The Pinball

Central Oregon Waldport, 100 miles North of Coos Bay.

I’ve learned what it’s like to be an inanimate object recently — specifically, a pinball.
I awoke in the middle of the night and discovered the right side of my body had gone to sleep. When I tried to stand, I was launched across the room, with power on only one side.
I made it remarkably far before crashing. There were smashed garbage cans and blood smeared on walls. I’m not sure how I catapulted so far through the house before landing in a clump, with a number of dents over my own body now too. So goes life, six months after becoming a Brain Cancer patient.
Interesting. Until recently this remained a physical illness. It’s been just the last month or two that I feel it affecting my brain as well. Simple computer tasks are harder. Getting my body to do what I ask it to do is more difficult. But again, nothing that thousands and thousands of Cancer patients don’t face every day. I wonder about other people out on the road that look sick. Are they doing the same thing? Are they trying to pack in as much life as they can? If so, good for them!
The Sooz and I are on the road again. We spent time with friends and family in Seattle and the San Juan Islands. As much fun as it is, I can’t help but feeling at times that it’s a farewell tour. I gotta get over that feeling.
The last time you heard from me, I was preparing for a big speech, following a surprising Society of Professional Journalist Award. The award allowed me to sort of design what I’d like to do for the rest of my life. One of the most important things for us is to help with what blindsided me, specifically Brain Cancer. Secondly, I’d like to continue to work on what’s been my life’s passion: conservation and The Ecolife Foundation. Third, working to improve journalism, the profession I love so much.
To accomplish our goals, we’re putting our efforts into ‘The Nancarrow Project’ and we hope you’ll help us when possible. We’ll tell you what’s going on as it happens. We’ll ask for your help as appropriate.
In the mean time I’m still plugging away. My gardening is now miniaturized into Bonsai. But my goals remain as large as they’ve always been.
Tomorrow we’re off to see the giant Redwoods in Southern Oregon. The Sooz will post some more pictures soon.
Thanks for staying close and for sharing your thoughts with us. You’re all so awesome.
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118 comments on “The Pinball
  1. trecia says:

    Now that’s the grin I remember. Hang in there.

  2. Lois Bach says:

    Hi Loren. I’m sorry to hear about your accident and hope that you are healing from that. I’m so glad that you are out there, seeing this beautiful country with the love of your life by your side. My brother lives summers in Port Orford. The coast is spectacular up there! Have a great trip and take care. Always sending positive vibes your way, my friend!

  3. Jamie says:

    Your family is truly incredible. I am so inspired by your strength and honesty and candor. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you several times when you did weather forecasts from the Oceanside Harbor about 10 years ago and then later when you came back for coronas. It doesn’t surprise me that such a great guy has such a lovely family behind him. My heart is with you during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your story and continuing to make this world and this community a better place.

  4. Philip Weston says:

    Thinking of you and wishing you and your family the very best. You really are an inspiration.
    Wertheim, Germany

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Loren,
    How can you not keep on truckin with all your support. Wanted to share that St. James, Solana Beach, will be having a healing mass on Wednesday, October 30th at 6:30. Father Mike Sears will preside. Enjoy your road trip, keep right on going and BELIEVE!!

    A PEO friend.

  6. thank you Loren, for you honesty and your heart, good to hear from you.

  7. audra says:

    Matthew Arnold. 1822–1888

    754. From the Hymn of Empedocles

    Is it so small a thing
    To have enjoy’d the sun,
    To have lived light in the spring,
    To have loved, to have thought, to have done;
    To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes;

    Your letter reminded me of this portion of a Matthew Arnold poem. Such a joyful thing it is to enjoy life at any time. Keep on keepin’ on! Love, Audra

  8. Tori Peck says:

    Your heart warms mine. Thinking of you guys….thank you for sharing you with us!

  9. Susan Taylor says:

    Exquisitely written as always. Glad you and the Sooz have had a good roadtrip despite your body’s desire to want to revolt and betray you. ..
    You are one of the strongest couples I know….

  10. Susan Taylor says:

    Exquisitely written as always. Glad you and the Sooz have had a good roadtrip despite your body’s desire to want to revolt and betray you. ..
    You are one of the strongest couples I know….

