Colin Loves Tractors Follow Colin's progress through treatment for a brain tumor

July 2, 2016

Gentle Fire

Filed under: Death,Interpreting MRIs,Radiation,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Mom @ 12:56 am

Colin lies down on the table, head nestled in a custom head rest that still contains long strands of the hair we had to cut off a week before. I help him settle into his spot, but he knows the drill better than I do. I straighten his head and the tech puts the mask in place. He closes his eyes under the plastic mesh without complaint and she rotates clips that keep it in firmly in place during treatment. They show me how they line him up, red lines crossing to match pen marks on his skin that they redraw over small tattooed dots and lines on the chin of the mask.

Colin’s last IMRT treatment


March 29, 2016

The Fickle Boon of Uncertainty

Winter snuck by us, a few bouts of snow and frigid air between Christmas and Easter only mockingly reminiscent of winter last year, which came with a roar and didn’t budge, reluctantly giving way to spring. By contrast, even just at the turn of the New Year, spring felt close at hand. We were unfortunately fortunate enough to be away much of this disappointing winter; as skiers, we weren’t miss much back home while we skipped off to Hawaii and, not long after, the Bahamas to the resort Atlantis. During the latter trip and the visit to Camp Sunshine in Maine soon after, the shadow of the fateful MRI in Dallas tracked us. The cold invisible fingers of that news, the dreaded and relentless progression of disease, were impossible to shake off, even in the warmth of the blinding sun.


Playing in the sand at Atlantis


January 29, 2016

Hawaiian Sunrises, aka Aloha Ra

It’s easy to get stuck on an idea: culturally imposed, personally fabricated, or more often a blend of both. For various reasons, I got it in my head to watch sunrise as a family every day of Colin’s Make-a-Wish trip to Hawaii. Colin himself has a certain fascination with the sun and the warmth and comfort it brings. Given the time difference between New York and Hawaii, this quest wasn’t as insane as it sounds, and one of our planned excursions was a sunrise jaunt to the summit of Mt. Haleakala, the dormant volcano that forms the highest point of Maui. I wouldn’t have considered it for the kids had we not been rolling off of a five-hour time difference where leaving the ship at 3 am equated to getting to school.

December 26, 2015

Christmas Wishes

Filed under: Death,Local Color,Uncategorized — Tags: — Mom @ 6:40 pm

The pressure to synthesize childhood magic is never more intense than at Christmas, the official season of idealized future memoires. If you fail as a parent, you are assured to leave behind you a wake of ruined dreams and the bitter shards of a lifetime of disappointment. Multiply the pressure by some factor if your child is eligible for hospice; divide by another if that child knows that Santa is his parents. I’m okay at math, but not this kind of math, so I’ve thrown up my hands and capitulated to the random forces of life and improvisation.


My Christmas Elves


A Storm Breaks

Filed under: Death,Local Color,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Mom @ 3:13 pm

I walk to the car under a sun that is determined to dry up the rain that has soaked the town, Colin in his wheelchair, spent but less feverish after a visit to the hospital for routine maintenance of his sub-cutaneous port following a fever. We’re fairly certain that Colin merely suffered from an ailment, with many of his schoolmates struck down by similar afflictions, but the merest chance that a spike in temperature could be the first sign of a dangerous line infection sent us scrambling to the local Emergency Department the first thing in the morning. It is standard procedure, a minor inconvenience in our world, which followed a very non-standard and magical weekend.

December 19, 2015

O Tannenbaum

Filed under: Death,Local Color,Uncategorized — Mom @ 3:23 am

Colin squints in the sunlight posing next to his brother in front of this year’s Christmas tree, which towers many yards above them. This behemoth dwarfs our house, but we will only bring the very top inside. It’s an absurd way to pick a Christmas tree, trying to determine from far below whether it has appealing proportions and density, but that’s not the point this year. Colin later declares that this Christmas tree farm is “be-au-ti-ful,” and this is all that matters, that and our experience here as a family at the Christmas-tree-farm-that-never-was but is now part of Greensprings, a nature preserve and cemetery.

September 19, 2010

Latest Photos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mom @ 10:36 pm

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March 26, 2010

Latest Photos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mom @ 1:42 pm

If you have had problems registering (sorry!), that function is up and running again.

If you get a “page not found” message when you try to view an individual post and you have signed up previously, this probably means that you aren’t logged in when you try to access the site. If you need any of your log in information, let me know.

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November 20, 2009

Boomerang Boy

After days of struggling with the aftermath of chemo, Colin started to perk up a bit, so he emerged from the hospital after 25 days. (more…)

October 12, 2009

See Our Improvements!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:52 am

Colin Loves Tractors is a site devoted to the treatment of our 2-year-old son Colin for a brain tumor. We continue to enhance this web site to replace As we work away, please let us know about problems you may have — especially registration or notification of new updates — or ideas regarding functionality you would like see (no promises here).

Some new features/improvements:

  • Double click any word or phrase for a quick dictionary/Wiki/Google search
  • Give a thumbs up on an update to show your support (rather than full comment, if you’re feeling shy)
  • Starting to add photo galleries and videos, finally
  • Updates end with links to “similar” updates
  • Repaired the Registration page

Thanks for your support!

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