The Workout

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,

Real Estate Broker, Owner of NRG, Inc. (Nancarrow Realty Group) we are a boutique Residential Real Estate Group. Focusing on personal relationships, technology and business trends in the real estate market. Most important to me is family, music, work, yoga, fitness, playing guitar. We've recently had our personal world turned upside down with the recent diagnosis of my husband having a malignant brain tumor. Coming from a family of writers, especially him... he's inspired me to write.

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85 comments on “The Workout
  1. Anonymous says:

    My hubby of almost 29 years is also fighting a battle with a brain blob-non-Hodgkins lymphoma. 16 months of chemo now two years past and he is still easily fatigued. Tumors are smaller. Have heard of folks using Proton therapy for prostate problems, but can not get legitimate long term results. Your whole family will be changed by this Bend in The will learn to adjust to the new Loren, and when he is healthier, he will enjoy your stories of all the new things he did when the chemo was amped up.
    I pray for the greater Nancarrow family.

  2. Susan says:

    Sending you all a big big hug… understand after living it myself. Never give up, always move forward in your quest to heal.

  3. A new normal is hard. Nothing in comparison, my hubby has been ill for over two years. They thought it was early onset alzheimers or early onset dimentia… it’s neither, but after being together for over 40 years it is hard to see, you don’t know if he is going to remember what happened yesterday or if he is going to give you a blow by blow description of each of the world’s events for the past week. Your family is always in my heart and prayers. Having had Loren in our home nightly when we lived in San Diego, I can say honestly, he has touched my life and made it better. Thank you for this post, I understand what you are saying. Tears, stuttering and just deep breathing on your first time out is okay, I have discovered people understand and are okay with tears. DAF

  4. Bonnie Jordan says:

    Dear Susie,
    I so admire and respect you on this journey of a lifetime. You feel so courageous and loving and supportive and smart and flexible to me.

    I am on meds that have slightly (in comparison) altered my thinking process and personality. I suffer through my family not understanding why I don’t catch on as quickly as I used to. Loren sounds like he’s feeling pretty happy, and that’s a really good thing. It makes me realize how “small” my issues are compared to those that all of you are facing.

    I’m so with you, energetically. I understand because I’ve tasted a bit of it myself. I so want to help you, and so I am reaching out to you daily, sending you all the love your hearts can hold. From the deepest most loving healthiest part of me, to the depths of your beings…strength to carry on, to love each other, to support each other and to be there day in and day out for always.

    I thank you for taking the time, thought and energy to think this out, put it into words, and reach out to the world around you and the universe. You have all, in your own ways, touched all of us. We are richer for it.

    Thank you, with love and gratitude,
    Bonnie Jordan

  5. Sherry Walborn says:

    My dear Susy, what a roller coaster you are on. Steroids are drugs that do everything Loren is going through. You are a partner and spectator. Your love is loyal and respectful. You also can be a voice of reason and have the health care folks help all of you. How do you find objectivity on this wild treatment and high on steroids ride? Bless you and Loren and the kids. You are showing us what love looks like, what being human looks like and what courage looks like. So if you feel like the workout is too much to handle…. That is ok. xox. Folks can crash and burn from the high of the energy from steroids… That isn’t fun. Lean on those health care folks and we your supporters cheer you all on and love you from afar. Thank you for keeping us up to date. xox. Lighting my “Nancarrow candle”. Sending prayers of love your way…
    Sherry Walborn

  6. Pat Crawford says:

    You are a strong and loving family! We are sending lightness and prayers. Hugs Pat and Marshall Crawford

  7. You inspire me to be a better person, spouse, mother, daughter, sister and friend. Thank you for being so open and sharing your experiences with us. I love you and your family and send love and light your way. Praying without ceasing …

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wrote to you a few months ago when I saw the report by Kathleen Bade. The subject was
    your not being on the air and why. I am always grateful that you are a San Diegan at heart and you hit the jackpot when you met Susie. Great family

  9. Camille Bruno says:

    I have grown up in San Diego and remember Loren from the TV when I was a kid. He is so informative and has a zest for life and I have always enjoyed watching him and have continued to follow him wherever he has gone. Loren in on a new journey now and you are journaling it so beautifully for all to see. I am so glad that he will be receiving such a wonderful, well-deserved award on Thursday. God Bless the entire Nancarrow Family!

  10. Cindy Keng says:

    Wow Susie, you all are awesome. I am loving every minute you share. Dealing with chronic pain of my own I am encouraged by your story. I thank you for being so transparent, honest and real about your own struggles. How refreshing and healing it is for me so I hope it is healing for you and your family too. Reading the comments are awesome as well. None of us are alone. You are all in our prayers, much love, Cindy, aka cjk jewelry at the silly bazaar:)

  11. Kate says:

    Wow! I have goose bumps and tears in my eyes after reading that. It was NOT TOO LONG, every word was worth it! AMAZING! Your patience and compassion come through along with this real life struggle. Very well written! I went through caring for my parents and for awhile a husband with Parkinson’s. Although my hurdles were not the same, I have compassion for your strenuous “workout” that you are going through now.