  11. Debbie says:

    Loren, It’s good to hear from you. Stop bouncing around before you hurt something. 😉 You know darn well this is no farewell tour. Maybe to the past 6 months, but not for the future. You have a lot of things to do on this earth, my friend. Love to you and Susie as you make your way back down the coast.

  12. Sheila J says:

    My precious mom died of breast cancer last year (May 2012) & I am of course still grieving. However, reading your Nancarrow blogs are soothing to the soul & quite inspirational. Thanks for spreading such powerFUL & powerFILLED luv! God Bless.

  13. connie990 says:

    Dear Loren, thank you for sharing another heartbreaking, yet uplifting blog of your cancer journey. You and your family are such inspirations and in my mind, you are truly a hero and a mentor to all of us who have our own life challenges. As I read your “follower’s” posts, I am aware of how much your generous posts about your experience, that does not include victimhood, has helped others to generously share their love and experience. This increase of positive energy must have a good affect on our entire world. You definitely know how to turn on the light in the darkness. Love you so!

  14. Susan R. Wise says:

    Dear Loren, Julian & I are thinking of both you, Susie and your adorable children, each and every day – plus my prayers for all of you! Your such an extraordinary man, so grounded in the important things of this Life (your love of family, love for your profession, love for the Earth) and so, we wish you to know, that we are so very fortunate to have previously met you (at the Julian pie shop, a few yrs. back) + seeing you & darling Susie coming out from an enjoyable dinner at Jake’s in Del Mar, my friendship with Susie via Dyson & Dyson, etc. We are “pullin for you,” dear friend. Be comforted by your strength and your faith, remember, the Lord is always walking with each of us!! Love, Susan & Julian Wise

  15. Anonymous says:

    your adventure reminds me of lyrics from Born to Wild by Steppenwolf.

    Get your motor runnin’
    Head out on the highway
    Lookin’ for adventure
    And whatever comes our way
    Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
    Take the world in a love embrace
    Fire all of your guns at once
    And explode into space

    Thank you for your generosity, sensitivity, friendship, creativity and loyalty to your family and friends.

    • connie990 says:

      Perfect song for Loren! Thanks for sharing. This is another benefit to the people who have been touched by Loren and his family’s journey; we are now inspired to share positive and loving messages with each other and to live our lives in a more loving, generous and joyful manner. Despite Loren’s physical setbacks, he refuses to be a victim and uses these challenges to advance in his human and spiritual development. I firmly believe that Loren is a hero in the truest sense of the word. Sending lots of love, gratitude and healing prayers your way Loren.

  16. nick j says:

    Offering you Peace, Love, Light and a smile. We are all Safe.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us! I enjoy seeing Suzie making the most of this journey with you and the family. It inspires me! May God be with you all and continue to give you strength and joy! Love and many blessings to you all Jayne Crabtree

  18. Bobbie C. says:

    After Susie’s last blog I was quite discouraged for you as things were sounding rather tough and rough, especially the seizures. I hope by now the meds are keeping the seizures down to a minimum if not eliminating them altogether!

    How wonderful that you are on another road trip. The San Juan Islands are so beautiful, aren’t the? Years ago I took the day trip from Seattle through the San Juan Islands up to Victoria, Canada. What I remember most was the absolute silence going through the Sound on the ship, and hearing only the nature sounds, nothing else! It felt like being in a magical place, almost out of this world.

    I suppose you probably are saying to yourself that life is definitely not boring for you these days with the surprises that your body keeps throwing at you. If I may take the liberty to say so, you have an insight into life through your mind’s eye that the rest of us are not privy to.
    Your senses are much more aware of life experiences because of your special connection to what is happening around you.

    I do hope that your life feels fulfilled each day you wake up until you close them again at the end of the day. Continue taking good care of yourself. I will look forward to hearing more from you soon.


  19. Jennifer Perrino says:

    Thank you for sharing Loren! I truly enjoy reading every post you have.
    Keep on keep’en on! You are AWSOME!

