Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Caroline Clinical Update / Vanderbilt Ambassador

Caroline had 2 visits to Vanderbilt in the last 3 days. On Friday, she had a scheduled monthly clinical visit, and today, she visited as an Ambassador of the hospital to help open the brand new 10th Floor!

Clinical Update - All of her blood tests and urine makers (can aid in early detection of a relapse) looked great, and the doctors are happy with her current level of health. She will return to Vanderbilt in July for her 3-month post-treatment MIBG and CT scans, as well as a full day of labs and clinical testing.

Giving Back - She always has a fun time representing Vanderbilt in any way she can!  Caroline was able to tell her story, and tour the new floor, which will take care of young patients just like her for many years to come.  The video she worked on today should be published in the fall and we will certainly share when available. We are very grateful to the Carell family for being so generous and supportive of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, as well as all of the other donors that made the expansion possible.  It's a true blessing to have access to the kind of care that saves lives so close to home!

Much Love,
The Lantz Family

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Caroline's Make-A-Wish!

We just returned from Caroline’s Make-A-Wish trip to the Cayman Islands! She originally picked a trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, but because of the timing of her treatment last November, she picked an alternate...riding ponies on the beach...and much, much more!

The Cayman Islands were gorgeous, and we’re so thankful Caroline is healthy enough to travel and truly enjoy the water, as well as everything the Island had to offer. We will let the pictures do the talking, but two very special shout-outs to those that made this all happen:

~Franklin Girls Cotillion: they raised the funds to sponsor the trip! What an amazing organization led by very kind and generous young ladies; we hope Caroline grows up with the same servant heart.

~Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee: They really do make wishes come true! Everything went off without a hitch!

Thankful for so many things, but especially time together relaxing as a family!
Team Lantz

Living her best life!

One the way to the Grand Cayman Islands - so excited!

Snorkeling in the crystal clear water

Cayman Turtle Center


Girls' Pool Day

Horseback riding along the ocean

Stingray City

The kids discovered (virgin) Pina Coladas while we were there... 

Oceanfront dinner on the last night

Jet-skiing with Daddy

Stand-Up Paddle Boards

Starfish Alley

Thank you Make-A-Wish and the Franklin Girls' Cotillion for an amazing vacation!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Clinical Trial Update

Caroline has officially completed her first month on the DFMO clinical trial drug, which is hopefully going to significantly reduce the risk of a relapse.  She had a clinic appointment this morning, and her labs looked great!

It's been a really fun month for Caroline to be a "normal" kid, and for us to spend a lot of time together doing things we haven't been able to do as a family in the past 19 months.  Some highlights include:

- getting to go to "real" school and ride the bus...even go on her first field trip
- losing (another) front tooth
- taking swimming lessons and being able to get back into the pool
- visiting the "American Girl" doll store for the first time
- being able to finally go into a movie theater (she saw "Penguins")
- Going to Andrew's baseball games
- 3 Easter egg hunts
- Preds Playoff Game
- Franklin Main Street Festival
- Play dates and the park with friends
- Walking as an ALUMNI in the Rally on the Runway Event, where she was interviewed and created original artwork that raised $7,500 for the foundation!

Other than one day in the ER after catching a virus 2 weeks ago, we've really had an awesome month.  Her hair is growing back quickly, and relative to what she's been through, the 6 DFMO pills per day that she needs to take is not a big deal for her. 

Assuming all goes well, Caroline will go back to clinic in a month for a check-up!  It's a surreal feeling to be on the other side of that daunting and devastating treatment, but it makes us so grateful for each day.  We feel so thankful, blessed, relieved, and happy to be able to look ahead. 

Thank you for the love, support and prayers!
The Lantz Family

Rally on the Runway 2019 - Holding up her 2018 Rally Card

Field Day at school

Easter 2019

Friday, April 12, 2019

Scan Results

Scan results showed: No Evidence of Disease!!! Thank the Lord!

Next Steps:

  • Enroll in DFMO clinical trial drug study which has (so far) proven to significantly decrease the relapse rate (which is high for Neuroblastoma)
  • Labs/Clinic check-ups monthly (or as needed in between)
  • Full panel of scans in 3 months (July) to check for evidence of disease.