    I admire your strength and I thank you for sharing. I worked with Loren for a short time at KFMB back in the 80s. Always have enjoyed him on TV… he’s reminds me of one of my brothers so much. Feel like we’re distant family.

    Sending you all a big hug.

  12. Marie says:

    Bless your soul, Susie, for sharing all of this. A good friend of mine who works for Channel 10 clued me in to Loren’s struggle as my husband was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme stage 4 brain tumor on June 23. I can totally relate to the steroid mania and workout you are describing. What seems to be helping a lot is this strict ketogenic diet we’re on. My husband can now do things he wasn’t able to do 3 weeks ago. We’re hoping it’s the diet, not the steroids. He began radiation and chemo today so it can’t be that that’s doing the job. I am keeping you, your family and Loren in my prayers!

  13. Susan R. Wise says:

    Dear Susie: my Julian & I are “pulling for all of you,” dear Loren (YEA, such a well deserved validation of his wonderful, giving professional career), Hannah, Graham & Britta. Keep the faith, it is a very difficult journey each of you are traveling, but, you are NEVER alone, HE is always with you! I send my prayers, love and boatloads of best wishes for each of you dear Nancarrow family members. Hugs, Susan

  14. Pauline Benson says:

    take all the life-lines…that come your way…Bless you all.

  15. Jackie Kirkpatrick says:

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers as I think of you often and pray that you make it through each day with grace and dignity. As a cancer survivor, I know how it can change your life, your perspective and your soul. You are all so blessed to have one another because that support system will carry you when you think you can’t go on. As I look back on the days of CANCER treatments, recovery and all that comes with that process, I just put one foot in front of the other, did what I was told or needed to do and by the Grace of God, I am here 13 years to offer you my experience, strength and hope that you too will one day offer the same to others. MUCH LOVE, and HOPE.

  16. Joyce Ward says:

    Your chaos is suffused with the beautiful love you all share. Know that your family is surrounded by the love & support of more people than you can imagine. May God pour out His rich blessings on all the Nancarrows…

  17. gary and betty stewart says:

    thank you for sharing, knowing it is so difficult but so informative and inspirational at he same time. many blessings to all of you, praying for the best it can be and the best for all!

  18. Joanne says:

    Your bravery in sharing your thoughts and feelings is an immeasurable gift to us. Your standing in the love you have for Loren, in the face of his reactions to his treatments turning him into a different Loren than you have ever known, is an immeasurable gift to him. Blessings to you and your family…and your support system. You are all angels on the planet.

  19. Sandy Argo says:

    Dear Susie-words from you are never too long-we cherish the news you share with us.Walking thru your trials on this journey is precious for all of us who love you both so much.It is with love that we read and cling to words you write for they allow us to share in a way that brings us closer to you and Loren-a way we wouldn’t have if you didn’t care enough to share with us.Please keep us all close to your heart and in touch with your words.Sending you prayers for strength and healing and peace.

  20. Fran says:

    You are an incredible person with an incredible family. Keep the faith.

  21. Kristy says:

    I so miss seeing his handsome face on my tv screen.
    Hoping & praying right along with you!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Cherish and Savor every second, It’s just as important as recalibrating the brain… God Bless you, Loren, the family, and friends!

  23. Claudia says:

    God bless you all keep up the fight.

  24. Jackie Owens says:

    Dear Susie. Blogs are a wonderful workout. We can get it all of our chest and let God handle most of it.I praise your and your families fortitude in handling this traumatic change to your lives. Keep the faith, we are with you.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Sold out crowd (question mark and explanation point!) Explanation point, you all deserve this so much!! The question marks come with your, understandably, uncertainties. Many people remind me often, Life is uncertain! Know you are supported and loved, and in no way alone in your journey!!! You are such an inspiration to so many!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I wish I could help you all in some small way! What a strong and wonderful family you are! Bless you all in your climb! My heart is with you all! Good luck to Loren during his speech!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Susie, your faith and love are so obvious and so admirable because it is true and selfless.

    Thank you so much for sharing “in the moment” truth…it gives all of us the hope that true love can conquer all!
    I am living with my beautiful husband who has MS, and sometimes it can be very scary and I am unable to put how I feel into words…you just did it for me, as I nodded in total agreement…keep on your work out path…and know we are all routing for your whole family! blessings!

  28. Dee says:

    Every journey is unique with high points and lows. Thank you for sharing yours and Loren’s with all of us who admire both of you so much. We worry when nothing is posted, but know you are busy every minute of every day. Wishing you and your family many more workouts together.

    • Tanya Wilkins Aiau says:

      I shared your page. I have 2 family members and several friends that are getting workouts from various forms of cancer right now. Your private thoughts were insightful for me as I’m sure they will be for all of the people that read your post. Thank you so much for sharing! May your family continue to be surrounded by healing light and love.

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