~ Poems of Love ~

The following poems have been written by me, for my husband Hamada, who suffered from Multiple Myeloma [IgG Kappa] a cancer of the plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow. After many months of chemotherapy, contracting pneumonia twice, once given only twelve hours to live and having three bad fractures to his spine and also showing in his Pelvis, he made it to four years seven months. The Multiple Myeloma attacked his Kidneys first showing at diagnosis in May 2006 leaving Hamada only a small percentage of kidney function. He never complained, using his most amazing smile even when I knew he had severe pain. Hamada underwent a Stem Cell Transplant using his own 'harvested stem cells' . During October 2007 he spent seventeen days in the "Centre For Clinical Haematology" at Nottingham City Hospital UK. where he achieved this transplant. We had a scare at six months after transplant, when told 'the beast was back' but subsequent tests showed a partial remission. Again in early 2009 it was confirmed that Hamada was out of remission He fought again during 2010 with newer chemo type drugs. First with Velcade and then with Revlimid but to no avail. His Kidneys were failing further and Hamada chose not to have dialysis. This blog contains poems and updates, written for Hamada, telling of our life together.
Now a beautiful book has been published, see http://www.susiehemingway.com/books/
showing Hamada's personal fight against Multiple Myeloma in the first fifty 'poems of love' written by me his wife. I hope you like these poems of love and also 'our story' dedicated to Hamada, who passed away peacefully at home on 23 November 2010 after a most courageous fight against Multiple Myeloma.

19 August, 2008

Neutropenia - an explanation

I have been asked to explain what Neutropenia is.

Neutropenia is an abnormally low number of neutrophils in the blood.
Neutrophils serve as the major defense of the body against acute bacterial and certain fungal infections. Neutrophils usually constitute about 45% to 79% of all white blood cells in the bloodstream. When the neutrophil count falls below 1,000 cells per microliter of blood the risk of infection increases somewhat, when it falls below 500 cells per microliter, the risk of infection increases greatly. Without the key defense provided by neutrophils, a person has problems controlling infections and is then at great risk. The cause of Neutropenia developing happens when neutrophils are used up or destroyed in the bloodstream faster than the bone marrow can make new ones, for example in the case of certain cancers and the use of the very strong drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy. Still there are other reasons why the bone marrow shuts down - Aplastic Anemia is one. So to sum up, people who have severe neutropenia can rapidly succumb to infections because their bodies lack the means to fight invading organisms.

I am sure I will be corrected by the very many knowledgeable readers if this is wrong in some way, but this is my understanding of Neutropenia and I hope it helps in some way.

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