Left in the Dust

It’s been a rough few weeks. Our road trip to the Northwest was beautiful but I was limited in my ability to get around, so Susie had to do more than her share (and she did so gladly).

Part of learning about cancer is learning a whole new vocabulary. This week, our term is “radiation necrosis”.  According to one of my doctors, that means the radiation did its’ job —  just a bit too well. So well that it left a rim of scar tissue where the bulk of the tumor once was. This scar tissue is pressing down on my brain and has basically put my entire right side to sleep. Tomorrow we’ll find out if it stays or if it goes (whether or not I’ll have surgery to remove it).

This is all troublingly reminiscent of Susie’s mom, who had this very same cancer while Susie and I were dating. With each surgery, there was a little less of Phyllis left behind. That’s the conundrum of brain cancer; all the available options have high risks. In this case, doing nothing means a loss of function and quality of life, while acting radically (surgery) can either fix things or really mess me up.

So how will I make this decision? Well, I was the youngest of 4 kids and I hated being left in the dust. I felt like I spent all my time just trying to keep up. Cancer has made me feel that way again. So, the answer as to whether or not I’ll choose surgery is an easy one for me. If someone is offering me a way to keep up with the pack (my family), I’ll grab at it.

When this all started I somehow pictured myself being healthy until the end — and then it would simply be over. That hasn’t been the case and that’s what I’m finding most difficult. So my hopes are that in the coming days I’ll have surgery and I’ll awaken stronger, more mobile and ready to run with the pack.

In the meantime, I’m receiving daily foot massages from Hannah, watching way too much Netflix and doing my best to remember that others have it far worse. Mostly, I’m just looking forward to getting back out there with a full head of steam (rather than scar tissue).

I hope some of this will inspire you to appreciate your bodies and put them to good use (perhaps you’ll join The Nancarrow Project Team for the San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation’s 5k fun run/walk later this month).

Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.



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164 comments on “Left in the Dust
  1. Anonymous says:

    What a Wonderful, Loving, Humble, Strong, and
    Brave Man. Loren was One of the Greatest Husbands, Fathers, Friends that I Ever Knew Of
    Everyone Loved Him and his Love for the World
    Like His Garden, his Animals. And in Helping
    AMERICA. God Bless You Loren
    Up In HEAVEN 💗💙💗 🐕 🐶 🌻🌷⚘🌿🐞

  2. Nenette West says:

    Can’t believe you are really gone…but never forgotten! Rest In Peace Loren. You are LOVED!❤️❤️❤️

  3. Anonymous says:

    He was inspirational, I rant and so comfortable with the English language… loren is missed by so many that welcomed him into our homes on to daily…

  4. Tina says:

    Loren…thinking about you and praying you fight the fight…sending you healing prayers!

  5. Sherry Walborn says:

    Hoping you will be keeping up with the pack very soon dear Loren. Remember you have an army of supporters behind you… xox

  6. nick j says:

    “Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.” Indeed!

    I offer a meditation… I REST IN GOD, I AM SAFE, THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR.

    Be well Loren.

  7. I read this post when you put it on the blog. Ihave thought about this post and you and your family since. I felt like I wanted to share with you a title of a very short book that you may find interesting. The book is Game Changer by Elizabeth Puleo. The author is my niece, a brain cancer survivor. She had her first tumor at age five. She was told a couple times that she had only weeks to live. She graduated from college this past spring. She is an incredible example of what is possible. I think you may enjoy reading her story. She underwent radiation therapy and was given too much radiation. She has lost her hearing in one ear and sight in one eye, her balance is disrupted and her speech is affected, yet, she has gone on to do major things in her young life. She is starting a career as a public speaker to the high school she attended and some of the private schools in the area where she lives. Her book is on amazon and takes about 40 minutes to read. I think it is available for a kindle type device also. Know that I think of you all often and pray for healing. DAF

  8. karen says:

    My son had 4 brain surgeries. He is joyous and whole and extremely intelligent- even without about 1/6th of his brain.

