The new plan, as we were informed by his doctors just yesterday, is to replace his shunt simultaneously during chemotherapy treatment. The team felt an infection could be catastrophic so they suggested we take the most conservative route to avoid that at all costs. We will be leaving at 4:30AM for a 6AM check-in at the hospital. An OR is booked first thing in the morning at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where his neurosurgeon will remove the VP shunt that we suspect may be infected, and place an external drain in his ventricles. That means he will have a tube that is outside on top of his head for several days in order to allow for any lingering bacteria to be completely cleared in the CSF before placing new hardware. On that same day, Ty will be given his chemotherapy treatment via a 24-hour infusion. After a short but aggressive course of antibiotics, a new VP shunt will be placed on either Monday or Tuesday - before Ty's counts drop as a result of the chemotherapy. This is a very important factor to consider, because if Ty's platelets and white blood cell counts were to drop before his new shunt could be placed, surgery would be out of the question and he would be at an extremely high risk for infection given the open access to his brain when the tubing is externalized. His oncologist has assured us that he does not expect Ty's numbers to drop until two weeks after the infustion, but I am a nervous wreck over the "what-if." Ty's history proves to be very unpredictable, but I have to just trust them on this one. Not easy, but okay.
I hate that we have to do this, but I pray that this time everything goes smoothly for a change. It will. It has to. Now... how can I possibly sleep when I need to wake up in 3 hours? I have completely disinfected the house in the hopes that we will be home by mid-week next week and Ty will be immuno-compromised. I have packed several bags filled with all of his favorite pjs, snacks, games, etc., and I uploaded some photos and videos among other chores to keep me busy while I'm at the hospital. Here are three cute clips: Ty getting stronger... Ty loves ice cream like a big hungry bear... and Ty loves you, bye bye :) Enjoy! And, as always, a thousand thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.
Ty getting stronger (taken two weeks ago, today he can lift his left arm unassisted)...
Ty loves ice cream like a big, hungry bear!
Ty says "I wub you"