Condors & Cancer

***Click Play Below to Listen to Loren Read Along***

A pair of California Condors flew over us, bright and early one morning. I marveled at their unmistakeable white wing markings. And then I threw up.

That’s the kind of week it was. Rare and beautiful—–and dark and scary. Susie and I are back from a road trip. I was eager to share with her some of the rural scenes along the California coast I’ve covered as a T.V. reporter. We made it as far North as Carmel before heading East into Paso Robles wine country and back to the coast again.

I’m not allowed to drive. Something about brain surgery and seizures. So I spent the week as copilot as Susie winded up Highway 1 and then East through the oak forests and bright sunshine. We’ve been together for 30 years so we know each other pretty well. Having read Susie’s blog entry from those days, I see how I may have been having more fun than she was. A little under the weather, I slept for some of the trip on the bed she’d made for me in the back of the RV. She drove and worried. I slept and recovered.

The condors are  part of a captive breeding program in an effort to save the species. The throwing up is part a cancer treatment program in an effort to save just one man. The meds that keep my brain from seizing can be toxic to the liver in high doses. My dose was too high—causing my road trip sickness.

Now that we’re home and I’m taking the right meds—I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in months. My right side has feeling and movement again. I’m able to button my own shirts, tie my own shoes and brush my own hair—you know, the stuff adult men take for granted. I want keep this good feeling going.

But more than anything, I want to get some doctor’s visits out of the way, pack up the van and hit the road again. Eastern Sierra this time. There’s an illusive marmot I want to find.

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62 comments on “Condors & Cancer
  1. Sandy Scholz says:

    Tears of joy reading and listening to your blog. There is nothing better when you are following this journey then “feeling better – almost normal.” Wow! I pray you have many, many more of those days ahead of you. You are touching many people and giving them hope. My travel bug has hit and I’m waiting for the doctors to give me the go ahead to travel after my lung cancer surgery 2 months ago. On the road again very soon for me……

  2. Loren, you make we, laugh, cry, think, pray and hope for the future. You have always blessed San Diego with your humor and knowledge. I miss it now that I am not there. You have so many people praying and pulling for you. Enjoy each moment-life cana fool you…I’m hoping it does. Keep posting-it gives all of us faith.

  3. Kimber Allison says:

    My daughter just visited the E Sierras, posted fab photos. They went to Mono and to Bodie. Independence, Lone Pine and Mammoth Lakes… It’s warming up so get back on the road soon Loren.

    I found that nausea was better when I stayed well hydrated and off anti nausea or pain meds that were…well constipating.

    If you do not juice with an extraction juicer…get one. One that will juice Kale easily and then use that fiber to keep ya clear.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yay! Hope you keep feeling better!

  5. Joyce W ard says:

    Awesome news, Loren, & lots of it. Sounds like you’ll enjoy this next trip much more. You & Susie have a wonderful time, hunt for your Bigfoot Marmot and enjoy all the nature you love so much. You may not believe, but it certainly sounds to me like God is smiling down on you. (:

  6. Jeanette says:

    Stay tuff Loren! You have miles to go before you sleep. We are all pulling for you.

  7. Greg Ward says:

    Hi Loren, always inspired by your posts. Its a good journey. If you get as far as Reno on your eastern sierra trip let me know. I’m working here in Reno/Tahoe area until Sept. Take care and keep soaring with the condors.

  8. Carole says:

    So Happy your feeling great! Your news makes me smile!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Glad your feeling better, best wishes for more adventures with your rev and wonderful wife!!

  10. Karen says:

    Loren it’s such a pleasure to read and follow all of your post. I’m so thankful my sister shares them through FB for me. My Prayer’s are with you and your family and doctor’s. Continue to feel better and hope your next trip is all that it is ment to be.
    KAREN VAIL

  11. Pat Crawford says:

    Just keep on livin’ in the moment Loren…………….Being present is the best way to see life……………many hugs and pleasant thoughts your way………….Marshall & Pat Crawford

  12. foxtail56 says:

    Hi Loren, I hope you are resting at home in your own bed now. While your trip there was good…nothing like being home until one feels better. I so enjoy your posts on this journey and love hearing your voice. My best to Susie there. We never know just how strong we are do we? Like a tea bag when put in hot water. How the heck does that go anyway? lol Well….something like that. Be well and take care of you……

  13. Dona says:

    So glad you’re feeling better. I’ve seen the condors…they are amazing.
    Friends and I spent two lunch periods today with middle school students. It was “Purple Day “a time for cancer awareness and raising money for cancer services and research. We sold everything purple, played music, and every 5 minutes the ASB students read cancer facts to the students. We had a great day and the students now know much more about cancer and what they can do to lower their risks of getting cancer. Friday we’ll be at another Poway middle school to do it all over again. It is such a rewarding experience. We have been doing this for the past 6 years in memory of my husband and plan to continue to educate the middle school student about cancer risks.
    Hope you have a wonderful rewarding road trip and that you get to see the marmot. Take care, be safe, my good thoughts and prayers are with you.

