Down on the Corner


I got the news today that I’m half way through my radiation/chemotherapy routine. I was surprised I wasn’t farther along, so I hope my healers will forgive me for not popping the cork on the champagne. So let’s send up a cheer for the isotopes who have given their half-lives to save mine (half-lives? get it?). The chemotherapy is just a pill at bedtime (along with a little anti-nausea booster). The radiation requires a daily commute. So, during today’s nuclear session, I realized that, unless you have had experience with cancer, you may not know much about this scary-sounding radiation process. There are probably several different methods of radiation—what I know is what I’m experiencing.

5 days a week, for 6 weeks I visit a medical team that lights me up. Prior to treatment, they made me a custom mold of my head (see image below)—-I think they had to send away for extra material to accommodate my big chrome dome. The only challenge, thus far, has been the monotonous soundtrack to my treatments. I like John Fogerty but I will forever associate “Down on the Corner” with being zapped. Each day is the same as the last—I lie down on a table, have my mask snapped into place and spend the next ten minutes hearing a series of clicks and hums with CCR playing softly (but not softly enough) in the background. For me, I like to use this time to meditate and repeat healing words.

All in all, the experience isn’t bad—just a tad bit inconvenient and repetitive. The technicians are extremely nice and they don’t mind when I bring family members in to show off their make-me-better-machine. To sum it up, I just want to offer a few words of encouragement: 

If you ever find yourself suddenly faced with this seemingly torturous medical sentence—don’t sweat it. You can do this!



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80 comments on “Down on the Corner
  1. Jessica says:

    You are an inspiration!! Keep thinking and saying those positive thoughts during the treatment, they will make a difference. We’re rootin’ for ya!!

  2. jayne says:

    Ack CCR? Haha.
    I suggest Beach Boys ‘Good Vibrations’ that’s more you and no ‘blob’ could ever stand up to those harmonies.. same with some early Crosby, Stills and Nash .. ‘Suite Judy Blue Eyes’ delicious 😀

    We’ll save the NIN and TOOL for later!

  3. Clark "TumorMan" Broekema says:

    Keep it up Loren! sounds like we shared the same regimen. after I got use to being strapped in for 15 minutes it became a normal routine. have you experienced any different or strange sensations during treatment? toward the end of my radiation session I would start to smell a bleach or chlorine odor. it happened at the same point every time and I started to think, “are they frying my brain!?” after about a week I asked my therapist and he said a small % of patients experience sensations during treatment. that was reassuring, but in some sense they really were “frying my brain!”

  4. Steve cox says:

    Hi Loren, first my thoughts and prayers to beat this terrible disease. I enjoy reading your take on what you’re going through. I would think your writings would help people understand how precious our short time on this earth is. We should all love and care about each other as if we were all family members.

  5. becky cullen says:

    My friend sent me your blog site. I just signed up. Loren, I wanted to know if you had ever read a book called, Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber MD, Phd. He states that no doctor in the world has a right to tell you how long you will live. Because they don’t know until usually within a few days or weeks. Each body is different in how it handles cancer. By giving you a deadline, he is destroying your mind and what you have left of life by constantly thinking about that deadline. I hope that you can find the time to read it. And, I wish you and your family a much longer time to enjoy each other. Take care.

  6. Adine Bagby says:

    When my husband went in to radiation for his cancer he would humorously announce, “My love I am off to the tanning salon.”
    He always tried to keep a sense of humor about his battle.
    Stay strong and positive, you are one awesome individual.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You’re the best!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Love you Loren. Keep flying like a seagull and dive like a pelican. Pelicans dive to replenish their hunger and use all their strength to push up and fly. A seagull is not just beautiful in flight but stubborn and witty when it comes to finding replenishment. They both have a tendancy to fly in groups. :0) Me and everyone else who follows these posts are flying with you dude. Stay in flight like the beautiful amazing person that you are. If you take a dive… jush push back up with all your strength!

  9. Alf Pettersen says:

    My best wishes are sent your way, God Bless Loren.

  10. PAula Hovey says:

    We love you Loren keep the faith we love you keep the faith love Paula mark and Thomas

  11. Roseanne says:

    Hello Loren, I’m a former San Diego native, living in France for the past 25 years, but when my sister first posted a link to your blog on fb I just had to check it out, you were one of my favorite newscasters back in the 80’s (I always thought you were so good looking, still do 🙂 ) so I’m glad to see you’re still around. I just wanted to send you some good vibes, I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this, and wish you well. Lots of luck !!! And thanks for sharing with us.