We are hoping to be able to transition her into school starting next week, so she can finish out kindergarten at Trinity Elementary!

THANK YOU doesn’t seem like quite enough, but, THANK YOU for all the prayers, love, and continued support over these long 17 months!

The Lantz Family


Monday, April 8, 2019

Final Week of Standard Treatment / "Scanxiety"

Caroline is finishing up the last few days of her 6th Round of Immunotherapy...the final round of "Standard Treatment Protocol" for Stage 4, High-Risk Neuroblastoma. It has taken 17 LONG months to get here. She will take her final dose of oral medication on Wednesday evening, right before bedtime, and then get ready for a long day of testing on Thursday.

Busy week ahead!
  • Wednesday: MIBG Radioactive Injection, EKG, Hearing Test, Clinic Visit/Labs
  • Thursday: Sedated for hours to complete a CT Scan, MIBG Scan and a Bilateral Bone Marrow Biopsy
  • Friday: Clinic visit to find our scan test results and consult with Caroline's medical team to determine next steps. 
Since Caroline's diagnosis, our family has learned to live with a heightened sense of "anxiety" on a regular basis.  However, this week in particular, we are all beyond anxious.  It's been dubbed "scanxiety," and it's definitely a REAL thing.  We are asking for specific prayers for some sense of peace, a safe round of test prep/tests, and of course a NED (no evidence of disease) report on Friday!

We will post an update on this blog as soon as we can.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support; you all have really pushed us along this journey!
The Lantz Family

First time back in a pool since 2017!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Immunotherapy Round 6 Underway!

Caroline had her weekly clinic visit to check blood counts and they were good enough to move onto the 6th, and final, round of Immunotherapy! She will take oral medication twice a day for the next 2 weeks, and the final day of her Neuroblastoma Standard Treatment Protocol will be April 10th. She is scheduled to have CT and MIBG progress scans on Thursday (4/11) and we hope to get the results on Friday (4/12).  As always, we will update the blog with results asap.

Caroline is feeling energetic right now; she has been able to do schoolwork at home, as well as spend quality time with family and friends. We are still hopeful that she will be able to go to her elementary school sometime in late April!

We have had requests for #carolinestrong slouchy tank tops for summer, so we relaunched a brief campaign; click here if you would like to order those or the other t-shirts.

Thank you for all the continued prayers, support and well-wishes!

All the best,
The Lantz Family

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Predators 365 Foundation / Clinic Update

Caroline had a weekly clinic visit today for blood work and an overall check up.  Her numbers were mostly good, but her ANC keeps dropping, and is a little lower then we would like at this point.  The low number could be registering because of a common cold, or even side effects of the oral medications she is currently taking as the last portion of Round 5 (of 6) of Immunotherapy.  For now she will continue weekly check-ups until her progress scans are scheduled in mid April.

We want to say thank you to Pekka Rinne, The Nashville Predators, and Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, for always doing so much to support children who are in treatment!  We got to attend a Preds game last night in one of the suites sponsored by Pekka Rinne...who helped with an awesome Preds win in an OT shootout!  After the game, we were invited to go down to the locker room area and meet with some players.  It was so awesome to be able to congratulate and thank them for all they do for the community!  We are very grateful that they take the time to give back so graciously, especially after every one of these physically exhausting NHL games!

Chugging ahead,
The Lantz Family


 Superstar Goalie - Pekka Rinne!

Fun visit with Ms. Kristen and Ms. Rhonda

Monday, February 25, 2019


Monumental steps today!

Caroline was discharged today after finishing her 5th cycle (of 6) of Antibody Immunotherapy!  This was her last inpatient round of treatment...hopefully forever.  She also had surgery this morning to remove her Double-Lumen Hickman Central Line (heart bandage below in picture is where her line was connected).  She's had a central line since November 30, 2017, so this is really exciting - she will finally be able to shower and swim again soon!  This procedure was moved up a week, after they discovered a small hole in one of the lines over the weekend.  Because Caroline received her last dose of intravenous chemo treatment this round, and will hopefully no longer need a central line, they went ahead and removed it while we were still admitted today, instead of repairing it, or having her come back next week to get it removed.

