Midnight Poetry

Well, hello again.

Susie spent the night in my hospital room, reading me ancient poetry from Rumi. He wrote a lot about donkeys and plants. Sadly, the thought occurred to me, I am not that deep. The leap from donkeys and plants to cancer is where I have trouble making the connection.

For example, Susie recited: “Courage: a gazelle turns to face a pack of lions.” Let’s be honest…the gazelle is toast.

What has struck me more acutely is the absolute lack of empathy and awareness I had for others’ suffering…until this beast popped up.

So many of you have shared poignant and, frankely, heartwrenching stories of your own personal journeys. I have been around during those journeys and somehow missed them. I’m not offering any excuses, just to say that my epiphany, thus far, has been to open my eyes to your lives. A friend who crashed his motorcycle on my first day in the hospital and is still in a coma, a coworker who went from his 3-year-old daughter’s birthday party directly to his own father’s devastating MRI results and his mother’s continued chemotherapy. I can’t begin to list the stories you have shared with me over the past 7 days, because there are so damn many of them. Your stories are meant to be lessons and I think I’ve finally heard you.

A purposeful life awaits me, I just hope it’s not too late to do good. I have a family that will focus on what I need to do to get my body healthy. My time will be devoted to opening my eyes in those ways I have been unable…until now. Let’s share some laughs along the way, listen to some good music (like, my boy, Graham Nancarrow) and keep rootin’ for the gazelle.



Hannah Jane Nancarrow is a San Diego State University alumni, with a B.A. in journalism and new media. After graduating in 2011, Hannah worked in local T.V. news before her dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Hannah managed and contributed to her dad’s incredibly popular blog (thenancarrowproject.com) and social media platforms before he passed away, after 11 months of bravely battling and blogging. The diagnosis was a catalyst for her own writing and for following each whim and dream. Today, Hannah writes her own blog and has been a keynote speaker at San Diego Women's Week, Relay for Life, and a top fundraiser for cancer-related causes throughout San Diego. Hannah also has a passion for health and fitness, since losing 75 pounds in 2011. She earned her Spinning® and group fitness instructor certifications, and teaches weekly cycle classes in Encinitas, California. Hannah also earned her real estate license and works in the family business, Nancarrow Realty Group, in North County San Diego.

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117 comments on “Midnight Poetry
  1. Cara Furio says:

    Loren, I’ve been thinking a lot about your Midnight Poetry post and especially your comment about lacking empathy and awareness for the suffering of others. As a fan, observer, sister treehugger, gardener, environmentalist, sister San Diegan of about 30 years (moved here I believe about the same time as you), and friend (via our environmental community, your blog, facebook and yes, we’ve met a few times too… I do think you are a man full of empathy, awareness and compassion for the suffering of others. Please don’t sell yourself short. You have been fighting for Mother Earth for as long as I’ve known of you and there are few advocates for her as strong as you are. Saving Mother Earth is a high calling, as you’re working toward saving her for all of us. And recently, you’ve been very supportive of me in my difficult time of my mother’s passing due to dementia. You are so much more than a man Loren… you are a spiritual being having a human experience. You may not know it… but so many of us can see it. Yes, maybe some of what you’ve done may have fed your ego, but you’ve chosen a difficult path in the public eye and as a champion for Mother Earth, so without a little ego to protect you… well… you might have given up a long time ago. OK, enough adoration for now.. Just don’t sell yourself short. We can always be better, but cut yourself a break and focus on staying with us. Much and healing energy to you and your entire family. Hugs, Cara

  2. Chuck Helsel says:

    I’m not sure how many comments questioned you need to create a purposeful life but DUDE, everything about you has purposely come across to make us all a little more playful and appreciative of nature. You have purposely given us permission and called us out to question authorities and the masses acting like lemmings. You have been with purpose supporting our growth and will continue in a very meaningful way.

  3. Loren – here’s a Rumi quote you might relate to
    Rumi Quotes
    ‎”The water has a Water that is driving it;
    The spirit has a Spirit that is Calling it.”