  9. Max Roelen says:

    Hang in there Loren. Seems everytime I go in for a MRI, which was every six months, they find something new of concern on the image. I go in for a MRI later this month and see the doctor right after.

  10. Stephanie Castro says:

    We are all only in the moment. Carpe diem anyway you can. It’s all good. Bless you and your family.

  11. Denise says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  12. My dear Loren,
    You’ve been on my mind a lot lately, and now I know why. I must tell you that when I grow up (lol) I want to be just like you! Your zest for life, for the environment, for your wife and kids, continues to inspire me.

    You will NEVER be left in the dust, do you hear me??!!! You are courageous and strong and positive, even now. It’s not hard to see why you have the worldwide cheering team that you do. We are all your “family” and will make sure, along with your docs, that you are well taken care of and loved.

    I continue to hold you in my heart and thoughts and prayers in the most positive, most healing of lights, every day, all the time. If anyone, on this green earth can turn things around, it’s you and all of us together. With much love and admiration and hope for a brighter future,

  13. Rochelle says:

    Hi Loren,
    Just wanted you to know that you have always been one of my favorites! I am soo sorry to hear your struggling. I hope you will give the Gerson Therapy a try. I personally met Charlotte Gerson and she showed me a letter she had just received from a man from Japan. He was a doctor who had terminal brain cancer. He had been clear of all cancer for 5 years after doing the Gerson Therapy. It was truly inspirational. I will definitely keep you in my prayers.

  14. seagyrl says:

    Sending love and prayers, for you and yours. Love, Catherine

  15. Dennis says:

    Loren,give Serrapeptase 40,000 Units Per Cap,2-3 caps per day,this enzyme dissolves scar tissue,hopefully it will get trough the blood brain barrier and help you.Loren you are one of the best guys and I wish you nothing but the best. Your Friend, Dennis

  16. Anonymous says:

    Loren Susie and Family,
    We guys are so amazing,!!!!
    I can learn good things from you!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Awesome spirit!!!!

  18. Geri Akan says:

    Each time I read a new message from you or Hannah I am hoping to hear that you are in remission. You and your family are such an inspiration as you continue to fight this horrible disease. You already know how many people are fighting along with you and nothing is stronger than the power of prayer! May God and the Holy Spirit keep you close and remove the cancer from your body.

  19. Jessica Goggin says:

    Your ability to express yourself so eloquently and honestly is an inspiration. You’re willingness to share this with all who will listen is a reflection of you and your mission to help others. Thank you for this. I am sending warm thoughts to you and your family as you share this journey together.

  20. Donna Mazon says:

    Hi Loren and family.
    Each email I get from you feel inspired and full of hope that my continued prayers will heal you.
    Prayers are powerful. I have faith you will kick cancers butt.
    May the Lord continue to hold you and work its magic.
    Love n Light.

  21. Dollie says:

    My prayers and Thoughts of Healing and Happiness goes to You and Your Family. Some times we are forced to walk many roads of darkness to see the beauty of the light all around us, You have an Amazing Spirit and Love for Life and you have made each of us a better person just knowing and sharing this journey with you. Your Family are so Brave and are a an inspiration as well.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your story!…..very giving of you!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    You are such an inspiration. I have followed your journey and with your post today I have decided to take control of my plight in life. I need to start treating my body like the temple it is. Here’s to losing the first 10 of 50 #’s I need to lose. A VERY small problem compared to your’s, but nonetheless important. Thank you my friend for the motivation!

  24. Louise says:

    Sending hugs and healing vibes out to you!

  25. Ben says:

    Praying for you from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Thank you for keeping us posted – we’re all pullin’ for you Loren.