  20. gary and betty stewart says:

    may GOD continue to bless you and your family loren! you are definitely a blessing to all of us here in san diego! hang in there and thank you for being so honest and open about your life as it is and sharing it. we are all in this together, as none of us are exempt from some of life’s bumps. this could be any one of us and it is amazing how you can keep on keepin on! you and your family are an inspiration! :}}}} betty and gary

  21. Sandy Argo says:

    How wonderfully inspiring it is to find you and Susie’s postings and share your moments of life-each one so filled with hope and love.Of all my cancer friends and family survivors-I have to say your loving smile fills my heart with hope and assurance that a healthy attitude and spirit takes victory over the pain and suffering that cancer rages on our human bodies.Rise above the ole demon and fight on-your brothers and sisters need you here to help lead us to a better environment and way of living.Personally, I am so grateful to you for the years you have shared so much with all of us but never so much as now when you and Susie have chosen not to shut us out but to take us along for the tour-God’s blessings to you both-and may loving Angels wrap their wings around you two in your travels.

  22. Lauren & Sooz (as Lauren so affectionately call you), sweet! Julie’s sister here, again. I really wouldn’t be sharing my witness with you as I am called to do effectively if I continue to reach out to you Lauren espectially and of course to the Nancarrow family as a whole. As a Christian, we are called to share with people about God and Jesus and exactly how Jesus died for our salvation. I have followed your posts, watched your interviews and gleaned information about how you were raised to “believe” in “a” higher power and so on. I just want you to know that being a Christian is not about a religion, a rosary, going to church, last rights, a crsytal, shacra (sp?), it’s about two things; believing that Jesus died for our sins and that you too can have a relationship with Him ~ that’s all it is. It is the belief in knowing that it is true, it did happen and with that belief; your family making that choice as well; it will give you all the chance to be together again in the after-life. I will continue to pray for your Salvation. Please don’t be offended by my words they come from my heart.

  23. Laurie says:

    If you have time, and you’re going down the coast on the 1, take a few minutes to check out Bandon. It’s a beautiful little town, the rocks in the ocean are amazing, and I find it feeds me like no other place….well, maybe like Monument Valley. Blessings, Loren, to you and your family.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thank you.

  25. Dick or Rick says:

    Loren, I shall never, never forget that way back almost 20 years ago you helped me climb into the boat on the beach in Costa Rica. That was the evening we were all going off to see the sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach……or something like that. I’ve had a lot of help throughout my years, most of which I cannot recount today, but that act of “random” kindness will stick in the time I have left. Kay, and I will always cherish the moments you spent with us and Kay’s dad at “Wings” before and after the 5:30 and 7 o’clock news. I have been fortunate to meet many lions of adventure during my lifetime, and you are certainly among the top leaders of the pride. I know of no one more courageous than you. Keep it up. Love from Kay and me, Dick.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Blessings to you and yours.

  27. Manny Sepulveda says:

    God Bless you and Sooz, cherish and savor every second…

  28. Kelly says:

    Love you, Loren! You may not realize it but YOU are inspiring others by sharing your experiences. Thank you for your transparency.

  29. Serena Miller says:

    You were always my favorite newscaster when we lived in San Diego, Loren. Thank you for sharing with others what you face in your daily life now. I’m a two-time lung cancer survivor. When I got my diagnosis my first thought was, “Now I’ll discover what the really important things in life are.” And, I did. It’s the little things in life that suddenly become big. Not material things. It’s the people we love, flowers, blue sky. Keep sharing, Loren. You are a huge encouragement to others. Many blessings to you. – Serena Miller

  30. Peggy says:

    Loren you are such a card! I’ve loved your tv time and now am looking forward to your ‘dispatches’from the road- and i do wish you the years to keep giving us your inspration. Keep on truckin!

  31. Loren, You freaking rock!!! Just saying…
    Thanks for your inspiration and your transparency and humor. You had already made a beautiful mark on this world with your journalism, and you continue to make your mark in an even deeper and richer way… Much love, Christina

  32. Linda Sladwick says:

    As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers. God is always with you.