  12. Alisa Denzer says:

    I’m a high school friend of Christine’s. I love your spirit and that you choose to share your experience. This hits close to home. Wont bore you with details. Anyway encouragenent, positive thoughts and prayers are sent to you!

  13. Anonymous says:

    You are so awesome Loren! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with all of us~

  14. Kat says:

    You inspire me.

  15. May you find your Sat Nam. I am in the dunes of Moracco finding my truth. I pray we cross paths. Love, Mariah

  16. Judy LaFalce says:

    You are SO awesome – and you have been in my Daily Prayers.

  17. Jackie says:

    Loren, every time you leave a post I get such a great feeling inside. You are amazing and I know you can beat this. Your inspiration is what we all need every day. Thanks so much for the posts, you are helping so many people with your words and voice. I like the idea of you reading children’s books, your voice is so beautiful.

  18. Anonymous says:

    In 2004 I went through 4 months of chemo, lost my hair and lost a lot of weight but never lost my positive attitude. I strongly believe that’s why I’m here today, cancer free. Loren – you definitely have a positive attitude and I’m sure you will get through this life hiccup as well. We’re all pulling for you!!

  19. Jacque Glick says:

    god bless you Lorren, we’re praying for you…I went with my husband to all his radiation appointments and it was a soothing experience for me, the atmosphere, kind people, other patients and their families sharing quiet thoughts…a peaceful prayerful room and place….and afterwards, we went out to lunch, to celebrate another day ticked off the calendar 🙂

  20. Mark Chadwell says:

    I went through 5.5 weeks of 24 hour infused chemo in addition to daily radiation treatments of one minute each, followed up by surgical intervention. That was in 2004. I am still here today, with no remaining markers or bad cells left. You can do this too!
    You are my hero and a positive inspiration to so many of us.
    I used the following daily afirmation and found it helpfull for me.
    I wish to share it with you. Say this AT LEAST once a day:
    I am Happy, Healthy, Successful, and Enthusiastic. I got my life in order, working for MY benefit, and it’s WONDERFUL!
    Luv Ya Bro

  21. Reese Brothers says:

    Well here it is almost 12:30am and I’m not sleeping; unheard of. So what do I do? I reach for my iPhone and pull up Facebook. Ah, there it is, a new blog from Loren…just what I need. I love to read ur stories, even more, hear them. Ur voice has a uniqueness like few others. A calming presence, a trusting nature, a pleasant sound that can take u away. In fact, I was thinking the other day, u should definitely do more audio stuff; like children’s stories. Heck, choose ur favorite book (no Loren, not a book on weeds) and record u reading it. I bet you’d sell a ton of em!

    Today’s blog was different. I can’t truly imagine all ur going through, but, like so many others, I feel ur pain, so to speak. I know ur disappointed cuz ur not further along in ur treatment; it must feel like an eternity since that’s been the focus for so many weeks. First, I think u need to change the song! Surely u must b able to bring a cd in. Make a unique mix of all ur favorite happy songs. And second , lets get that mask painted cobalt blue!

    Loren, for us, u r a hero. A humble man of strength and fortitude. A friend who has always been there for us, now needing a little something back from us. Know that we are here for u…in our thoughts and prayers. We send u positive affirmations and love. And thank u again for taking us on this ride with u. BTW, it’s now 1am, I hope ur sleeping.

  22. Lynn McComas says:

    Thanks for teaching us all, Loren: The medical process, the physical and mental challenges, the power of positive thoughts and affirmations…so many things I learn every time I read one of your blogs. I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but you really are helping a lot of people. You are in our prayers, every single day. Stay strong and eventually we’ll turn that mask into a superhero mask and you can wear it for Halloween. (That just seems fitting since you’re already like a superhero!)

  23. David Crossley says:

    I sincerely hope the treatments are more successful than anyone ever thought they would be. Cancer sucks–but miracles happen.


    Loren, you may not realize it but you are an inspiration. You don’t know me except for the occasional “hi” at Starbucks but my heart and prayers are with you. Hang in there Mr. Encinitas. You can do this.–Cynthia Griffith

  25. Anonymous says:

    Love you Loren, my family has been following you for years and will coninue to follow you and we LOVE you, Your friend Laurette xoxo

  26. Nenette West says:

    Loren, I will always remember you when I hear that CCR song ‘Down on the Corner’ Thank you for sharing everything. You will beat this, too many people are pulling for you Kid. I wish you and your family well!

  27. membiegarcia says:

    Forgive me Loren, but the mask reminds me of the movie”The man in the Iron Mask” but in your case –you could be known as “Loren, the man in the plastic mask or what ever material the mask is made of” …who after treatment, would be free of this mask and of the cancer! 🙂 M

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