Topic: Newly diagnosed with bile duct cancer - some input will be useful
My mother was diagnosed with bile duct cancer last week. MRI scans have shown that there is also "a spot" (the oncologist's words, not mine) in one of her lymph nodes, and another on her liver.
Following an MDT meeting, my mother was called in and was told that the only option was chemotherapy. After three months, they would re-assess and reconsider surgery if appropriate.
In the days following the MDT meeting, and before admission into the oncology ward, she was suffering from severe pain in her gut, and some nausea. Once admitted last Thursday and given medication, these conditions eased significantly. However, she did not have any bowel movements at all up until this morning, despite her eating regularly and been given medication to make her go.
Another MRI was taken over the weekend. The next day, a junior doctor visited my mother to say that based on the scan, "surgery is definitely not an option". He did not elaborate.
Chemotherapy began yesterday, with a combination of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin. Initially, (at last week's meeting), she was told that the schedule would be two weeks on, one week off, repeated. The indications now are that the schedule will be two weeks on, two weeks off.
Based on the above set of events, what conclusions, if any, should I draw from these aspects?
The oncologist's assertion that surgery was not possible
A repeat of this assertion following the second MRI, without any elaboration
The fact that the schedule has changed from 2/1 to 2/2
The choice of drugs
My mother does not have the assertiveness to ask these questions of the medical team, and I appreciate that, for her sanity right now, this may be a blessing. And I am walking a fine line between concern and interference. I have an investigative and inquiring mind though, and it is in overdrive right now. As such, all useful input in this forum will be very useful.