  33. Julie Mckaig says:

    Takes awesome to know awesome………

  34. Laurel says:

    What a blessing you are! Enjoy your days

  35. Fran C. Cummings says:

    Hi Loren…hang in there, your attitude is very positive, and that’s whats keeping you going! We are all on our own “farewell” journey and tour, not know when it will make a sudden turn,or end….we all just keep on keeping on! I miss seeing you on the T.V. like we all enjoyed seeing ya;but you have your own show going on right now! Love all the beautiful nature scenes and destinations,you have visited so far…keep it going! Love the Northwest!!You are in my daily prayers,also!! Blessings to you and yours…til next time!

  36. Love you guys!!! Keep on truckin’!!!

  37. Richard Nichols says:

    I had a doctor tell me (when I was 24) that I had epelipsy, dibeties,or a brain tumor. I am 70 now–enjoy every day!!

  38. Judy knight says:

    Sending healing thoughts along with all the strength I have to help you. Wishing you a wonderful trip to Oregon. You are awesome!!!

  39. Heidi Van Linge-Farrell says:

    Honestly, it could be any of our last days….we just never know! I am so happy to see you out there living and loving and making memories! I still keep you in my thoughts and prayers and continue to paint my nails blue in your honor! Stay strong and keep living Loren!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Stay strong Loren.I wish you the best.

    • Jeff Michaelson says:

      As a brain cancer survivor myself, I follow your blog with interest. Hang in there. As my radiation doctor (Ray Lin) just told me… ‘enjoy EACH day as it could be your last’. I confirm those thoughts. My doctors basically said I would be gone on May 1st 2013. Well, it is not much later than that and I am, thankfully, still here! Good luck with everything and enjoy every moment that you can.

  41. Allison Ross says:

    Just …
    Huggin’ ya, Lorenzo.

  42. Bodil Lambert says:

    oh Loren , my boy started out on the journey you are on now, Had to leave Canada to be back home with him and the grandkids. But hang in there, do not become a statistic…you are Loren and my boy is Peter 34 years old.

  43. Darlene says:

    Remember Loren, that all each of us has is today, and we might not even have the whole day! None of us knows when our time here on earth will be over. You are just more aware now that there is a limit to our time here, and you are not taking that for granted like too many of us do. You have been given the gift of learning how to “be here now” and how to appreciate every day you have. I love hearing about how you are doing and about all of your adventures! Please keep up the blog!

  44. Louise Ganus says:

    Hi Loren and Susie, Farewell tour?? Fegeddabout it! Sounds like a great tour of beautiful country. Thanks for writing. Walter and I scan the emails eager to see your moniker knowing it will be positive and a dish of the Nancarrow humor. Will keep our eyes open for more info on the Nancarrow Project. Give our regards to your great kids.Hugs to the two of you.

  45. Shirley Johnson says:

    I love all of your interesting comments. You are the very best journalist… God Bless you and your family. Stay strong. Miracles do happen. I am praying for one for you. Love you..

  46. Kelly says:

    I am moved by your candor and grace (not necessarily “graceful” though, apparently — ha!) Enjoy nature and what it has to offer and teach us. ❤

  47. Sandi Banister says:


    Farewell Tour my ass. Do you know how many farewell tours the Stones have had? How about Fleetwood Mac? The Eagles? Forget about it. Take that thought about of your head. Just enjoy propelling across rooms and enjoy the scenery. Love ya, pal.

    Sandi B.

  48. Sheri M. says:

    Your posts always inspire me. Now, here you are taking my favorite trip (not the fall, the road trip). Love all of the redwoods, and the coastal drive. San Juan Island is like heaven.

    But most amazing, is that as you deal with the horrible cancer beast, you are still thinking and planning for making a better world. Yes, like probably everyone else who has been impacted by you, I look forward to becoming part of the Nancarrow Project.

  49. Frank Barnhart says:

    We love you guys!

    Frank, Katie & Sara Barnhart

  50. Anonymous says:

    Hi Loren, happy to read that you continue to wake up every morning, and embrace the day. It’s wonderful to be out and about, visiting friends, making new friends, appreciating the beauty of your surroundings. With regards to your feeling it is a “farewell tour”…well the reality of it is, we are all in the same tour. And sadly, some don’t make the most of it on any part of the tour. Warm and loving memories of you and your family from erstwhile friends in New Zealand, whom you met on part of your tour years ago…the Sahakian family xox Bob, Susan, Vahe and Alana

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