  26. Cathy Spain says:

    Hang in there, Loren! You have a wonderful family & they have all the love & strength to help get you through the next phase!!! You have so many people in your corner sending love & prayers!!! Love & prayers to you & yours, Cathy

  27. Loren – You’re such an inspiration, and reading your thoughts on this journey I know you’d rather not have to take reminds me of how you approach life, with a positive attitude and eyes on the road ahead. Your wonderful Susie & kids have always been so important, and I’m sure their love & support is a joy & a comfort. Please know you’re in our thoughts, and those of thousands of other people, and that we’re all pulling for you.
    (hugs) – Susi & Jose Torre-Bueno

  28. Andrea canchola says:

    Have you check out Temecula Wellness Center the combination of the bio electromagnetic energy seems to be a healing mechanism along with the use of the power plate. Then when you partner this with alkaline water and green organic juicing the results can be amazing for cancer patients. I encourage you to check their website out. http://www.temculawellnesscenter.com. Prayer are with you.

  29. Jeff Mitchell says:

    Hello Loren,
    I like to read your blog updates on how your doing. Your an amazing man who have been blessed many times over. You have shown all of how to confront and overcome life’s greatest obstacles with style. Your wife and children are wonderful. Loren God still has plans for you. Continue to pray and remember all of us who you don’t know who are praying for you. Thank you for sharing your life with us. God bless on your journey. Jeff, Julie & Jasmine M…

  30. Brad Willis says:

    Keep fighting it buddy!

  31. Annie Prescott says:

    Loren. I’m Annie Prescott. Jeff Prescott’s x-wife. We chatted a few times about organic gardening and you told me his to grow potatoes in a trash can. We were even going to put Jeff and my organic garden in bird rock on the air. This guy Braco is legit, has healed brain tumors by gazing at people. Please show up this weekend at the Hilton Bay front I can pick you up if you need. 10a-6 p on the hour. About 40 minutes. Hannah can come with your picture if you are not up to it. My brother had an illness reversed as well as many others. You may call me. I will give you more info. Meanwhile he is going live-stream gaze today, tomorrow and Friday. $3 a gaze. Go to Braco .net and join. I know he can help. I’m volunteering all weekend. It’s not a joke. People get real help. Hope to hear from you. Knowing you are whole! Please , please please show up! Love Annie

  32. Maureen Blackhall says:

    Thank you for making every day a day to remember even on-line. I read your posts and know how lucky I am to know you through your writings and family. Stay strong in spirit and know that only love matters. Maureen

  33. Doris Jaffe says:

    Tonight at sundown begins Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I will have you in mind during our prayers. May you be blessed with swift and complete healing – physically and emotionally.

  34. Colleen says:

    I love your fight. You are an inspiration to never…. ever relent to cancer! Keep up the good fight. Hats off to Susie for her strength too!! God bless the Nancarrow family.

  35. Nancy Dow says:

    A strong, wise man you are. Such an inspiration.

  36. Margie Reese says:

    You might want to check out Poly MVA to help boost the immune system. I have stage four cancer…am taking hemp oil…helps with the pain and sleep…some claim it cures Cancer…but so far, it is just helping me stay above ground!

  37. Aha! I finally remembered my WordPress password and am able to leave a comment. I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and I love your daughter Hannah’s posts as well as all the rest. I think that you are an incredibly inspirational and brave person and you must have married and then raised a family the same way. You inspire me every time I read your blog and please know that as a praying family, we are praying for you and yours constantly and from the heart. Keep on keeping on. Every breath is worthwhile!
    Bless your heart.