  14. Thank you Loren, for this story. You brought the biggest smile to my face and tear of joy to hear you are feeling much better. Enjoy your journeys. ❤

  15. Kathy says:

    So glad you are feeling better and the you have the right balance of meds. Hit the high roads and enjoy the journey!

  16. Nancy Fetterman says:

    You will, Loren. I am confident. Glad your meds are better balanced.

  17. Dee Weygandt says:

    Today I did my nails in sparkley Bright Blue in honor of you. I did get some rather funny looks while I was out shoppping. People aren’t use to 78 year old women wearing sparkley blue toenails. I pray for your recovery daily and for God to give your wife the strength to meet your needs and to drive your new motor home safely. Enjoy your travels and keep doing your blog!
    You can overcoome this!

  18. John Rogers says:

    Marmots are funny creatures. They love to watch people–probably because they see so few of them where they live. Hope they get to watch you Loren. Try Tioga Pass, it will be open early this year.

  19. Glenda says:

    Funny what we take for granted and miss. I can drive but really choose not to most of the time since I feel like I have “chemo brain.” As a chef, I’m super frustrated that I can’t fix my own food!! I have cold sensitivity and neuropathy in my hand so cracking an egg or cutting berries is painful. I hate asking for help! So silly.
    So glad you were able to take your road trip. Sounds wonderful! Susie must be a super trooper to have the strength to handle all of this. Our poor families do suffer, don’t they? That’s why they are called cancer survivors too!
    March on, be strong!!

  20. nancy cavanaugh says:

    So glad to hear that you’re feeling better- as always- enjoyed reading your blog- Hang tough, my favorite reporter- hang tough. Continuing to send positive thoughts to you and your family.
    xoxo

  21. Nenette Popiela-West says:

    So glad to hear you are feeling much better. Sucks that they didn’t figure out the right dosage before you left for your trip but it doesn’t matter now, you are able to do much more so you know you are winning the battle. Have fun being the navigator and be safe. My late husband was so frustrated about not being allowed to drive but we managed. As always, I wish you and your family well.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Brush your own head you mean? LOL Glad your feeling better and heading out again soon. When John and I get the chance to travel we will think of your travels and re read your blogs so we never forget just how precious life is. Have a blast and what is a marmot? Going to find out. Always looking forward to your next blog. Safe travels!

  23. Linda Ware says:

    It makes me happy to hear that you feel soooo good. Keep on traveling, it keeps you from thinking about how tired you are

  24. Darlene says:

    That is fantastic news that you are feeling so much better! I hope you enjoy our next road trip. Go to Yosemite, talk about awesome!,

  25. Wendolphin says:

    The “no driving” thing was, I think, the hardest thing for my husband when he was diagnosed with inoperable GBM (stage IV BC). But, like you, he chose to take the positive outlook approach and discovered great enjoyment in telling ME how to drive! 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  26. Dawn says:

    You couldn’t see my thumbs up after reading the blog but it was they were there. Keep it up. You are doing great. One never knows for sure about what makes some beat the odds but one of the biggies is a positive attitude and sure the heck have that and are surrounded by others who also do.

    Hugs,
    Dawn

  27. Linda Sladwick says:

    God love you both. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you continue to feel better.

  28. lalitainlove says:

    beautiful words and sentiments. thanks for sharing. we love you guys. thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  29. Ruth Wolf says:

    Yes indeed Loren u are an inspiration. I pray for u and ur family and God Bless u

  30. Love how you write – your words. Eastern Sierra is beautiful. Have fun.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Your posts brighten my day every time I read them. Such strength and passion for your life and that beautiful family!

  32. debbie says:

    Yea…. Keep on truckin… that’s just God smiling down on U!!!!!…

  33. Claudia says:

    Thankful you are feeling better and ready to make more memories. God bless you all.

  34. Janie Klein says:

    You are lucky that Susie can drive one of those big rigs. I assume it is a big one, anyway. I am an excellent driver and have been for well over 50 years. I have driven big trucks with manual gear shifts, manual chokes while leaning up against a pillow so I could reach the clutch, gas and breaks. I did pretty well considering I was probably only about 12 years old, 90 pounds or so as my dad took me down to Tecolote Canyon to learn how to drive. But I have never driven any RV. I think you have to eyes on the back of your head. So Susie, BRAVO to you!!! I am happy you two are moving around and having fun. Keep it up! Love you both, Janie Klein

  35. Nanci says:

    You brighten my day each time I receive your blog, thank you. Susie’s nervous journey along hwy 1 was brilliant, I was right there with her. Truly a family of talented writers. Doesn’t it feel great to brush those long locks? Susie is probably relieved on less task getting all those tangles out without you crying out. Keep truckin dear friends. Keeping the prayers going. Hugs & love

  36. Andy Casillas Hein says:

    I read this with a tune running through my head…El Condor Pasa. What a drag that the correct dosage wasn’t figured out BEFORE the road trip. But, a new one awaits, you feeling so much better and no doubt Susie as well. Hit the road Jack (another new tune) and enjoy this one as you should all of them from now on. Vaya con Dios Amigos.

