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Loren Nancarrow: Beating brain cancer with a smile

03. June 2013

Loren Nancarrow is battling a brain tumor.  You may already be aware of the sad news because the popular Fox 5 News Anchor made the announcement himself in his blog posted February 13, 2013.  “The reason I haven’t been in my anchor chair for the past few weeks,” Loren explained, “is because I have brain cancer.”

Loren is a friend and former colleague.  I was blessed to work with him for many years at 10 News where he would greet me each day with a big smile and a cheery, “Hi, Miss Carol!”

But friendship with Loren is something I share with thousands of other San Diegans who have known and watched him over the years as he has covered everything from devastating wildfires and environmental disasters to the weather, home remedies and gardening tips. 

Like many of you, my heart hurts for Loren and his family as they go through the difficult and emotionally draining process of cancer surgery and treatments.   But leave it to Loren to make things easy for those of us who care about him by putting a positive spin on what would turn a lesser man to despair.

After giving thanks following surgery for the return of his speech, Loren blogged,

“The doctors tell me I have between one and three years to live. So, boo-hoo, poor me.”

But the affable newsman didn’t stop there. “Oh yeah,” Loren continued. “I forgot to mention – I’m gonna beat this thing!”

I just read a short piece Loren recently wrote for San Diego Magazine that captured the essence of Loren’s take on his situation…both charming and courageous.   It made me smile and I thought it might be an encouragement to you especially if you’re facing a major trial.

And please keep our friend, Loren and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

When Life Gives You Lemons

Posted on March 25, 2013 by Loren Nancarrow

My favorite news photographer likes to tell me I can do anything with a couple of lemons. Need to keep an avocado fresh? Squirt a little lemon juice on it before you put it in the fridge. Wanna clean some copper? A squeeze of lemon helps out. Well, life recently handed me a whole bushel of lemons.

Ironically, on January 31, I had surgery to remove a lemon-sized cancerous brain tumor. I couldn’t find much use for that particular lemon. I’ve spent the last several weeks wishing this phase of my life could be as simple as coming up with one of my do-it-yourself remedies. Got a tumor? Baking soda and white vinegar should clear that puppy up. The reality is it will take a neurosurgeon’s knife, an oncologist’s concoction, and a radiologist’s isotopes to do the trick this time.

Following the surgery, I thought it might be fun to get my nails painted a Milk-of-Magnesia-bottle-blue. There’s no deep explanation for this; it just struck me as a soothing color. What I hadn’t anticipated was that suddenly hundreds of friends, neighbors, and coworkers joined in the cobalt blue movement by sending in photos of them with blue nails. It was a show of support I had not expected and it still chokes me up.

I don’t know how this chapter of my life will end. I’m hopeful and I’m treating it much as I’ve treated other challenges in my life – with hard work where it’s needed and plenty of jokes where they’re not.

By the way, if you’ve been part of the cobalt blue movement you may have noticed that blue polish can discolor your nail beds. Guess what? A little lemon juice soak will clear that up quite nicely.

Go figure.


Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@pph.org.