Coll Writes

You know how I do.

Hold On, Hold On to Yourself

Written By: Colleen - May• 23•13

afewsmallrepairsWhen I was 13, I loved the song “Sunny Came Home” by Shawn Colvin. And as you did back in 1997, I bought the CD it was on, A Few Small Repairs. After a few days, I began to seriously regret this decision. The cover of A Few Small Repairs featured a woman with three eyes and, to be honest, it totally freaked me out. Silly as it sounds, I didn’t want to own the album any more because I didn’t want to look at the cover. When I explained this conundrum to my grandfather, he looked at me and said he would take care of it. The next time I saw that woman on the cover, she had two eyes. My grandpa had fixed my problem by cutting out a female eye out of a magazine and gluing it over the woman’s double eye.

When I first began working in NYC in February 2007, I went to live with my grandparents in Syosset so I could commute into the city from the Hicksville train station. I lived there until I moved into the apartment in Astoria with Amanda on June 1, 2007. Every morning, my grandpa would leave vitamins out for me to take in a little dish. Underneath that dish was a five dollar bill for me to use to get an Iced Caramel Latte from Dunkin Donuts on my way from Penn Station to the office. On days when I was running late to catch the train, Grandpa would drop me off at the train station to make sure I’d make it into work on time.

When I moved to Raleigh, my grandpa still continued to take care of me. Every few months, he would send me a shoebox filled with little soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and toothbrushes. This little gesture went a long way to helping us out when it came to having to buy toiletries. Even from 800 miles away, Grandpa took care of me.

Before he had his surgery last May 22, there was concern that the cancer cells could spread. We learned on September 7 that those same cancer cells had indeed spread to his lungs. On March 14, we received news that Grandpa’s cancer had spread to his liver. Today, May 23, we learned that the cancer has most likely spread to his spine. “A mass” was discovered during a routine MRI he underwent yesterday as surgery prep for a fracture in his 7th vertebrae that will be fused on Tuesday. Pending results of the biopsy, radiation treatment will begin immediately following recovery from the procedure.

How fitting that we would get the news of spinal cancer on a Lost-related day. Today is also Uncle Lou’s birthday.

Jay and I were planning on going back home to Long Island to celebrate my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary from June 21-23, but we are going to have to take an unplanned trip up earlier because if I thought things were rough now, things are about to get a lot rougher. The thing that eats away at me the most right now is that I can’t do anything to make the pain go away for anyone: Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, Katelyn, Christie, Auntie Anne, Uncle Lou, Matthew, etc. And I love my family so much that I don’t want any of them to hurt anymore. God, I wish I could fix cancer for him just like he fixed the cover of A Few Small Repairs for me.

So that’s what’s going on. As they say: “Hold on to yourself for this is gonna hurt like hell.”

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