  4. Diane Murphree says:

    Dear Loren-You are living a purposeful life. You have impacted many lives and will continue to impact many lives. From you I learned how to compost easily, how to make my own Christmas tree preservative and just learned to take better care of the earth. I survived breast cancer for the second time 2 years ago and one of the things that I loved about going through the cancer (yes I said loved) was that it taught me to open my eyes – to be aware of all of those and their trials and smiles who are around us and I loved finding all of God’s angels that have and will touch your life and will do it without realizing they are doing it. For me it was the hairdresser at a beauty salon I had never been to who shaved my head for free when my hair started falling out. It was the patients in the chemo lounge who brought in treats to celebrate their last day in the lounge. it was all of those who said a silent prayer for me, all of those who smiled at me and those who made me laugh. Those are God’s angels and they are all around. Healing light is being sent your way to surround you and powerful light is being sent to surround your family with courage.

  5. Loren, in the days I worked as a marketing communications consultant to (then) Quail Botanical Gardens you were always so responsive and tuned in. You were our hero. And shortly thereafter when my (business) partner Gary Taylor died suddenly on the way back from his epic surf trip to Indonesia I was so profoundly affected by the capriciousness of life. I moved to northern AZ and was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago. I fought it, I’m good, but it’s been tough on us all. Your wife is a gem and Rumi is the best. Try being still and listening, it will become clear.
    I have the utmost faith in your recovery. Everyone would want it so.
    Find a really good naturopath, I highly recommend Dr Datis Kharrazian. He is exceptional, lectures all around the world and is in your neck of the woods.
    Very best wishes –

  6. karen nauyokas says:

    will keep visualizing you back on air Loren with a big smile until your return

  7. Anthony Agundes says:

    I too am a cancer survivor and the journey will make you smell the roses, enjoy the sunshine and notice every bird’s whistle. I know you will be healed and be around for time to come. Again Godspeed Loren…

  8. Candace says:

    Keep writing…you are healing us all with your words !

  9. doug curlee says:

    loren..you’ve survived television news for all these years..this thing oughta be a piece of cake by comparison..we’re all here for you, no matter what..

  10. Dilee Hamilton says:

    Loren, I looked for you on the news when you left the other TV station I won’t name. I finally found you on the TV again and really was super happy to see you were still around. My recently deceased hubby loved to watch you and see the weather when you would tell it. I know you can beat this “cancer”. My mom is 88 yrs old and beaten cancer twice and she would tell you to keep on keeping on. So my wish for you is hang in there and we will be saying many prayers for you. you are Mr. San Diego. take care. Dilee

  11. Joe Wiedemann says:

    If there’s one thing you are and always have been, Loren, it’s a great writer. I’m lovin’ these essays! Keep ’em coming. Sounds like you’re back home. Get to healin’, buddy.

  12. Carole Laskey says:

    Loren, I think we have to be lions when things call for it and gazelles when that’s the necessary thing. Just figure that you’re already both.

  13. Cindy Bassett says:

    Hello Loren, Sorry to hear about your troubles….you’ve always been my favorite news person in San Diego. You manage to bring a little humor, lightness and honesty to the b.s. that we have to listen to from others in the media. Try to keep your sense of humor in this dark time in your life, that always seems to help. There are many of us that appreciate what you’ve been to San Diego and we’re all pulling for a full recovery and back to the things you love to do! Be well !!

  14. Cindy says:

    As many have mentioned, I always looked for your segment on the ‘news’ because you brightened whatever you reported on….it was always ‘real’ and interesting 🙂
    Sending Reiki Healing Energy your way…along with Prayers that all is healing along your path.

  15. char says:

    Yes! Laughter is the Best medicine! God Bless you & your family!

