My mom was diagnosed with SCLC a year ago. Underwent full chemo treatment & radiation to lung, but was too weak for brain chemo. She was never really "sick" from the chemo, but VERY weak & tired. She's 76. Wouldn't eat, became very forgetful, wouldn't remember to even try to eat. She's been at Hospice for 3 months. The radiation caused some lung damage. Last x-ray 3 months ago didn't show any significant lung changes. She's coughing more, really yucky, tired to the point of being content to stay in bed all day. Some days she seems really out of it mentally, her memory is not good. She's always been a people person and can now barely carry on a conversation, usually just agreeing with whatever is said. She has become incontinent, wearing diapers. Dr. in no hurry to do more scans since she can't handle more treatment anyway. Could mental state be from the chemo? Don't know if it could be spread to brain since no tests have been done. She often just gazes past us unless we get her attention to make her talk to us. It's such a sad guessing game. She's pleasant to all, but basically seems to be inside her own little world most of the time. No significant pain. She'll have a bad day or two and be really out of it and we'll be told she's gonna spiral downward; then she'll be much better for a few days.
What does Hospice say? Is your mom able to get up to go to the restroom or no desire to do so? My dad did same...we often wondered how much he really did understand - and then he would get angry at us! Hospice saved us, but they're probably telling you the same: everyone is different, right? It's frustrating, to say the least. We weren't expecting my dad to do what he did - from the brochures that Hospice gave us, we had assumed he would become bed-ridden and more comatose as the time came close, but he didn't - he was laying down on the couch watching a movie, probably smoking his head off!, had a strong coughing episode, and vomited up blood (I think a blood vessel in his lung burst) - he was dead within five minutes, and in no apparent pain at all - it was just very quick, so we felt blessed. I'll keep you and your mom in my prayers tonight.
The main nurse thinks she is going downhill quicker now. She was very confused and almost beligerent with everyone yesterday, unlike her. She tangled herself in her oxygen tubing and really thought someone was choking her. She wouldn't talk to family or doctor last night. Today she seemed like her usual "now" self. She can't usually tell if she needs the bathroom, in fact can't tell when she's thoroughly drenched herself. I appreciate your prayers. It's hard on the family, particularly the oldest, who is handling finances, etc, and always just feels so "responsible."
God bless you all for what you have to deal with. Your Mom sounds quite a bit like mine (she had congestive heart failure). She would get angry at us frequently when we were trying as hard as we could to comfort her. One thing that saved a lot of work and made her more comfortable was the Hospice nurse suggesting a catheter. Mom was on Lasix so getting the excess fluid out was vital. You could ask if that is an option. You didn't mention if she can control her bowels. We also graduated on to a catheter bag that strapped to her leg and she could move around wherever she wanted. When we asked if it bothered her and needed it removed she got loud, about keeping it. My Dad was with Hospice at the same time. When the end came, both slipped into a deep sleep and could not be aroused. The Hospice nurse called it 'talking to the angels.' I can't tell you how much comfort that was. My heart goes out to your Mom and you and your family. You are all in my prayers, and never forget that miracles do happen every day. Only our Father in Heaven knows.