The Smaller Room

Well here we are again. A smaller room this time but back to the hospital it is. Allow me just a moment to say: Damn! And things had been going so well.

Here’s the timeline:

January 27, 2013 — Discovered brain tumor.

January 31, 2013 — Surgery to remove bulk of tumor.

February 1, 2013 — Tumor whisked away to a pathologist’s office.

February 11, 2013 — Pathologist’s report not good. Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma (brain cancer). 

In the following days all that medical jargon began sinking in. The message was loud and clear: shelf life diminished. Since then, we’ve had some awesome days. Bought an R.V. and have had lots of great beach nights with bonfires, music and the loves of my life. I also endured chemotherapy and radiation.

Here’s how we got to where we are today and this smaller hospital room:  I just finished my first round of treatments last week. I was told to expect to feel crappy for a week or so after radiation. But what I was feeling brought crappiness to a whole new level. Couldn’t get out of bed, my supply of smart ass comebacks was running low and the right side of my body was getting noticeably worse in terms of numbness from head to toe. So last night, Susie and I showed up at the hospital again with our best Oliver Twist voices—“Can I have some more sir?”

I only expected to have an MRI and a return trip home. Instead, back upstairs and news that I’d be cut open again. The neurosurgeon tells us that some sort of fluid has replaced the tumor and needs to be removed and analyzed. So now they’re going in a second time to remove the latest intruder. The good news is that it will be quick—-and I’ll still be smarter than you (that’s for Kathleen Bade and Hal Clement). 

So, this is going to go well and should only delay the start of our first big road trip by a couple of days. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my road stories on Fox 5 San Diego and I hope you’ll watch.

By the way, in an earlier post I mentioned my bad-ass Bond villain scar. Apparently, someone told the surgeon that I’m extremely vain. So, what I got instead was an artful and nearly invisible scar (even on a bald man). But in all seriousness, I have learned that so many of you are suffering with stuff I can’t even imagine. Illness. Loss of a child. Wondering how you’re going to take care of your family. And I’m beginning to understand that my list of troubles is small by comparison—but I’m with you. I write as therapy and I hope you too will find some small thing that will see you through the roughest times as well. 

Thanks for being here during my rough times. 



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244 comments on “The Smaller Room
  1. Loren, many prayers and blessings are with you. Your strength in sharing is an inspiration! Thank you!

  2. Nenette West says:

    You knew there will be setbacks. it is OK, as long as you have control over MOST things at hand. I hope you will be able to travel and enjoy your RV. Take care Loren and God speed. As always, I wish you and your family well.

  3. Sofia. coppola says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Lauren! Hang in there. Sofia Coppola Steve Knight Dave Baker

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Anonymous says:

    You are loved, that’s for sure

  5. Anonymous says:

    Retaining your sense of humor says it all, Loren. Sending love and positive thoughts your way, as always!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am moved by your words. I’ve lived in sd since 1970 & have always appreciated your wisdom! I & my family are torn by this Dx of yours. Regardless, it has not diminished the wisdom & positive outlook you so freely share with us all. We are truly touched by your life’s journey that you share with us. We pray for a positive outcome for you & treasure what a special individual you are. In general, it is preposterous that the medical profession chooses to develop treatment for the symptoms of medical issues instead of treating the actual cause of the conditions. One would surmise there is no $ in treating the cause, but certainly billions in treatment of symptoms! This should certainly be reversed based on compassion for human life! Your strength & positive outlook in the face of adversersity certainly drives us all to appreciate every moment we have!!’ Gods speed in your recovery.

  7. Jeanette says:

    We’re with you too Loren. Can’t imagine what you’re feeling, but we are here for you. Hope you fly through this latest glitch with cobalt blue color!

  8. Lauri Hines, CCIM, CPM says:

    Sending love and prayers and best wishes to you and your beautiful family.


    Lauri Hines, CCIM, CPM Managing Director – President Sperry Van Ness | Promus Commercial, AMO 4849 Ronson Court, #216 San Diego, CA 92111

    CA Broker’s License 01030701

    Sent from my iPhone

  9. Don’t let the bast-rds get you down. There is bunches of white light out there.

  10. anonymoous says:

    May God be with you on your journey. A road which we all will take eventually.