  16. You have been such a part of my life and memories since i came ot San Diego County in the 70’s-and of course yu didn’t know it. You attended a theraputic horseback riding demonstration and fund raiser at the del Mar showpark. My cerebral palsied daughter was one of the riders and i was struck how very genuine and friendly you were and how you weren’t lending your name for recognition-for what ever reason you just seemed to “be” there. This same daughter almost died 2 years ago and I’m convinced prayer pulled her back. So I send these same heatfelt prayers to you for you and your family.

  17. sam diego says:

    You are my hero……..see you very soon my friend. Rooting for the gazelle as we speak!

  18. Daniel says:

    Hi Loren,
    I used to live in San Diego and I remember you from the Channel 8 news. I always enjoyed your reporting. I left there 23 years ago and go back on occasion; as a matter of fact, I was just there this past weekend to help my mom who is dying from kidney disease. I was told it would be 3 weeks before I flew down. Her doctor’s appointment yesterday told me it could be 2 to 3 years. So, let’s call it a win for the gazelle.

    Live long and prosper.

  19. Reblogged this on Nancarrow Realty Group and commented:
    3rd Blog

  20. Pauline says:

    Don’t chastise yourself for not “hearing” others before…it just proves you’re human. The important personal growth begins now…being able to listen, understand, learn and grow from everyone’s stories from this point forward. Hang on tight because the ride will be totally amazing. People are wonderful and your faith in the human race will be restored beyond belief…if you allow it. Be brave…be strong…and don’t be afraid to cry…it helps. More people are praying for you, and cheering you on, than you realize!
    Smile…today is another glorious day!

  21. It is never too late, you’re still drawing breath and writing. What a blessing that you’ve realized what has been missing from your life. Many never get the chance. No doubt you have inspired at least one person to go boldly forward. Who knows what might be accomplished thanks to your inspiration? Rock on my friend!

  22. Loren, you are a hero in the eyes of many San Diegans……the short time I spent around you showing your beautiful home in RSF showed me just how talented, caring and creative your are. Your family is also beautiful and amazing, like you. Wish you all the best, know that you will be cured, picture yourself healthy, and know you are in many of our prayers. God Bless, Marla Zanelli

  23. Carrie Mihalkanin says:

    Sending you healing Love & Light.

  24. Patricia Schenkelberg says:

    I have always enjoyed your smile, your knowledge and enthusiasm for our beautiful city. I am sorry for your struggles and will keep you and your family in my prayers. You were my mom’s absolute favorite anchor of all time!! She would get very unhappy when “that goofball Sean Styles” in her words, would give the weather report instead of you, She would keep a notebook next to her in bed (she fought cancer for 17 years) and write down all of your little tips and tidbits. You are respected and admired by so very many people in San Diego, Take peace in that and know many many prayers are being offered up in your name, Be well by friend!!

  25. Darlene says:

    Loren, I have been thinking of you so often and wondering, were they able to remove the entire tumor, and have they given you any pathology report yet?

  26. Skip Donnelly says:

    I met you at The Menu or some other hole-in-the-wall restaurant years ago and you’ve been a part of our little desert here for years and years. Go gazelle!!!
    With you in spirit brother,
    Skip Donnelly

  27. Amy Knutson says:

    Best wishes for your speedy recovery. I don’t think you remember me long ago but…I chased you up a hill…trying to have you talk about recycling body parts. Those days you were into recycling everything on tv as a weatherman. I had lost my mom who was waiting for a liver transplant. Very rare those days…
    But i became very good helper for the american liver foundation for last 20yrs. Maybe there is a reason for you to go through this now….With all the love…you will recover!
    Best Luck!

  28. Vanessa hartung says:

    Loren, you will make it through this. I have 2 family members fighting 2 different forms of cancer right now. All we tell them is never give up hope and always trust in the Lord and Pray…because they work. you will be in my prayers and thoughts too. take care of yourself and be healthly.

