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    Oh No (Diagnosed): In November, my mother was diagnosed with bladder cancer which had spread into the muscle wall and possibly the nearby lymph nodes. After consulting with an experienced surgeon at UVA Medical Ctr., she decided on a course of action starting with 3-4 rounds of pre-surgery chemo, and then a review to see if she would be a candidate for bladder removal. She has last at least 20 pounds in the last 3-4 months and now weighs approximately 75 lbs. She has no appetite at all and is eating very little. She has had one application of chemo (Gemzar) but could not receive her second one due to poor kidney function. She had a nephrostomy tube place in right kidney to help and will hopefully be able to return to her rounds of chemo beginning tomorrow, 1/11/12.

    However, her pain level has greatly increased in the past week, and she has become very weak. She sleeps the majority of the time (18-20 hrs. per day). My sister and I have both tried to take her to the hospital, but she refuses to go. Our hope is that her oncologist and staff will admit her tomorrow when she goes for treatment.

    This is our first experience with cancer caregiving. I am feeling totally overwhelmed, scared, and exhausted. My mom is very headstrong and independent and does not want in-home nursing care or other help, but I am reaching a point where I just can't continue on my own.

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    User: GregP_WN