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. Annie says:

    We love reading your posts Loren and….We All Love You!!
    You are one tough cookie… so you hang in there, (again) ….we’re all routing for you partner. 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    We love reading your posts Loren and….We All Love You!!
    You are one tough cookie… so you hang in there, (again) ….we’re all routing for you partner. 😉

  3. Lori Adam says:

    Dear Loren, All of my family send you wishes to be well soon. Have fun with you family on your road adventure. Heal quickly, and can not wait to see you back at work and at frogs. Best wishes from the crew at Encinitas Surfboards. Beanies and hats on us. Susie or you come by anytime to get them. Lori Adam

  4. Anonymous says:

    We are praying for you, your doctor’s, nurses, and your family. We can’t to see you on Fox 5 News.

  5. LeeAnn says:

    Sending love and hope from the Vail Valley…after 30 yrs in Quaaludia..xo

  6. Karen Begin says:

    Sending you a giant hug and lots of love and healing energy to go with it. Thank you for sharing your story and for adding a keen (and groovy) perspective to this life.

  7. mindymarie26 says:

    You are magical and one of my favorite San Diegans. I love your precious positive attitude even through something like this.

  8. Tom Hardebeck says:

    The one thing that I learned while I helped my little brother go through chemo at Cedars-Sinai for osteogenic sarcoma was that little things that used to bother me seemed so unimportant and a new perspective on living occurred by magic and I felt my life improving even though we were going through barfing episodes and terrible pain. This was in the eighties before they had anti-nausea drugs with chemo.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Loren…..please stay strong…so many folks are loving you and your family…fight the good fight…..

  10. Cheryl says:

    Hi Loren – Feel like I have known you for years, in watching and listening to your gardening tips. So sorry to hear the latest news and will send prayers your way. So excited for you to have purchased a motorhome and I agree with you that the best evenings are the ones spent at the beach around a camp fire. No t.v., no outside noise, except the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore and the smell of the campfire. Love to bundle up by the fire. Whenever I have had to endure something medically (or even dental things), I tell myself that I am sitting on the beach watching the waves, or the sunset, and somehow I have been able to endure the pain. My thoughts are with you and your family and so happy you are all together. Cheryl

  11. God Bless you and your beautiful attitude. You’ve blessed San Diego with your wit and wisdom for so many years…praying that God blesses you with less pain and more memories to cherish.

  12. Vince Moroney says:

    Fight on my friend…you are bigger than “it”…I am here for you if you need help with anything amigo… All you gotta do is ask…Big cheers…Vince

  13. Julie says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You are such an inspiration to so many and your strength is amazing. Continue to be strong and enjoy your road trip.


  14. Anonymous says:

    We are praying for you and your family at this trying time. My husband has brain cancer and it’s been over three years now. Stay strong this is just a small bump in the road. You will be on your road trip in no time. Thinking and praying for you.

  15. Loren seems like I’ve known you since I moved to San Diego in 1985, you’ve been in my living room or bedroom! Politics aside as they should be, you inspire me Godspeed bro.

  16. Michelle Grifka says:

    Stay strong. Grew up with you as a familiar face in San Diego and had the good fortune of having you as my weather man when I moved to SF. You can prevail!

  17. Anonymous says:

    We love you and your family and think of ya’ll often throughout the day. The road trip sounds great. We just bought a fifth wheel to live at the little house while it’s being rijuvinated. Maybe your rv can visit our rv! Love to all!

  18. Jill Vincent says:

    My continued thoughts and prayers for a full recovery. All of San Diego is sending you tons of positive energy to beat this! Hang in there!

  19. Bob Zook says:

    Loren, good luck on your latest adventure. Vicki,Cameron and I are following your journey with positive thoughts and prayers. I know this is just a short delay and you will soon be on the road again.

  20. Angelo says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for keeping us informed. Whether you are aware of it or not, your being open and sharing is bringing healing to my life and I would bet the same for others. God Bless.

