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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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., 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.

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


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,

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


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:


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,


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.