  37. Ken Verdone says:

    Loren,
    I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good fight, I’m glad that your health is improving. Hopefully we will see you at Petco Park sometime this summer. My daughter and I have been praying for you and your family.our thoughts are with you. Enjoy your family time and your travels.

    Kenny V.

  38. Louise Ganus says:

    Hi Loren and Susie,
    So great to hear about not only your trip up North, but more importantly,about your physical progress. I remember when our son had his hip replaced last Fall, how frustrated he was that he couldn’t put on his socks. So buttons and hair combing are little reminders of our daily human routines and how happy we are when we can do them again after an unwanted hiatus. Walter has 7 more days at the radiation zapping palace. He is,naturally, chomping at the bit to be “paroled”. Thanks for your continued blog. It is an inspiration for us and a hymn to your character.

  39. Beth says:

    Glad you’re continuing to feel better!!! Wanted to share with you that Dan named my medical file, “Beth’s Victory File”. Gotta keep the positiveness flowing, so I’m sending some your way!

  40. Vic Asselin says:

    You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. Long time ago when we first moved out here from New York my wife phoned you at whatever station you were on and, get this……you returned her call and answered whatever question she had. Didn’t you know you were a celebrity? Thank you.

  41. Corinne Geras says:

    Soooooo glad you are feeling better!!!!! Your next trip sounds wonderful.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Loren, always enjoy reading your blogs. Even though I feel deeply for what you and your family are going through. You are an inspiration and tagging along through your journey really puts life into perspective for me. Kind of like when I go to the beach and listen to the waves, feel the sun on me. Life it too short to sweat the small stuff. Keep on truckin’ dude and don’t forget that hair riiiighht…. THERE!

  43. Jackie Owens says:

    HI Loren. Just love your speaking blog. It is so nice to read along with you. Glad to hear that your right side is “coming alive” again and that you can “brush your hair” a major achievement in itself, You have such a great attitude, I marvel at it. Thank you and Sudir and your entire family for sharing this time in your lives. Hang in there, the positiveness (is this a word?) is healing unto itself.
    Jackie

  44. Joanne Monia says:

    Great blog…..like I said “YOU CAN DO THIS” – keep that strong, positive attitude and you will do fine. Can’t wait to hear about your next road trip. Your pilot is a trooper – sending you both love, hugs and strength! DSB!! 🙂

  45. Jamie says:

    I marvel at your upbeat attitude. YOU are an inspiration to all of us battling cancer, thank you, thank you, thank you ❤

  46. Anonymous says:

    Your hair looks beautiful!!! :]

  47. Noreen Croyle says:

    Glad you had a basically positive trip. Hoping Suzie rests and recovers as well before the two of you hit the road again. Hugs.

  48. Mary Carmen says:

    As always, it’s great reading your blog. I did have to laugh when you said you were “brushing your hair.” Seriously…I did laugh because my dad, who had no hair, would have said the same thing. I use to ask him how long did it take to brush his long LOCK OF HAIR. We always laughed about it. Thanks for the reminder of my childhood. Bald men are beautiful. Keep brushing your locks of hair and keep resting and recovering. As wives, it’s our duty to worry and take care of our loved ones. It makes us feel useful.

  49. The story in Chris Beat Cancer that had me thinking of you was of a man who healed of brain cancer:

    http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/healing-leukemia-brain-cancer-with-veggies-vitamins/

  50. I won’t repeat this again because I don’t want to be that person who gives you repeated unasked for advice, but I’d feel remiss if I didn’t pass on this website. Chris Beat Cancer http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com
    He used surgery and food to heal from Stage 3 colon cancer.
    His story is just one of so many like that. Definitely worth a look 🙂
    Glad to hear you are feeling better!

    • Anonymous says:

      So good to hear your intriguing voice as you connect the condor experience to your own. The travel must be so uplifting after all the treatments and medicine. My husband and I are praying for your healing. You are missed daily as we watch channel 5 news every evening! I agree with the website, chrisbeatcancer.com because cancer is rampant in my family! I’m 63 and have been eating 80/20 raw vegan for 10 years. “Let thy food be thy medicine”. I figured Hippocrates knew something….

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