Surgery #2

Dad’s second brain surgery was at 7:15 this morning. He did very well and was awake and cracking jokes by 11AM—all while sporting an impressive head bandage (although he refused my plea for a photo shoot).

It’s not yet clear exactly what the fluid in his brain was but we will know more when the pathology results come back. Until then, he’s resting, listening to Native American flute and eagerly waiting to be “sprung” from the hospital.

My Dad was nice enough to hand me down his awesome black Prius (since he isn’t able to drive following brain surgeries). As I rushed down to the hospital in his car this morning, I was in a bit of a fender bender (which I haven’t revealed to Dad yet—so this post may serve as a barrier between me and his impending lecture).

I hurried to gather all my information from the glovebox and was panicked to realize my insurance card was missing. My first instinct was to call dad to save me—then I was struck with the horrible realization that I couldn’t.  I did, eventually, find the paperwork but that terrible feeling of not being able to reach him stays with me.

I need my dad here. I need him here to tell me that my insurance card is in the center console. I need him here to talk me through taking pictures, filing a police report and getting the other drivers’ information. And I need him here to scold me on the perils of driving too fast. I may not be able to cure cancer but I’ll be damned if I don’t do everything in my power to keep my dad here for as long as I possibly can.

So Dad, I’m sorry about the car—but I’ve never in my life looked so forward or been so grateful to have you here to lecture me.

P.S. Dad: The accident was totally not my fault.


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 ( 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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138 comments on “Surgery #2
  1. Penni Dubin says:

    Dearest Hannah, I too have a Prius given to me by my dad. I always enjoyed watching your dad on the news. I was unaware of his health issues, I saw a posting on FB. I wish your family love and health. Your dad seems as inspirational as mine..we are so fortunate

  2. Zippi says:

    This was awhile ago, so I’m hoping you are settled down and have the car problems handled well. It shows that you are your father’s daughter, in your writing abilities. That is a wonderfully written post. Hope your Dad is recovering just as well as can possibly be done. Love to your family.

  3. Retta Jones says:

    You have such a remarkable daughter, Love Susy Retta Susy Bluhm Jones

  4. Dear Hannah Bear, i am so sorry for your feelings of loss. Your Dad is a strong man and will fight the good fight, but even when he is gone up one day, he will always be by your side as an Angel. Love Susy

  5. Anonymous says:

    I pray for u at church every day ,u see i was told i have ms as we see and it is

  6. Ronald Mirolla says:

    I know your Dad and Mom from Frogs, I think I met you and your brother there as well. I won’t bother to tell you how great they are, you know that. I lost my Mom to cancer when I was 24, she was 51 at the time of her passing. It changed my life forever. Your Dad is a fighter and still here, that’s a good thing for sure. I hope for a long time to come…you will have him here for you, as you are for him. My daughter is 37 and my only child, I can only hope she feels about me the way you feel about your Dad. We as parents never really know what kind of impact we have on our children. We can only hope that they know that they are the reason for our being here.

    All The Best!

  7. Ben says:

    Wonderful story. I’m glad to hear he’s recovering.

  8. Charlie says:

    I feel your pain. I am a 15 year suvivor of a malignant brain tumor, and understand what your dad is going through. I think it’s great that you can vent your sorrows and concerns through this blog. In case you didn’t know, the San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation (a locally created foundation serving brain tumer patients and their support persons) is having their annual fundraiser a week from today. We also have an incredible support group that is full of knowledge and understanding. The website is God’s blessings to your family.

  9. Polly Mac Alpin says:

    Ahhhhhhhh, That is so cute.!!!!!! That nice that you have such a good relationship with your Dad.


  10. I lost my dad two years ago. It could still be yesterday. But short after he passed I remember having car trouble. I immediately picked up the phone to call my dad for help, then realized he was not there. It was the most alone I have ever felt. A little girl,I’m 44,without her daddy is a very Sad and difficult thing. But, I can repair my car now,get new tires, and yes fill out a police report if in an accident. I hope you do not have to figure these things out and can have your “dad” around to help you.
    Much blessings to you and your family,

  11. Vicki Summers says:

    I understand also how you feel. My sister was a pain when we were growing up but once she was gone I had no one to call; to check in with; to ask about age changes; or about our kids growing older. I miss her so much. Cherish each and every minute you have with him and live in the moment. Bless you.

  12. Lisa Zaker says:

    Dear Hannah, Can totally understand the fender bender. You definitely have other things on your mind. Every day with your sweet dad is a gift so don’t sweat the car stuff. Why isn’t there an app that has all insurance info? Digging through the car when stressed is too much.

