Ken Ivey
Ken Ivey

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  Ken Ivey
August 2018 update

Here's the latest on my treatment / condition: As you may know, I have monthly visits to the Milwaukee VA for treatment and tests. I'm currently getting a monthly IV for a bone-strengthening medication which is not chemo (I take that via pill daily) but is dangerous enough for the nurse to have to wear protective gear, lol.

Got to see Dr. England (ortho) who wanted to check up on my hip, so they took x rays and everything is still in good shape so far. Aside from a few minor mishaps, I'm trying hard to limit stress on the area. I mean, who really wants a hip replacement, right? Dr. England mentioned that my case was what inspired him to pursue this course in his career - (he'd been mentored by the surgeon who did my 'screw & glue' procedure. It's been successful on 66 patients across the US to date, many of whom have Multiple Myeloma.

In between appointments I wanted to visit a pastor who came to see me while I was hospitalized last year and has been on my mind lately. When we last talked, he mentioned that he suffered from Hodgekins, and recently received a stem cell transplant like the one I was (then) likely to get. His didn't work. I found today that he died a few months later. This grieves me, that I didn't touch base sooner - so friends, when you get a prompting, act quickly. We're not promised tomorrow.

Blessings to you and yours from the Ivey family. Until next time...

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  Ken Ivey
Three Weeks Out

Good morning! Today marks three weeks since I’ve been home from the transplant center in Nashville, so I thought it’d be a good idea to update everyone.

It felt weird being home at first, probably because I’d settled into the ‘outpatient transplant’ life so well. But it was really good to see our animal family, though I have to maintain a good distance from our chickens for the time being. Also nice to sleep in a familiar bed. :)

I haven’t been getting out much - trying to avoid sick people - but I have been to a few small Chamber of Commerce meetings and had a few client meetings and of course the radio club. Popped in to see my VA Primary Care doc to update him, and also my Oncologist. Even saw my Dentist who’s busy making my dentures. What a process. Should have some choppers by Spring.

All in all, it’s good to be ‘free’ even with the restrictions. Hey, who am I fooling? It’s the middle of Winter in Wisconsin - this time last year I was hibernating anyway. Even so, very much looking forward to Spring.

Hey, thanks again for hanging out with me during the transplant - you’ve been a huge blessing. I hope to see everyone more when this place thaws out. :)

Stay tuned - I’ll probably use this site for more updates as we go, at least for now.

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  Ken Ivey
Day 51

(traveling all day yesterday, hence the delay)

Well, this day didn't go exactly as planned - my exit appointment was delayed by an hour and then turned into two appointments. No matter, we were released - just later than we'd have liked.

Krystal came back to help pack and it was all we could do to pack everything into the car. Glad we had the help - we then convoyed with Krystal back to Kentucky since we were going right past her place.

Oh - was so tired before that I forgot to mention that after dinner with Wes & Laura we dropped Josh off at his place in Murfreesboro. He's been a godsend, hanging out much longer than he signed up for initially and filling holes in the schedule. Wish I'd have felt better so it'd have been a more pleasant visit - he hung with me during the hardest parts.

I want to credit Robin for the rest of this update, documenting the trip home. I drove a lot, and she relieved me when I needed it. Good teamwork. Thanks babe. :)

My last trip down the hall to the Bone Marrow Transplant unit.

In the waiting room. For a few hours. :(

On the wall in the waiting room.

Finally leaving downtown Nashville.

It was unusually cold in Tennessee. Water seepage froze.

As Robin put it - "Sun setting on a long day, long month, long year...."

As this site was primarily for the transplant, I'm going to take a few days off from updating. I may resume posting here, or GoFundme page, or elsewhere. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks so much for your feedback, support, prayers during this difficult time. I couldn't have done it without you.

Blessings - Ken

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  Ken Ivey
Day 50

Didn't do much all day, but got to visit a good friend this evening. Robin packed up a few things, and we'll pack up the rest tomorrow morning in anticipation of my release.

Very tired now, so good night world.

  Ken Ivey
Day 49

Got a good night's sleep! Robin was kind enough to snap a photo of me in my (now) natural state. Can't wait until my good looks return. :)

Robin and I headed to Murfreesboro so I could go to my favorite church - but this was the one weekend a year that they take off and encourage worship at home. Just my luck, I'd forgotten about that. Told my pastor I'd come back when it got warmer, lol!

Since we were out and about, I decided to take the long way back to Nashville, and we drove through Franklin TN's town square. That's one little town that's retained its charm through the years.

As we were heading out of Franklin, we decided to splurge on some bakery at LittleCakes. Cute little cupcakes. And so, so good. :)

Planning on visiting a friend tomorrow evening. Good times.

God bless you all in the New Year!

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  Ken Ivey
Day 48

Got a decent night's sleep, but woke too early. Decided to go to the gym and get my treadmill time in. Then I took a shower and went back to sleep. :)

Robin had a touch of cabin fever so we drove to the "Factory" in Franklin. It's an eclectic collection of shops in an old factory building repurposed as a sort of indoor main street. Stayed there for a few hours and made our way back to Nashville in time for dinner.

Now I'm good and tired, hoping I can stay awake long enough for bedtime.

Hoping to make it to Church tomorrow.

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  Ken Ivey
Day 47

Just about wrapping up here I think, as far as transplants go. Went to all of my appointments and haven't heard any bad news yet. :)

This is the Tuesday appointment I'm really looking for.

Some heart stuff. Guess I still have one.

And a breathing treatment to administer meds for preventing pneumonia.

I'm going to try and stay in the room hopefully. There are a ton of people in Nashville for some ball games. Like maybe a hundred thousand expected. Not far from the hotel. (As if Nashville isn't busy enough).

Wish me luck, and thanks for your prayers. Blessings to all.

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  Ken Ivey
Day 46

Didn't do much today. A little paperwork. A little time on the cycle. Mostly watched TV.

Hoping for a productive day tomorrow and plenty of tests.

  Ken Ivey
Day 45

Spent a good deal of time this morning going over a form for submitting a claim for VA disability, since it appears my malady is more likely than not due to exposure to some unsavory items during Desert Storm. Not sure what will come of it, but folks at the VA seem to think I should try. Since it's so important, I'm researching the best way to make the process of evaluating the claim as simple as possible.

Took a break from the process to have a bite of lunch at a place Josh found a few days ago. The food was delicious and the coffee was pretty good. Glad they had lots of nooks to hide away from the general public so as to keep my exposure low.

I'm still eating and drinking well, so as to build up my blood counts. Hopefully I'll get through these next few days without any setbacks and maintain my 'early' release on Jan 2. I'd really hoped they'd let me go earlier, but c'est la vie.

Thank you all for your continued prayer and well wishes.

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