Hannah says she sometimes thinks of Loren’s brain cancer and our family’s emotional response, as a hard workout. Just when you think you can’t spin another minute, you do and you become stronger.
Wow, this is what I needed to hear this evening. Especially since I believe I’ve conquered the mental strategies of a non-professional athlete.
This week brought strenuous challenges, this workout became much harder. Loren’s higher dosage of steroids seemed to affect him in a powerful way. He had/has moments of loud declarations such as “I AM THE BOSS, I AM IN CHARGE.” This is a new soap box. He left the house for a night to be returned home by the kids.
Other times he seems young, innocent and has BIG BIG BIG plans for the Nancarrows. So much fun to see this passion and excitement and yet unnerving; to walk into the house after being away for an hour, to find the shower upstairs running with no one inside, melted bees wax all over the kitchen counters and floors from his candle making projects and Loren happy as ever, assuring me it will all be better than before. I’ve always believed him.
He’s happy, he’s brave, he’s confident and plans to ‘beat this thing’ as he says, living each day to the fullest, creating these gorgeous Tellandsia (Airplanes) creations, using the sea shells we’ve collected for 30 years and other special pieces; all memories and ever changing.
He’s made all of the candles in the house, reorganized and organized the kitchen (mostly at 2:00 and 3:00 am. ). Always hopping over here, lots of banging, crashing, breaking, spills. Loren said one way to describe how he’s feeling is if you think about going from ages 40 to 80 years old overnight. The world continues to whoosh by; fast cars, texts, calls, noise, conversation and one finds it just impossible to keep up the pace.
Right now we’re listening to Neil Young’s ‘Don’t Let It Bring You down‘ as we both cry. He wants to make a difference, help others and hands me a stone with “DREAM” written on it. I am dreaming.
This intense, unrelenting workout requires emotional adjustments while engaging with Loren, the medical field, police, our children.
It’s unpredictable, breathtaking, funny, tearful, loud, sad and full of unknowns.
Hannah clued me in again today when she said ‘you have to recalibrate your brain after spending a long time with Dad.’ She’s right, I find myself talking nervously and stuttering for the first hour “outside.”
So, this week I wasn’t sure if I could spin another second. The brain cancer workout requires constant recalibration, compassionate listening.
He’s the happiest he’s been in a long time, making us laugh, smile, pause.
I’m learning how to live with this “new” Loren. Wanting to protect and defend him from unkind, unaware people — and yet trying not to be his mother.
Thursday he’s receiving the Journalist of the Year award, a huge award and so deserved. He’s been preparing his speech for the banquet. His life long friends and many newer life long friends are coming in from out of town. It’s a sold out crowd. He’s so so so excited. I’m nervous and okay. This is Loren, this is brain cancer, this is real life. He most likely will pull it off like the pro he’s always been. It could be disastrous, it could be sad, it could be newsworthy. YEP… leaning in and climbing this mountain.
We’re getting our workouts in, sometimes with angels of energy spreading our wings, tuning into our spirits, our resiliency. Realizing we’re each here to help others, to lift one another when we’ve fatigued, smile because it opens us to happiness and lean into the discomfort so when we’re through it, we’re stronger.
This support gifted by all of you, health experts, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Susan Taylor, Dr. Tom Chippendale, Dr. Ilana Schraibman, our family, Dr Fred Spiegler, friends Sunnie and Bill Toone and Judy and Chuck Wheatley, Neighbors, acquaintances and even amazing conversations with strangers at the most appropriate times will forever be remembered.
Thank you. I’m sorry this is too long.
This is where we have to be. I have faith.
Much love and gratitude to you from the Nancarrow Family.
What a Workout,