  21. Kris Q says:

    Stupid bumps in the road (and blobs in the head)! They create so much havoc in one’s life! I’m so sorry to hear about “the smaller room,” but you KNOW that the universe’s power is all being aimed at your head right now (we friends, family, and fans are a mighty bunch). PLUS you have the power of GUMBY! You, Susie and the kids are in my heart, my thoughts, and prayers.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Loren, you have brought joy to so many people. My daughter still treasures the gardening book that you signed for her at Barnes and Noble so many years ago. She has become quite a gardener. We have always enjoyed listening to you. My family wishes you the best. Our love and prayers are with you. Karen Stephens, La Mesa

  23. camassa says:

    Hi Loren,

    DAMN!! We were hoping that you would avoid the bumpy road ———amping up the prayers. Keep your wonderful,positive attitude-it speeds the healing process.

    hugs and prayers from your fans Pete and Carol

  24. Debbie Fiegura says:

    While my journey with my brain tumor is probably going to be smoother than yours, you serve as a model of grace under. pressure. Good luck & Godspeed!

  25. Sandy Argo says:

    I am feeling like I have just come back from the moon since tonite is my first knowledge of your trials-just read The Smaller Room for the first time.So sorry I have not been in touch for the moral and prayer support that I wish to give to you and Susie and the family.You are one of my most favorite people on this earth and for sure on the top of my list of media mentors for so many years.I will be keeping you in prayer and thinking of you praying for healing and strength.We all need you so much in our lives-you have given so much to so many.Please be positive and know you are so much loved.I will be following your journey and sending loving blessings to you both.May God bless you and your family and give you peace for the days ahead.

  26. Pat O'Sullivan says:

    I have been following your story and have been touched by your humor and courage. We are pulling for you.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I wish you well my friend. Be well.

  28. Damn is right Loren! But! I’m thinking better now then while you are on your road trip!!! All my Hugs and Prayers to you and your great family! Looking forward to your stories from the road traveled!

  29. Loren you and Susie are not alone. We are going through this with you and are praying for you. I pray that this fluid removal will be something simple and your recovery quick. Thank you for sharing your journey and God bless you on our upcoming trip. All the best!

  30. Best of luck to you with your battle. They say a positive attitude will go a long way, and man, you’ve got it! Over the years we have always enjoyed your reports on the air. Hang in there and have a wonderful time in your RV. There are so many places in the U.S. to see. Where will you start?
    Fight Back
    Gary and Kathy

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hey Loren,
    What a bummer…so unexpected, as you two were looking great at the Belly Up the other night. As disappointing as this must be, at least the procedure is minimal and your room, though small, is hopefully a private room! Putting you in a ward would just add insult to injury! 🙂 Loved listening to the link you posted of your son. He sounds like a young Hank Williams…you and Susie must be so proud. Let’s lobby to get him to perform at the Belly Up! That’ll give those doctors some incentive to get you back on your feet! Keep the dialogue coming Loren. We all care deeply about you and your family!

  32. Rose San Pedro says:

    It’s always a joy to read your blog,you’re an inspiration to a lot of people, like me and my daughter,Eleanor, who’s diagnosed with Thyroid Carcinoma.She had surgery last March 8th,we were told by the surgeon that,prognosis was good,that her entire thyroid was taken out and did not see anything in the lymph nodes,but after a month the Endocrinologist told us she had to undergo radiation iodine treatment next wk.because they found cancer cells at her lymph node,She started prep. her now for her nuclear med.tx so starting today,total no salt,iodine in any of her food.She’s needs to be isolated for 2 wks. while being treated.You’re awesome Loren!,You’re strength,bravery,so unselfish in sharing how you feel and in being candid with you’re thoughts makes us feel we’re not alone and be strong and hopeful.With our loving thoughts and prayers Loren.May the Lord Bless and heal you completely! Rose

  33. Mark Atanasovski says:

    Well Loren… I am so amazed how you have been hanging in there with all of this. In this scary and uncertain situation of cancer, you have maintained the best attitude and sense of humor. You are a gift to this community as you run your errands around town and brighten the days of everyone who crosses your path. You and your family are AMAZING!!!

