As we sit in a quiet sushi bar, Loren’ s seizure goes on longer than usual. I can hear the bones snapping in his hand, the twitching hits all of the joints and fingers in his right hand, filling me with a sense of hopelessness and worry. I hold his out of control hand and arm, while the sushi chef tries to avert his eyes…they’re bulging out of his head.
Loren sees the fear in my eyes, my tears and says “no panicking allowed, these are the easy times.”
Loren is a man: a real MAN…brave, courageous, true and strong.
Not the standard man…he loves gardening, making jam, cooking, writing, discussing politics at inappropriate places, growing organic food, raising chickens, cows and turkeys. We used to raise our own turkeys every Thanksgiving. Like I said, he’s not the standard man. He’s ahead of his time, just as my mom was ahead of hers; with compost piles, recycling aluminum cans, gardens, conserving everything…I grew up with 15-20 second showers. It truly is long enough.
He’s been my best friend for almost 30 years. He’s imperfect, he’s a challenge. He’s a loyal partner, a father who cares, an individual who believes in standing up for what’s right. He’s my best friend…this sounds so smarmy…but that’s who he is.
After about 7 minutes, the seizure moves to Loren’s face and eye. They begin as the hand did, slight movements at first, ending in violent and uncontrollable spasms.
The past two weeks have been filled with doctor’s appointments. The oncologist, the neurologist, the psychiatrist and hospice; yes hospice. There is no giving up in the Nancarrow Code of Ethics. There is an acceptance and resolve that we didn’t have even last week.
Loren is determined to get better. This week, his entire right side is weak. Without help, he’s unable to climb a step. Without help, he’s unable to button a shirt or pants. These are heartbreaking and life changing times. We have so many things to be grateful for. I believe we will be with each other again. Our lives are our lessons and when we’ve completed the lesson, or completed what we’re here to do, we move on. So easily typed… scripted… Watching this confident, opinionated, smart, passionate man, go through this disease with such grace and composure, physically altered but emotionally strong, challenges my beliefs to the core. Almost two weeks ago, he was preparing for his journalism award, with the ever-powerful steroids at the helm. The steroids had been increased because of swelling in his brain. We had a very confident, strong, WHACKY man to live with. With the steroids, came a sense of grandeur and strength that can’t be supported for any length of time, by his family, friends or his own body… they eventually fail to work. The goal is to get the swelling under control and reduce the steroids slowly.
When it comes to the brain everything is a shade of grey… nothing is black or white. Most healthy people don’t volunteer their precious brains for research… we are in need of research, not to help us necessarily, but to help others behind us. The Nancarrow Project is committed to Loren’s interests in Environment/Conservation Issues, Journalist Integrity and Cancer/Brain Cancer research. We are running as a team in the first annual, 10/20 run, sponsored by the UT in February…please join our team, even if you can’t walk or run it… it’s for a great cause (The American Cancer Society). We’d love to be the biggest team in the race…10 miles, 20 bands!
This is no time to panic, you’re right again honey.
Friends, Family, Neighbors, Pets and Acquaintances, thank you for your support, your love, understanding and compassion, we are forever grateful.
Our German Shepherd Ayla, awakened me a few nights ago… Loren had fallen down at 2:00 AM. Ayla got in my face with a RUFF< RUFF> RUFFRUFF> RUFFRUFF>$%#$#%@#^>RUFF…WAKE UP!
No panicking allowed, these are the easy times.
I am not sure how I miss this post. Didn’t realize Loren is now on Hospice care. That is good in a way for it will help you financially, you don’t have to pay for the cost of his meds which you’ve noticed are awfully pricey. I am so sorry about the seizures. I hope they find the cure for you Loren so you can grow old with Suzie and watch your grandchildren grow and marry. This is my wish for you! And you know I wish you and your family well as always.
Wonderful words beautifully spoken in this very difficult moment. I love Lorens response.
My mom passed from a BT in ’06, and she had her worst seizure at Tomiko’s in Encinitas eating sushi. We share the moment.
From Redwoods to Bonzai, inspiration will be overwhelming during your trip as I hope all that you see will revitalize your spirit when needed. Right now, you and Sooz are on the right track, breathing in the green and enjoying each other immensely. Lorenzo and Sooz, I’m with you all the way.
Love and support to you, Susie and Loren!
Thanks to Loren, you, and your entire family for sharing AND teaching us so much. There are not any further words that I can think of any more eloquent than you have already written.
God bless you Susie…God Bless you!!!!
thank you for your honesty and bravery and love. sending you huge huge hugs and strength.
