I mentioned that Ty is eating and drinking again. What I didn't mention is that the ONLY thing he will eat is hot dogs. With milk. Hot dogs are the new bacon (which was replaced with steak for a brief period of time - but that's over, too). I guess it has to do with the salt, because I'm told that the chemo and radiation affects how everything can taste. He actually asks me to put salt on his hot dog and I make pretend to do so before feeding him. I never used to give him hot dogs because of the nitrates, but I guess since he has cancer I am just happy to see him taking in some fat and calories any way I can. Bring on the dogs for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Ty hasn't been able to drink liquids since January, and he showed little interest in drinking anything at all for the past few months. Even when I did convince him to have a sip here or there I had to thicken everything (with a gelatin powder called "thick-it") to avoid aspiration. I hated it. His tongue was like cardboard and I used to worry about how uncomfortable it must be to never wet his mouth, especially in the hospital where the air is so incredibly dry. Earlier this week I decided to see how he does without thickening his drink, and to my surprise he was able to take it down without any problems. No coughing! He was able to use the straw too. It's harder for him to use a straw instead of a cup because he has to work at it, but it's good for him to build those muscles. I can't find the right way to express what a big deal it is. It means I can carry an extra juice box in my bag for when he gets thirsty. It means I can stop worrying so much about whether I have enough time between getting home from the hospital and going back to properly hydrate him through his belly tube. It means we can be more mobile because he can drink on the go. This is huge.
TGIF! We have the weekend off, and then three more days of radiation. We have been staying late at the hospital every day for fluids, bloodwork and physical therapy, but getting clearance to go home at the end of each day and see Gavin for the dinner/bath/bed routine is so great. Ty's doctors have been very supportive of our desire to stay home and they have been amazed at how well Ty is doing. His infection remains under control… probably because he is on a constant IV pump filled with antibiotics through April 24th (at least). We are happy.