Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Meeting with Dr. Grist

I met with Dr. Grist in his office on Tuesday at Emory University. His card listed his as Associate Professor, Otolaryngology. He had made time for me, after surgery to meet without a formal appointment. He was running late, but with my potential cancer, I would have waited over night.

When Dr. Grist entered, he reminded me of one of the typical college professors that I had at college. He is not what you would expect as the traditional surgeon. He is relaxed, sociable and took the time to draw out on a dry erase board exactly what he felt was happening inside me and how he would remove the thyroid. He was "impressed" with my thyroid, so he took out his camera and took a photo.

Good news! Dr. Grist said there is a good chance that it is NOT cancer. He said "sure you could have Hurthle cells and they often look abnormal." He said that most tumors had a "hard" feeling and mine felt soft. That does make sense to me and gives me some hope. I now recall that Dr. Wotten really never felt my thyroid. Dr. Grist has a couple of decades on Dr. Wotten and is the guy who actually goes in and remove the offending body part, so I am starting to really feel good that this guy may be right! No cancer. It is surprising how quickly my outlook on life can change.

Dr. Grist came with high recommendations. He had the experience that I felt was needed to remove all the thyroid and not damage my vocal cord nerves or the parathyroid glands, common areas of concern for the inexperienced surgeon.

He said we could schedule the surgery for about three weeks later, on December, 14, 2007. He said not to worry about it being cancer--in most cases it is benign.

Unlike Dr. Wotten, he said it was not outpatient surgery. I would at least be in the hospital for the night of the surgery. I asked him about the scar and he said it would be virtually invisible within a few months.