  29. Joseph F. Vitale says:

    Hello Loren,

    I’ve always enjoyed your Journalism, your infectious “Good Spirit”, you’ve always held your audience well and closely paying attention. You have a Talent for bringing “light” to your “News-casting” when it’s sometimes, dark and depressing. You have projected yourself well over the years, and, have no doubt, you will continue to do so. We wish you well and continued strength to get through the Fight. Hail to you “Loren Nancarrow” for sharing your Love too so many people throughout the years…”Fly high like an Eagle”…

  30. Andrea Beagle says:

    Loren, I also have watched you for years. Followed you from station to station for the same reason as so many others, you are fun to watch and always talk to “us” like we are your neighbor. I am also a 6 yr survivor of lymphoma, I was 36 with a 6 yr old and a 15yr old the year I got “the sick in my leg” as my 6 yr old put it. It does change your perspective on EVERYTHING! Today, I am grateful, glad I survived, grateful for the perspective. I will be praying for you and your family. Put on some music and dance, I did.

  31. Sammantha McDonald says:

    Loren, I am a 16-year breast cancer survivor and I know that you will survive this, also. I think the key, at least for me, was keeping a good attitude about the whole thing. My advice to you is to think positive, watch funny movies and read funny books (Dave Barry and Airplane always make me laugh) and learn something new while you are recovering. After my recovery, I knew that I needed to help others who are going through the same thing. I’m sure you will too. Thinking of you and your family.

  32. Danna Van Noy says:

    Ya never know. That gazelle might be facing those lions with courage and fear when an earthquake cracks the earth open to separate them enough to let the gazelle bound to safety, on its way to continue brightening other gazelles’ days. I just pictured you bounding like a gazelle, Loren. Smiles and hugs to you and the fam.

  33. Reed Kaelin says:

    Dear Loren,
    Where your recent journey has led you, to be able to share such a valuable and vulnerable post as you have, shows that you have moved into a different realm of how you see the human race and the struggles we endure. It is a place of enlightment. May that enlightment bring you peace as a soul who now sees with different eyes. It is very admirable that you shared such a lovely lesson. May all the positive energy coming your way bring your heart and soul all the love it can hold. Reed Kaelin

  34. Paula says:

    Well Loren for as long as I can remember San Diego, there has been you in it. In response to your post I say “It’s never too late.” : ) much love Paula

  35. Shahido Kempter says:

    Hello dear Loren…I only know you on the TV. I can’t stand to watch the news or the weather, but you, I looked forward to seeing there!! your smile and your presence was a joy to see. I am so touched by your humility and humor and honesty in these blogs! a gift to all of us reading your blog! yes cancer is a big wake up call as is any huge (or small shift) and the bigger challange, the more of a call… I do Biodynamic craniosacral therapy which can assist your healing greatly and I would love to return the joy that came from the TV from you to me.. as a gift. I also know several means that can turn this bugger around. so if you would like you can send a note! In the meantime you are being held in the arms of great Love and all of existence is cheering you on.. Sending healing prayers and love.. shahido

  36. Loren,
    I don’t believe in God or prayer. (What do you expect, I’m a secular Jew.) But I do believe in the healing powers of books and laughter. (I’m a humor writer). I would like to recommend a very funny book which I didn’t write but wish I had. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple. I recently mailed a copy to a childhood friend who is battling cancer and, after reading it, it was the first time in months that I heard her laugh. The book was listed as one of the year’s best by an authority no less than the New York Times and is available at your local library. No, I am not the author’s mother, agent or publicist. I just know an incredibly funny and wise book when I find one. Atheist that I am, I can’t promise that God loves you. But God knows, Maria Semple does!


  37. Jan Pollard says:

    And furthermore…thank you for posting….you are ever on our minds and it’s good to “hear” from you.

  38. Jan Pollard says:

    God loves you so much.