  11. Susan R. Wise says:

    Julian & I are sending along our warm, sincere wishes + my prayers for you to rest, at ease in the hospital. We’re truly “pullin’ for you, Big Guy!” We are of a positive mindset, you will have success with the second procedure! Love, Hugs and may God bless, you, Susie, your son, Hannah & Britta! Susan & Julian Wise

  12. Rod Mesa says:

    Brain surgery is no fun, I know. Went through it in October, and well, I’m okay now. Hope things work out well for you, Loren. Wishing many more great beach nights with bonfires, music and love in your recovery.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Stay strong Loren and keep smiling. We are praying for you! – The Zevelys

  14. Cindy says:

    I have been a fan of yours for years. You are and always will be an inspiration to others. Bless you and your family

  15. Anonymous says:

    Darn – now the bubble is filled with champagne? Thought you were supposed to drink that to help cope with the therapy? Well, I know and trust you are in the best hands possible. Can’t wait to hear abut the road trip!

  16. Nora says:

    You are still a handsome stud!

  17. Jan Salzman says:

    Loren….I’ve watched you for years here in San Diego….never really knew you until these blogs. I see a funny, smart and thoughtful human being…. Sorry for this setback…..can’t wait to read your travel blogs…praying!

  18. Anonymous says:

    You are an amazing person. So upbeat and on top of it all caring about others. Thank you for sharing your journey and lifting the spirits of others. God bless you.

  19. Linda Gloria says:

    Loren you look sexy as ever. This is just a small set back. We Need you. We Love & Care very much for you & your family. You are in my prayers. Much love Linda

  20. Leigh Moylan says:

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family! I have been following your journey, and I am so inspired by your wonderful attitude and love of life. I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, but we have crossed paths indirectly. My Dad is Bill Moylan (KFMB-TV days), and he thought so very highly of you.

    I continue to wish you the best and send lots of prayers and good thoughts!

    Leigh Moylan

  21. Hang in there buddy!

  22. george milne says:

    Shoot! you could have had much fun if the scar had been bigger. On your RV trip you could have written a book called “Travels with Gnarley.” (scar) I make jokes, but I hope you are not offended. My father graduated from Georgetown University in 1930 with a degree in Physics. In WW II he went to Enewitok and Bikini for the Atom Bomb tests. He ferried the scientists onto the islands just after the blasts. When he came home he came down with what they called epilepsy. 11 years later they called it a brain tumor and operated. He lived another 2.5 years to the day. But we teased him relentlessly and used to make him laugh so hard his wall display would start beeping. It was great fun. I guess I just want to say I know what you are going through and if I was there in person I would say the same things, but you would know what I was saying by watching my eyes and by the hugs I would leave you with. Hang on, Bubba….we are trying to keep you company on this noble journey. Love and Hugs……geo

  23. Dave Hansen says:

    I am so sorry you are having to go through this, I have a wonderful garden in my back yard due to your interesting segments on composting and all that. You are an inspiration to us all and we will pray for you in our family prayers. you got this!

  24. Lorie says:

    Looking damn HOT Loren

  25. Denise Kelly says:

    God Bless you Loren! Praying for you and your family that this is a minor setback, and you will beat this!

  26. Well clearly you’re healthy enough to take a swipe at Hal and I. (You know how much I respect a good burn.) I see that as a very good sign. As for the mystery fluid in your brain… there are guesses like vodka… the gelatinous muck which was there prior to any tumor … or compost. I know how much you like to compost. No matter what has filled that empty space vacated by the cancer, I say fill it with good vibes, well wishes and the love we all feel for you. The world is better place with you in it hands down… so fight the good fight … then hit the road with your beautiful wife and leave all this medical bologna in the dust. Turn and burn baby!

  27. Cathy Cook says:

    I love that you are sharing this with everyone…………that in itself says a lot. I hope it all goes well, get that fluid outta there, and get back on the road. Your smart-assedness is returning, so that is a good sign. Big hugs 🙂

  28. george milne says:

    Shoot! you could have had much fun if the scar had been bigger. On your RV trip you could have written a book called “Travels with Gnarley.” (scar)

  29. Anonymous says:

    We’re all pulling for you LN

  30. Maxine and Neal Davis says:

    Tough news. We wish you the best post surgery news!
    Maxine and Neal

  31. says:

    we love you loren you are in our prayers.

  32. Trudie Hewitt says:

    Sending positive thoughts

  33. Mary Reed says:

    Loren we are truly sorry to hear about this latest “bump in your road”. Having just been through “life challenging” health issues with my husband, he and I both understand how this is impacting you and your loved ones….Everyone who has ever met you or seen you on television knows about your great spirit and positive out-look. Your attitude will serve to help you during these trying times. God Bless you Loren. We all wish you well….