    Now for something serious… I have been reading your blogs but not commented because I see you are doing great (for someone going through brain cancer) and I’m keeping you in my prayers. Now that you are back in the hospital I must ask you if you ever had the chance to see the videos Cathy and I dropped off with Susie? They are a proven game changer. If you have not, I beg you to do so please? Mainly the Burzynski video but the second one is important as well.

    Maybe your road trip can include a stop in Texas to visit the Burzynski Clinic. He has been making cancer (especially brain cancer) disappear for 37 years, all natural with no side effects. This return to the hospital has me concerned and I would love to see your kind, smiling face around for a long time. San Diego just would not be the same without you!!!


    Your pal Mark Anthony.

  34. Clark B (TumorMan) says:

    Hang in there Loren! You’ll beat the “Blob” and i’ll beat “El Diablo!”

  35. Kristi Clark says:

    Loren & Susie – thanks for sharing your story “along the way” – I hope the next post I read is talking about your road trip (I’m looking forward to some of the same RV’ing too). Keep you the wonderful spirit of yours!

  36. Marianne Maichen says:

    Loren, you have so many people that love you and are praying for you and with you in solidarity on this journey. Sending you positive thoughts and prayers and hope you soon are on the road in your RV.

  37. Puffers says:

    Positive thoughts on the way.

    Sent from my iPad

  38. Claudia says:

    You are in my prayers I enjoy all your posts. My husband died 27 years ago from pancreatic cancer so kinda know what your going through. You are doing the only thing you can do enjoy each day to it’s fullest.

  39. Bill says:

    Loren, I was a police officer for 30 years and met every type of human and witnessed too many highs and lows to recount, I always admired you from a far as I watched you do the news. You are an amazing person and exactly why I have hope for our future generations. Keep smiling and kick this diseases ass….for our sake!!!!!!!

  40. Darlene says:

    Wow Loren, I know that that “smaller room” is not where you really want to be right now, but it is where you need to be so the doctors can help you heal and recover. Thanks for telling us the type of tumor you had because I was able to look it up online and find sites with other people who have had the same diagnosis as you and who are now cancer free! It was so encouraging to read about those other people. I am thinking of you and sending positive thoughts!

  41. Reena Kaplowitz says:

    prayers and hugs to you at this rough time- you are so great. hang in there buddy- looking forward to your road trip stories!

  42. Joan Hansen says:

    Loren, You CAN and Will make it through this. I know this and as my husband says
    “I am NEVER wrong” I can feel your strength and determination. Hugs to you and your family.

  43. Carole Graeber says:

    We love you Loren! Keep on keeping on! You are truly an inspiration to many.

  44. Anton Gerschler says:

    Lance Armstrong survived cancer and he is still a remorseless prick. Which is good news for this reason — it means you’re always going to be a warm, caring and very funny man fully engaged in life and all that life holds, even the bad stuff.

  45. Linda Kelly says:

    Hi Loren, Linda Kelly here, you called me when the surfing Madonna was a mystery and you thought it was me that had done it. I am traveling thought your journey with you and ,yes you are an amazing man, I think if it were me I would do the same. I did have colon cancer years ago , thank god it was so small they did a resection and that was that. I am praying to our Lord Jesus for healing and strength, trust in him and he will lead you. god Bless you and your family, and get on the road to look at gods beauty. Linda

  46. FRan Perry says:

    Sweetie, you still have your sense of humor, etc. You’re right, it’s just another bump in the road….not the end of the road. You’re still Loren.

    FRan Perry…

  47. Anonymous says:

    Loren, typically celebrities aren’t very friendly. Living in North County for the last 25 years, I have run into you many times. Charlies, Olson’s car wash, etc. Stereotypes sure are great when they don’t work! Wishing you all the best. Hug your dogs for me. (or for you if you prefer)

  48. Beth Browne says:

    Loren, we just need to pray harder. I think the trip will help you a lot, so hope all goes really well there. Thinking of you and asking the man above, to shine his grace and love on you, and take care of you.


  49. eden654 says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey, Loren. It’s like we’re all in this together in one way or another. I’m sending outrageously positive thoughts and prayers your way. I hope that road trip is a doozy! Can’t wait to hear about it.

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