Hi Art and Rucknchoy –
Here’s what I’ve heard from a dietitian who works with head and neck cancer survivors that she says can sometimes be helpful. She says that the thick mucus can be caused from radiation damage to the salivary glands.
1. Making sure to stay hydrated – 6-8 cups of fluids a day (even through a tube)
2. Here’s a new one I hadn’t heard: gargle diet ginger ale
3. Using a humidifier
4. Trying mucus-thinning medications, like Tussinex (check with your doctor first)
I think number one is probably the most helpful from the list above, but the others might be worth a shot. Suction is another good idea.
Glad to hear your partner is gaining strength!