  34. Maggie says:

    You are a beautiful person, Loren.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Gods Speed

  36. Dasha Riley says:

    Loren, let me recommend you something. Did you hear about Kangen water machine? Kangen water makes the miracles in some cancer cases. I believe you should try it. It improves also side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Maybe you should contact also Dr. Burzynski from Texas, he has very good results with those alternative treatments. If you will consider it and would like to get some more info regarding those contacts, please let me know. I will pray for you.

  37. Loren,
    There is a scientific break through supplement that has been proven to break the chain of melanoma sking cancer. It has the unique ability to turn on your own DNA to strat upregulating glutathione by 300% and to turn on your own survival genes called SOD and Catalyse. There are 5 patents on it and over 14 universities have studied it and proven it’s ability to do this.
    There is an ABCPrimetime investigative report you can watch at
    Please share this information with your doctor.
    It has been changing peoples lives.
    It is all natural.
    Please email me or call if you would like me to get you in contact with some of the doctors that are the medical advisory board for this company.
    I have direct access to them to answer any questions and to help.
    God bless you. You are in our San Diego hearts and prayers.

    Melinda White
    (619) 733-1253

  38. kittymcgee says:

    Geez, and still so cute!

  39. Karen Bowman says:

    My heart goes with you and bless you for sharing this bumpy road.

  40. Kim Ronfeldt says:

    You are a strong and smart ass man. You make people happy and we all draw strength from you. Loren, not many people can walk that line between funny and serious like you. You are loved by people you don’t even know. Thank you for being such a wonderful man. The world needs more people like you. Take care, love you and hugging you right now!

  41. JJ says:

    Loren – I hope while you’re going about all this required medical business you start writing a book, looking from the inside out. I saw Kathleen’s interview with you on Fox5, and you said a couple of things that intrigued me. As a former nurse (well, once a nurse, always one…) and a writer, I think you have a lot of good insight to offer medical people. Most patients with your diagnosis aren’t writers and they have no experience describing things. Think about it, would you? Thinking of you, enjoying your posts, and wishing you well.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for inspiring us. Our hearts and prayers are with you, Susie and your family!
    I believe in miracles!

    Margot Wallace

  43. Anonymous says:

    So sorry to hear about your setback! But, I so love your sense of humor and determination. You keep fighting the good fight and we’ll keep supplying the prayers!

  44. Positive thoughts going your way…Loren you’re a very rare treasure to all who are
    Lucky enough cross paths with you vast
    Knowledge on almost anything you can…
    Imagine:-)a living & breathing Google god
    With a mischievous playful spirit & kind heart
    Who loves the power of music…passing the talent to his son & heavenly sculptures of raw
    Beauty which our your wife & daughters.You’re a very blessed man…indeed!;-)lol

    Please on your upcoming road trip stop a few times & give Geo-caching a try it will add lots
    Joy to your travels about…I’ve been doing it
    for over seven years now. I’ve found 11,000
    hidden caches along the way & placed over
    500 hide sites for others to find. I’m willing to
    Loan your family one of my handheld GPS units or you can download a worthwhile App
    To your smart phones to get started up right!
    Just do it… \ Then just
    Come with a creative caching alias for yourself or family…Mine is Unknown_2_You all my caching comrades call me “U2U” call
    me if you have any questions about the game
    (619)850-8518\Marrk Christopher Robinsonn

  45. Greg Wilfahrt says:

    Loren, I am so sorry that you are facing such monumental health challenges. The best therapy I can offer… is a hug. You are amazing, my friend. We are praying for you to be healthy and happy. God bless you!

  46. Sandi says:

    Loren..your heartfelt words are tender reminders of why my family always insisted on watching your segments whenever possible. We now pray for your comfort and health and look forward to hearing about your many upcoming roadtrip adventures. Thank you for sharing your journey with your many admirers.

  47. Stephanie says:

    Never fear, we’re ALL with you. If prayers move a mountains then think what we can do with a brain tumor! Stay strong!

  48. Louise Ganus says:

    Damn those bumps! Looking forward to reading about your and Susie’s adventures on the road. Walter and I will be there in spirit.
    He’s doing well and now and past the halfway mark.
    Met a couple of newcomers in the waiting room. They were like deer in the headlights, but Walter assured them that they would be in good hands, and today they were all smiles like a couple of veterans. Amazing what a little bit of encouragement will do.
    Give our best to your beautiful family.

  49. Anonymous says:

    You are such a special man, and I so respect the choice you made to share this journey with all of us. I went through radiation back in 2006 for a cancer on my right tonsil and that was no picnic. I did not have to go through chemo or surgery, and I have been so lucky to have no recurrence. My heart is traveling through this with you. I think of you often.

    Thanks for always being who you are, now and in the past. You have always shared with others.


  50. Anonymous says:

    I’m speechless.

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