  39. Lisa Winston says:

    Loren, your posts are beautiful, thank you. When big things arrive to “wake us up,” we can choose to ignore the call or we can be transformed by them. Your sense of humor, humility, honesty, transparency and self-reflection in the face of a crisis, is miraculous. You are definitely on the path to wholeness, inside and out. From a fire and cancer survivor to you, I offer my deep and heart-felt prayers for a speedy recovery. You are a precious gift to so many and you have so much love and support. Love to you and your family. Big hugs, Lisa

  40. Dan Oury says:

    Bless you Loren, I’ve some SERIOUS prayer warriors who are on this thing.

  41. slyew says:

    What did the buddhist monk say to the hot dog vendor?

    “Make me one with everything.”

  42. Angie Silva says:

    Realize that all the powers you use-to think, to speak, and to act-comes from God, and that He is with you now, guiding and inspiring . As soon as you actually realize that, a flash of illumination will come and fear will leave you. Sometimes the power of God comes like an ocean and surges through your being in great boundless waves, sweeping away all obstacles.- Paramahansa Yogananda

  43. Peggy Cross says:

    At times such as this, I always think of the Plato quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is traveling a harder path.” It has actually changed my interpersonal interactions and strengthened my sense of empathy. We’re with you, Loren. We ‘re all with you.

  44. Justin G. McCarthy says:

    Loren, To the gazelle I say, in the immortal word of Richard Prior, “Run!” To you I say, have faith and get the best docs you can. Humor being an important element in the healing process, I remind you of the story of one such doc who saved me in my hour of need when my psyche, if not my very soul, was imperiled by an unyielding zipper. Whew, what a relief! Now that is what you need, a little bit of medical magic. Hocus-pocus, abracadabra, alakazam, tumor be off and gone from this man. Don’t know if you have thought of Robbie N., but you find yourself in his area of expertise. If that has any meaning for you so be it, but I would feel remiss if I did not mention it. Beyond that, I am rooting for you my friend, we are rooting for you, and send to you all our love from Harriet, Rebecca, Melanie and I, from the present frozen tundra of the east coast. More to come. Best, Justin

  45. Eric Galvez says:

    Hang in there Loren! Kick some mAss! ;D -Eric (7-year brain tumor survivor)

  46. Krisi Davis says:

    I like to think that the gazelle has superhero powers- just like you do, Loren! Cancer is nothing compared to those superhero powers!

  47. Tamara Alexandris-Diaz says:

    Loren, you with your truly amazing smile so inspired by you….Thank you, for being you,….San Diego, is so much better with you around. My Best to you and the family….

  48. Dont doubt your life has impacted many of us. I have followed you from station to station BECAUSE you have a unique ability to connect and tell a story in a way that makes me identify. Sure we have been in stores, on beaches or just downtown at the same time – thats Encinitas. But I do not know you beyond your TV personality or FB. And yet whether it was gardening or the great piece on cllimate change, you have made me think in a way only a friend could. I can count on you to take the hyperbole out and give me a well reasoned and compassionate perspective. And as you have confronted and shared this very personal experience, you continue to do so with humor and an insight I can only aspire to. I hope that you beat this. If the loyalty and support of those who truly know and love you is any measure , you will.

  49. Bonnie Jordan says:

    Dear Loren,
    Love and hope, light and laughter, relief and a good gut feeling inside surrounds you and fills you up inside if you let it. I know what it’s like to not get what other people are going through; usually when you do fully get it it’s because you are experiencing it on some level yourself. It is never too late to grow and learn, expand your consciousness and your heart. You have an army of family, friends, and fans with you. We love you and can relate to how your perspective of yourself and life is already changing. Wishing you a complete recovery. I’m so very glad you posted a couple of thoughts and feelings. Hope you are able to commend yourself for all the good you’ve done for other people, the environment, the planet. Keep looking forward and stay in the present. I’m a chronic pain sufferer and have learned that looking back keeps you stuck. The most important thing is to keep
    Moving forward in a positive manner. When you experience a setback, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. With love, Bonnie Jordan (Scarf Lady)

  50. Davis says:

    Loren, the one who always has the amazing smile. God is with you and looking after you. Healing is on the way.

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