Thursday, November 13, 2014


"Security is mostly a superstition."
- Helen Keller
I like reason and facts. I question everything, and always want to see evidence. I think I am a pretty sensible, level-headed person.

And yet....

I wear the same socks for each CT scan.

I wear my favorite shirt for each appointment where I get scan results.

I wear two "charmed" necklaces every day.

And I have saved every empty bottle of my cancer drug Xalkori.

Saving my first bottle of Xalkori didn't seem so strange, since it was such a momentous occasion when we found my driver mutation and I started taking this magic medicine. And then I kept the second bottle so the first wouldn't feel lonely, and by the time I got the third bottle I couldn't bring myself to throw that one away because the medicine was working so well. So now here we are, a year later, and I have over a dozen bottles cluttering up the shelf. Ridiculous, yes, but that totally irrational part of me thinks that maybe if I get rid of the bottles the medicine will stop working.

Superstitions make sense, really. When it comes down to it, we actually have no control over anything that happens in this life, as much as we like to think we do. The road twists and turns as we travel along, and all we can do is hold on and keep moving forward. Little trinkets and good luck charms give us something to cling to as the winds of chance try to knock us off our feet.

It's scan time again, which has me feeling extra punchy and on edge. On Friday I will drink the oh-so-yummy contrast solution then lay myself at the feet of the imaging gods as the machine takes pictures that determine my fate. On Tuesday, the wizard will reveal my future.

If I have snapped at you or been irritable in the past few days, please excuse me. Scanxiety is a nasty beast. Excuse me while I go curl up with my shelf of empty pill bottles.


Anonymous said...

I understand. I have an "angel" mug hiding on my book shelves above my office desk and an angel candle doing the same at home. Nobody can see; nobody knows why.

Anonymous said...

You have to do whatever it takes to get you through. I'm seriously thinking about taking one of my stuffed black bears with me to radiation therapy. They gave me a rubber donut to hold today to keep my hands and arms out of the way. But I think hugging a stuffed toy makes more sense. I have a black bear afghan that goes with me to chemo, so this probably would make sense. I'l try it tomorrow.

Tori Tomalia said...

Ruth, you definitely should! Bring whatever you like. I bet it will make your radiation team smile.

Anonymous said...

Right behind you. I have a CT scan and brain MRI next Wednesday. Scanxiety should begin kicking in any time.
Good luck on yours. Maybe this time next week we can do a virtual celebration of mutual clean scans. CraigB

Luna O. said...

My scans are this coming Tuesday. I so hope we all get good news. Thinking of you both, Tori and Craig B.

Oren said...

Funny, but I haven't done any of that. Well, I do keep empty pill boxes, but that's mostly due to being lazy... Ha, I never thought about wearing the same clothes that "worked" last time. Well, if I could only remember now what I wore on my first good scan (as opposed to the following bad scan).

Tori Tomalia said...

Looks like it is a big week for all of us! Best of luck to both of you!

Tori Tomalia said...

It's totally silly, and yet I keep doing it!