  13. Susan Marie Belair says:

    Oh, Hannah. I’m so sorry you had a fender bender. Sometimes other things happen to us to make us realize how much we really do love our parents and how much we realize we need them. I lost my Father 5 years ago, and although I’m grateful for all the life lessons he taught me I still miss him with my life. Enjoy the “fender bender” chewing out – it’s only because your Dad loves you and wants you safe. My prayers to Loren.
    Susan (2T)

  14. Shana Haugum says:

    Hannah~ I’m touched by your post about the car accident. Your dad will forgive you and I’m sure you’ll be happy to be scolded just this once. 😉 Hang in there. Best wishes

  15. Dearest Hannah, it’s only a car even though you feel bad about the accident. It sure opens ones eyes as to what is important in life, we all need to take the time to kiss, hug and tell our friends and loved ones how much they mean to us. Lots of friends are praying for your dad’s recovery hopefully the power of God and People will prevail over the dreaded cancer.
    Hugs Pat

  16. corinne says:

    Soooo well said. HANG IN THERE. We are all with you in spirit & pray for your dad to be here for you & family for a long time to come!

  17. Joyce W ard says:

    I can’t imagine how hard this is for all of you. You are all in my prayers. Arlo & I would so much like to visit your dad when that’s appropriate. I just don’t know how to get in touch.

  18. John Thurston says:

    Having lost a dear partner 17 years ago, I know that exact feeling of not being able to turn to that loved one for support once so easily reached out for and depended upon.
    Much love and healing to you and your father, fender bender or not!
    Be well

  19. Susan R. Wise says:

    God bless, comfort & heal your darling Dad, Loren (plus, giving Susie, my dear friend, you, your brother & younger sister TREMENDOUS, LOVING COMFORT.) It is a very good, positive sign, how much you treasure both of your folks. I, to this day, while volunteering in the Mission San Luis Rey Rose Garden, feel my Mom standing lovingly at my side, “Oh Susan, each rose is more lovely and fragrant, than the last.” And, my Daddy too, is very proud of his “lil North Dakota gal !” Love, Hugs, & Prayers from Julian & me. Susan R. Wise

  20. Thanks for the update. You sound very witty and a great communicator like your dad. We are all praying for him and the family. My heart goes out to you for the realization that you couldn’t reach out to him in the moment of panic. Bet you never thought you’d be looking forward to a driving lecture from your Pops. Keep your sense of humor, it will help you through this. God Bless your Dad, you, and the whole family. We care. Sending you prayers.

  21. Hannah… that was awesome! A wonderful update and we can all relate to that bewildered feeling of suddenly realizing you’re grown-up and on your own… it’s not always as much fun a we think it will be when we’ve always had mom & dad at our fingertips. But you also just proved how strong and grown up you are – you handled the accident on your own as well as caring for your dad and giving us all a very enlightening update. He will be so proud of you!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dad’s are special. You are blessed! Glad to hear he is doing well. (you too after fender bender) I am keeping him in prayers. Go BLUE! Hugs…..

  23. Susan Trent says:

    Dear Hannah, He is here today, and thats all that matters! His only thought would be ” Is Hannah ok?”I loved your Mom when I met her. I knew how special she was way back then, you’re Dad too..we were old friends. Thanks for keeping me updated. Everyday since I heard about your Dad I have felt I should write something. I didn’t know how to write what I was feeling, but tonight you brought me to tears and I just want you to know that I understand..Its just about love. We are the lucky ones ..we know what it feels like. Sometimes it hurts. But thank God we know what love is, we have had it in our lives..that never goes away.

  24. Anonymous says:

    You have an amazing way with words Hannah, just like your dad. So glad the surgery went well.

  25. Hannah, My heart breaks reading this story. We can’t change your circumstances right now but always know how loved you are.

  26. Maria Forbes says:

    Take it easy Hannah. Your dad loves you no matter what. It is the stress of the whole situation that is affecting you. I know since my husband and I are pressently battling cancer. I find being calm as a grace. Praying for you and your family, especially your dad.

  27. Janis Pollard says:

    TOUGH feeling, huh, Hannah…that sudden realization of what things would be like if your Father was no longer here. I pray, too, that he is sticking around, that this thing gets licked. He’s got so much going for him, and has the perfect attitude to push through. Cherish that family of yours, and let’s all keep asking the Lord for special mercy for that great guy, Loren Nancarrow.

  28. John.R says:

    You have a wonderful dad, and a great love for him. I pray your dad recovers fast. And for you to share more great times together. In time. You will. God bless

  29. Anonymous says:

    Very touching words…….

  30. Anonymous says:

    “But as for me I will always have hope”. Psalm. 71:14.

  31. Emily lilledahl says:

    You are a brave young woman Hannah. You’re dad will always be there to guide you. He will always be in your heart:).

  32. Carole says:

    Thanks so much for the update Hannah!

    • tacreate says:

      I know how your dad feels. I’ve had 4 BT surgeries in 25+ years and still survive. My wife tells me I’m like the weeble who keeps getting knocked down but steadies himself upright and keeps on keepin’ on. I like to think of having curve balls being thrown at me and I keep hitting them out of the park. Just lucky to be here. Some have had train wrecks and I’ve just had a fender bender.

      • jayne says:

        Great share 🙂 I’m going to tuck that away for myself too if you don’t mind.


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