  38. Marilyn Mueller says:

    Our friend’s dog tried to make friends with a skunk the other night. She looked up your skunk wash recipe and took care of it! You are thought of soooooo often, and you are the ‘go to’ guy in matters of gardening and de-skunkifying and living on this earth. We all pray you will be patched up and put back on the road. We know you have a lot more miles left on ya! Hugs.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Loren I am a retired registered nurse and have been following your post and praying for you. All my life I felt that i too would be the healthy one and spent my years always helping others. However in 1999 I found out that I had a brain tumor, went thru gamma knife, and then surgery. Being a “control freak” running a nursing business and taking care of others I found myself to be “not in control of anything. I could think but not verbalize my thoughts correctly.
    You are in my thoughts an prayers every day and I hope that God willing you will be back to doing what you do so well. We have enjoyed you for so many years on our local stations here in Cardiff area and miss your smiling face and garden hints.
    Love and prayers,
    Julie Sauer

  40. Bob Scheid says:

    For a moment when I read the blog, I feel guilty that I have my health (at least right now; it can change in an instant) while others have health challenges…many very severe. But then I realize that I don’t need to feel guilty IF I appreciate my healthy mind and body and do some good with it. Loren, you continue to challenge me to do good things with my healthy body, mind and spirit. And I try to instill that in my teenager (ugh. That’s a whole other story ;)). Thank you and my prayers are with you and your family.

  41. Susan R. Wise says:

    Oh Loren, please KNOW, Julian & I are truly “pullin” for you, dear Susie, your son, Hannah & Brita. Yours is a real rough brain cancer “road” of travel, but, with all of the love, prayers, kindness & other forms of support all of you are receiving; I believe it will be “uplifting and encouraging” to you! God Bless you and yours, Susan & Julian Wise

  42. Kevin Disston says:

    Loren, you’ve always been an inspiration to countless San Diegans, and now we must follow your posts in helpless empathy. You’re thoughts and musings as you travel this path that the fates have given you are what hold you so dear to our hearts. We each will be faced with a choice of how we shall live out our days and you are, as you have always been, a role model. You inspire!

  43. David DaCosta says:

    Loren – Continued blessings to you and your family!

  44. Anonymous says:

    If prayers and good wishes worked magic then you will pull through this.

  45. Anne Slagill says:

    I will keep praying for you each day because I know for a fact God in his love and mercy can do anything miracles happen everyday.

  46. Wishing you the very best and a full recovery.

  47. Andy Casillas Hein says:

    Our prayers are also for you to get stronger be more mobile and hit the road with the pack again. It’s hard to read that my ol’ buddy is going through this, but it’s heartening to know that you’re giving it that typical Nancarrow push to fight the fight. Here’s to you all…and by that I mean lots of love.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I wish that there was something “magic” to say…Cancer is scary, but doing everything in your power to fight it and the after affects is what you should do! That’s your job, now, Loren!
    You are working, after all! Diane De Rousseau

  49. Marty Stillman Miller says:

    Dear Loren
    I hope you don’t mind being called by your first name . We met once in a supermarket and you shook my hand . You immediately became my new best friend as I repeated that handshake story to anyone I could make listen!! it was a good thing .I have your garden books and have been a follower all these years for the goodness and knowledge you have shared . No pest has survived in our garden patch since
    You have such strength and I’m praying everyday that God will put you back where you want to be . Know that I have learned how important inner strength is , thank you for sharing with us all.
    Be well again
    Marty Stillman Miller

    • Laura says:

      I’ve read through many of your ambitious cheerleaders offering their solutions. Any cheer is a solution, from what I can tell. But as far as I know, the only real solution is being with what is.
      You seem to be there, so my bet’s on you to be wonderful in spite of whatever is real.
      Having risen from some ugly personal stuff for myself (both physical and emotional-although that line is blurry), I know that reality and beingness is nothing more than being.
      Reiki is a scientific adjustment to being, of which I am certain you have familiarized yourself. I am both a student and “master” of this phenomenon. (We are all just here, walking each other home.”) It would be my absolute pleasure to assist you if you wish.
      Death is not the end of a sentence. It is simply a punctuation that brings us home, in whatever form we are. Let me know if I can help in ANY way.

      • carolyn esposito says:

        I just don’t know what to say. I too have suffered long with cancer…but, I am a SURVIVOR and you will be too!!! God bless you and your dear family. Jan B.

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