I was really feeling good this day. Why? Because if Dr. Wotten had bad news, I would have heard by now. I was sitting by my phone all morning and no call. So, I called back about noon and left a message saying that I have not been called. My confidence was growing that I just had a big fat thyroid that needed to be removed.
I was at my Jasper office about 4:30 in the afternoon. I was the office with my wife, Kim. My cell phone rang. I recognized the number now, so I quickly shut the door and listened. Kim looked at my face, anxiously looking for positive or negative signs.
Dr. Wotten asked how I was doing. He started to talk and I could tell by the tone that it was not good. He said that biopsy results were not conclusive of cancer. However, he said that there were cell abnormalities in some cells called Hurthle cells.
By this time, Kim was waiting for a smile or some acknowledgement that it was benign. I asked Dr. Wotten what he meant by abnormalities. That's when the talk got more serious.
He said that Hurthle Cell Cancer is a variant of Follicular cell cancer and is not normally detected by a Fine Needle Biopsy. He said that he would "bet his money" that I had Stage 2 Hurthle Cell cancer and that I needed to "get that thyroid removed right away". I look at Kim and gave her the thumbs down sign. She sank in her chair.
Dr. Wotten gave me the name of a surgeon to call to schedule surgery. He said that they would need to remove the thyroid completely and they would do more cell analysis after the thyroid was removed to determine if it were truly Hurthle call cancer. However, he said that he was really confident already that it was indeed malignant.
I walked out of my office and it was obvious that everyone else knew what was going on. The company is small, so there are not too many employees, and the walls are thin. People politely look the other way to avoid tears.