Thought and prayers I send your way and wish loren the best such a strong man and the love of his family and friends will guide him thru his illness.
God has his hands on Lauren and will be cradling him soon. His hands will then rest on your shoulders for strength to carry you thru this. And you will rejoice knowing Lauren will watch upon your family untill all of you are all together again!!
How do we sign-up for the brain tumor run?
My thoughts are with you and your girls.
My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Both beautifully written and poignantly raw. Loren is so lucky to have you as a life partner Susie. You are an incredible wingman no matter how rough the ride. Warm embraces. Kathleen
Thank you Kathleen,
We were just discussing today, the night Loren went “down”…and how much fun it was to watch your daughter’s basketball game and meet Jeff’s parents; how the events leading up to now, seem to have had a plan. We miss you, You’re a beautiful, wife, mother, professional woman, and have a great sense of humor! xoxxo Susie
We so appreciate your beautifully written updates on Loren and your expressions
of love and strength during this time. Our prayers are with your family as you
experience this most challenging time in Loren’s life, he is such a special man
and we only know that through our years of watching his delightful reports on
TV, his books, and the blogging he has done in the past. Please continue to
keep us posted as you can. Thank you.
Wish it could just go away. Hugs and love and best wishes!
Just read it again, wish I could hug you all…
What a beautiful, heartbreaking post. I’ve been a fan of Loren Nancarrow for as long as I can remember. Ahead of the curve on environmental reporting. Made the weather in a perfect-weather city interesting. I loved watching him.
I moved to NY 14 years ago but come home several times a year and keep up with San Diego through my parents. My father let me know what was going on with you all and sent me posts from the blog.
I am a critical care doctor now. I am very familiar- overly so- with the brilliance and frailties of the body and the transience of life.
Loren has been a big influence on many, many people. Thank you for this post and for sharing a terrible, beautiful time. Very much love to your whole family. Including your dog. She knows what’s going on too.
Very nice post.
Thank you Susie and all of the family for sharing with all of us. I pray for all of you each day.
You are all such special people and I send my love.
Susie, I know you don’t have time to read all the responses right now but there will be a day when they will bring you peace. I wrote too when I was walking the Cancer path with my Pa. I journaled it everyday it on FB. I was amazed at the followers and those that shared my stories. I wrote of every little thing. I wrote of spilled milk, pain patches, the VA, my hospice helpers, my family, and my fears. I didn’t want to forget any of it. It has been 9 months and the pain is still as raw as the day that I lived it. I found strength in telling myself that no matter how bad it got… that it was better than a day without my Pa. I will be there February…I have to learn to run again after my 2 knee surgeries but that is a little challenge compared to the battles of cancer. Thank you for sharing. Love and Healing White light for you, Loren and the Family.
Your thoughtful filled message brought me tears and smiles. Loren is so very lucky to have you on his side. Praying for you all.
Susie, your strength and insight into the path you and wonderful Loren are on is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
Hola Loren! My dad always used to make me sing this song: “Row Row Row your boat, gently down the stream; Merrily merrily merrily, life is but a DREAM!!!”
Can you still sleep? This is how the body and especially the brain fights invaders. I’m no dream guru, but perhaps if you could start to remember your dreams it might help you a LOT! I don’t know, I am no doctor, I am just relating my own experience since I have not had health insurance for years now. It is up to ME to HEAL thyself. You probably don’t remember me; I have a different email address now, but I am the one who observed the amazing behaviour of the mockingbirds who constructed their nest under the knot of the pepper trees. I HATE anyone who thinks birds are stupid!!!! I have 3 beautiful hens at the moment, and they lay about 3 eggs a day right now. They are VERY spoiled, however. I am SURE to hear about it (even tho I feed them expensive Purina Chicken Chow) if I don’t give them at least a mellon of some sort per day!
Oh well, hope you will be getting better very soon!
Tell us how to sign up for the UT sponsored 10k/20k fund raiser for the Nancarrow Project.
Susie, Lorena and family — you have our love and our prayers today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter. Please know that we are all here to support you. God Bless! The Simas Family
My apologies, Loren. I hit return too fast and clearly didn’t see the typo in your name. The above should have been addressed to “Susie, Loren and family…”
Susie, we are standing with you, Loren and your family. We are praying like never before. Been through this with my family three times since 1991.
Hang in there. The Lord will bless you.
