I live a few miles away in Upper Gornal. I found this site when my Dad was diagnosed in 2010. I've made some great friends on this site and it was a godsend when my Dad was fighting CC. Gavin facebooked me tonight to tell me a new member had posted who lived nearby! So first of all "hi" x
My Dad was diagnosed after 5 weeks in Russells Hall Hospital, he was then sent to the QE under Mr Bramhall. It was there he had his first metal stent fitted. Dads CC was inoperable due to the position of the tumour. He was offered chemo but his bilirubin level never came down to a safe level to start it, despite having 3 stents. Each time chemo was scheduled his blood test would show high bilirubin levels again. In the end he had an external drain fitted too to help drain the bile. The fact that your Mom has been able to have chemo is very promising.
Does your Mom have a metal or plastic stent? Perhaps it needs cleaning out, which is very common. My Dad was given permanent antibiotics whilst he had his stent to help prevent infections, which seemed to work for him. Perhaps you could ask about this for your Mom. He was also told to drink, drink and drink, to help flush the bile through. He had warm water with lemon morning and night and lots of water/squash throughout the day.
Have you had a second opinion? We asked for Dads CT scans to be sent to Professor Lodge at Leeds, as he is prepared to operate of cases that the QE won't. Unfortunately by the time we took Dad it was too late to operate (he would have operated from the scan he was sent) Mr Bramhall wasn't too happy we wanted a second opinion, and whilst I do think the QE are a good team, it was more for our piece of mind that we had ticked every box, as you can understand we didn't have the hope of chemo.
Good luck with the scan, from experience the run up to it can be more daunting than the day itself.
Please keep in touch, if just to vent your anger, thoughts or worries, we have all been through/are going through this journey, and we are all here to help.