Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
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,
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
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.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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
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.
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:
Come on out and join us! Please print the flyer to give to your server.
Friday, September 4, 2009
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
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.
My you experience Gods abundant love and blessings ~ Christine