Thank you Susie, your heart-felt words, though, sad, are inspirational and inspiring for your Strength, Love, Admiration and Appreciation of dear Loren’s strength as a true MAN! Please know, you are daily in our thoughts and in my prayers for you, Loren and your sweet children. God speed and comfort each of you, as you traverse these days. Hugs, Susan
I have always loved Loren on tv and my heart breaks for you and your family.
Thanks Susie for another beautifully written and soulful tribute and courageous sharing of difficult situation. I hope Loren can truly feel and enjoy the loving energy that is surrounding him, from people who know him and those who wish they did. As I read the sadness and pain of the situation, with tears in my eyes and lump in my throat, I’m aware of a strange joy that is equally there, brought about by your sharing the journey with us and letting us experience the amazing grace of you and your family. Thank you for sharing this beautiful man and your family and experience with us. I will definitely be there for the Nancarrow team of runners/walkers in February. As someone who has been personally touched by cancer, I am more than happy to help raise money and awareness for a cure.
Dear Susie, Loren and family. You are all in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers. My heart hurt for all of you when I read this… I have watched Loren for years, always thinking “what a neat Guy” someone I would enjoy knowing and at the same time able to feel as though I did through watching him on the news… My prayers are for healing for you Loren and that all of you are able to find rest and strength at this time.. my heart holds your hearts close. With love, Jennifer
I understand the path you are on…I was there, with my husband, in 2010. Visualizing healing for Loren.
susie — you and hannah are gifted writers. you tell this story so well allowing those of us who have been a part of loren’s fabulous life the chance to participate in this struggle to win. i want to believe that he will. i have been through this sort of thing myself and i applaud your courage as well as loren’s. thank you for being brave enough to share this. i sent these latest posts to my 23 year old daughter in NYC because I want her to see how someone her age can be so insightful as Hannah, and how we can be brave in the face of really scary stuff. Really crowded subways and crazy roommates seem less important… 🙂 i’m going to run.. ok maybe walk… with you. xo
Thank you Eileen for writing. We think of you often and hope all is well with you and your family. xo
Someone close to our family went through all you are going through, Susie. My heart breaks for you all, but it also soars for the love and devotion you have shown and for the wonderful man Loren Nancarrow is. There is an entire community of arms encircling your family now, sending only thoughts of hope and light.
May I suggest two books that changed my whole concept of dying and afterlife. They are by the same author,Concetta Bertoldi, a medium: “Do dead people watch you shower?” (they do, but they don’t care.) and “Do dead people walk their dogs?” (Oh, yes…they do.) Fascinating.
Formerly employed with San Diego Hospice, I have witnessed the devastation of this process. As a nurse, if there is anything I can do to help, let me know. It would be an honor. I admire your family’s strength and endurance. Stay strong.
Life…not knowing what waits for us beyond the next bend in the road…you are a family of such strength,loyalty.love,faith and determination…your blogs break my heart…always wishing there were some magic words or wisdom I could say or an elixir to make Loren magically cured..pipe dreams I know…but know I am fighting for him too and for all of the Nancarrows..will be joining in the Feb 16.2014 walk…peace and love to all of you…..
So blessed by these blogs. Just have to tell you how my parent’s little dog barked in the middle of the night when my dad, who was failing due to pancreatic cancer, fell on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. My mom couldn’t help him up so she called 911 both times and the paramedics came to help. My mom would not have known about the falls if it wasn’t for sweet little Missy and her persistent barking. My dad had trained her not to bark. Our dogs, the heroes!
Best wishes to you all!
Hi Dear Susie,
I am so sorry you all are having to experience these terrible moments. And I know none of it is easy. I so wish I could help or make it better for you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Please give Loren my love, and love to you, too. I am planning on participating in the Nancarrow Project. I just hope I don’t embarrass the team!
Beautifully written, Bridget. My heart also goes out to the Nancarrows.
So glad you’re doing this with us Bridget! xo
Susie, as always, thank you for your candor and for sharing Loren with all of us. You ALL continue to be in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.
Bless you for sharing the hard times your wonderful Dad is going through. It will help others going through similar circumstances. Prayers for your family, as it is so hard to see someone you love and admire so much change to a terrible situation.
Thank you for the beautiful, compassionate update. Your family gives me strength in my fight. I just found out yesterday that after 4 months of treatment (radiation, chemo, and left lung removal) my cancer is back. Please tell Loren thank you for passing on some of his strength to me after reading the blog. I love reading and feeling the love and strength of your family. I’m so fortunate I have that too. I will be praying for all of you. I had an attitude adjustment tonight after reading the blog. Thank you…….Sandy Scholz
Wishing you strength, love and healing. Xoxoxo