A hand wearing a medical rubber glove holds up a glass slide with a sleeping biopsy up to a window showing snow. The same scene is repeated but the biopsy now has one eye open and the window shows green grass and sunshine.

Nodules: What Are They?

Back in 2010 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis, it was explained that I needed to undergo more testing and biopsies for some “nodules” found on my liver, kidney, pancreas and lung.

All I felt was fear

Let me just say this: Having stage 4 cirrhosis, this was frightening, to say the least. I was scared, and all I could think of was the big C word... CANCER

I remember being wheeled into a biopsy of my pancreas. That morning, lying on the table as they prepared me for the procedure, I heard that Patrick Swayze passed away from pancreatic cancer. Tears began to roll down my face. I began to shake and get so scared. The nurse attending to me reached down and said, “I know you are so scared, let's pray, shall we?”. She said a prayer over me. I did not know what the outcome would be waking up after this biopsy; I was trying to mentally prepare for the news and thoughts of my two little kids flooded my mind. Here I am fighting hep C having watched my mom pass from it and now lot of unknown spots showing up all over my organs. How does one not get panicked and stressed? What more can I take on?

What are nodules?

The results came in rather quickly (within a day); My liver doctor called to tell me it was benign nodules. I was confused and asked for a simple explanation of a “nodule”. He shared that with hepatitis C, a person can develop non-cancerous fatty tissue that attaches to places in our bodies. Because these mimic signs of cancer, they must be biopsied for proper diagnosis. With that said, I have several of these so called “nodules” all over my body. And YES, each one had to be biopsied and properly investigated. Nine years later we still monitor these little boogers every 6 months to make sure they do not turn cancerous and/or change in size - warranting another biopsy

This has certainly left me with horrible memories of biopsies. I wish I could say they were easy and such, but with each area I have had biopsied, the easiest one (believe it or not) has been my bone marrow biopsy. If you are being told you have nodules, take the recommended precautions and get them tested to be certain. This will be a peace of mind for you to do so. Then keep a regular watch on them and be on top of the game in case one shall decide to change course.

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