Thanks everyone for responding, it truly does help.
They have been able to diagnose her; with near certainty it's cholangiocarcinoma.
Her treatment went ok on wed and she was feeling very good until the day after the treatment when the steroids began to wear off- that's when the nausea set in. she's been scheduled for her next treatment this fri (9/12) and then she'll have a week off.
I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my mother over the weekend: when i got to the house fri evening she was very weak - and had not been eating nor drinking for almost two days. as a healthy person it's not easy to understand why she can't even drink, even if she has nausea. (apparently the previous time she vomited everyone blames on bad food with poor timing given all that is going on). being that she's a nurse she was aware enough that she was at the point where things needed to improve and instructed my father and me to take her to the ER. She was severely dehydrated and her bloods were way off (high potassium, high white blood count). They admitted her and began to immediately hydrate her w/ saline via IV and started her on various antibiotics (thinking there may be an infection causing the WBC to be elevated). on Saturday i went to visit her and she had improved tremendously- much more life in her face. she was improving the rest of sat and onto sunday too- requesting a more solid diet that the hospital was giving her and even drinking on her own (where before she couldn't even have more than a sip of liquid!), she also was interested in being able to sit up more and maybe move around a little. her blood work however was not improving as we all hoped- her RBC's were slowly decreasing with every test even though her WBC's were getting better. so they were monitoring her and even reduced the rate of the saline drip (thinking her counts may be off b/c of dilution or overhydration). it seems that she was still very weak even till this morning and they were planning on doing a transfusion to increase her strength and RBC's. as of last night she was disappointed and frustrated, maybe even depressed that she wasn't better yet but was able to relent in getting the transfusion today.
I'm back at work and it's really tough; i'd so rather just disregard it and be with her. I speak to her a few times a day but there are many times i just feel myself breaking down on the inside: any time i can tell her voice isn't as chipper or just indirectly from hearing people talk about they're moms on tv, etc. conversely when her voice is more positive and up or i see that she's feeling better i'm also in a much better mood. Being at home was helpful for me as i felt that i was able to contribute- even if it meant just tidying the house seeing as my father is preoccupied caring for my mother. it was also good for me to see my mother, even if it was in the hospital.
Either way i know this forum fills a certain void of mine and even without responses i feel it helps to write it out and update everyone on the goings on.
Thanks and be well,