumonia and comes back stronger.
The families and children on A5South and A5North at Children's. That they may find peace and strength through all of their struggles and that God will continue to comfort and hold them and they may feel his peace.

Blessings to you and yours and may you feel the peace we feel.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Layups for Liz!


Just wanted to let everyone know we have a delay. Elizabeth's counts are not good enough to start the Interim Phase I tomorrow. Her ANCs are at zero and need to be at 750, and her platelets are at 11,000 and need to be at 75,000 sustained on their own. I am taking her to Children's today at 3:30 for a platelet transfusion. We will see if she is a go for Friday by doing another CBC count on Thursday of this week.

Please continue to pray for her and our family. Randy has a bad cold and is not allowed near her and must wear a mask at the house. Please pray Elizabeth does not catch something from this.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lothrop 5

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Quick prayer request

First off I just wanted to let you know we have not received her GFR test results yet. I feel no news is good news in this respect. She needed this test to go on to Interim Phase I. Elizabeth will continue to have GFR testing throughout this phase.

My prayer request is that her counts come up and she will be able to start the phase without a delay. At the moment it is not looking to good. We have a CBC (complete blood count) at 8:30 am on Monday, Feb. 2 and will know by Monday mid-morning if it is a go or not. I know, it is all on God's timing but it sure will be nice if his and ours is same :-)

Her spirits continue to soar even as more hair continues to fall out. She is amazing and such a source of joy to each one in our family. I thank God every day for the continued success in her protocol and the health, physical and mental, of our two other children, Catherine and James.