Remaining treatment protocol timeline as follows:
  • Weekly outpatient Vanderbilt clinic visits for blood work/labs and check-ups
  • Cycle 6 (an final) of Immunotherapy in March (oral medication at home)
  • End of treatment CT and MIBG scans in mid-April 
  • DFMO clinical trial drug for 2 years (assuming No Evidence of Disease at end of treatment scan)
Huge shout out to the incredible staff at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, who have been so amazing to Caroline and our family throughout this process of inpatient stays.  We appreciate all of you more than words can ever adequately express, and we are very grateful that we chose to stay local for her treatment plan.  Many thanks to Dr. Maggie (surgeon) for taking such awesome care of Caroline today, on what we hope will be her final operation/procedure!

We will continue to keep the blog updated as we have new information or treatment results.

Tired, but happy and hopeful!
The Lantz Family
Loading up car to come home from Vandy (hopefully the last time)

Heart bandage over Hickman line scar

Walking back from surgery

Pop-Pop heading home

Visit from 6A BFF Molly 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Vanderbilt Admission - Immunotherapy Round 5

Caroline was admitted this evening for Round 5 (of 6) of Immunotherapy. We are hopeful this will be her LAST inpatient admission for cancer treatment; her next round of Immunotherapy will take place at home (oral medication).  She will begin antibody therapy tomorrow morning, as well as get on a Dilaudid PCA 24/7 for pain management (pain is caused by the anti-body drug, Unituxin). We expect all the same side effects this round, as in the previous 4 rounds: high fever, extreme nerve pain, rash, loss of appetite, low oxygen levels, low blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, etc.  It will be a rough little stretch, but we hope and pray it’s doing everything to get her to an NED (no evidence of disease) scan in April.

For those that have asked about #carolinestrong shirts, there is a batch going to print in 2 days: click here for the link.

As always, many thanks for the prayers and support!
The Lantz Family

HUGE thank you to Michelle Prichard for the awesome door sign and room decorations...she's decorated every.single.room for ALL of Caroline's inpatient stays!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Singing for Caroline - A Songwriters' Night

We were blessed and humbled to attend a very special songwriters' night to celebrate Caroline, that was coordinated and produced by some very special friends of ours, Brooke and Shane Minor. Thank you to the entire Minor family, and all of the talented artists that gave their time to honor our family: Scotty Emerick, Jonathon Singleton, Shane Minor, Drake White and Luke Bryan. The music was amazing and Caroline had a great time singing along all night!

Big shout out to Storme Warren for flawlessly hosting the entire event...the turnout was amazing and we are so very grateful to everyone that showed up to support our family!!!

With full hearts,
The Lantz Family

"Mr. Shane," Jonathan Singleton and Scotty Emerick

Caroline and "Mr. Luke"

Singing "Story" with Drake White

Friday, February 8, 2019

Progress Scan Update / Path Forward

Today we met with Caroline’s oncology team to review the results of her most recent MIBG progress scan, which was completed yesterday. Reading the results of these scans is very subjective, but overall, the medical team feels positive about the findings. The Radiologist cannot definitively say that she has “no evidence of disease,” but they are pleased with the improvements on this scan relative to previous scans. There are no plans for a biopsy at this this time, or any additional scans, until after treatment. As parents, we still feel very anxious (and a little bummed!) that she didn’t get a clear “no evidence of disease” result...her body has fought so hard, and for so long, we just want this disease to be gone already! But, we’re extremely thankful the disease didn’t progress.

Caroline is still on the standard treatment protocol, so the next steps are:

  • Round 5 of Immunotherapy (inpatient at the hospital)
  • Central Line Removal (surgery)
  • Round 6 of Immunotherapy (oral medication at home)
After Round 6 of Immunotherapy, Caroline will get progress scans again, and we're hoping she's eligible to enroll into a clinical trial that significantly decreases relapse rates, called DFMO. In order to qualify for this trial drug, she must have completed standard treatment protocol and also be NED (no evidence of disease) at that next scan.

Radiology prep for MIBG scan.

Driving herself back to MIBG scan.

As always, we appreciate your continued prayers and support during this long journey.

The Lantz Family