~ 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.

27 October, 2008

And The Heavens Smiled - A Prayer -by Susie Hemingway

Through my fears, the heavens smiled
shafts of sunlight fell my way
great big rays of golden glory
came to me that bluest day,
from somewhere amid the heavens
upon a gentle breeze,
issued forth that tranquil feeling,
bringing salvation straight to me.

A calm and needed preservation,
radiant in beam of light
to not forsake, although forlorn
and hopeless, seeing all within my sight,
I lift my face to narrow beam
it's pouring warmth to cover me,
and stubborn as this heart allows,
I stand in watchful patience now.

Come shine for me, your rays of gold
come gentle breeze, to bathe my cold,
Oh! glowing energy in crimson light,
impervious to change so bright,
enlighten with your power,
the vigour of my soul,
in dreams of costly structure
this folly, that is bold.

Who sent this cheering influence
in heart where sadness dwells,
what spark, what fiery brilliance,
provoked this staunchness now,
still, the heavens smiled, and shafts
of sunlight fell my way,
great big rays of golden glory
came to me that bluest day...

@ Copyright October 2008

"Sunset at Kanyemba" Courtesy of Ellie Robson.

"Sunrise at Hemingby" Courtesy of Janey Johnson.
: Extract read at the Epiphany Service In Village Church Jan 4 2009

All Rights Reserved @ 2008

10 October, 2008

You Are - by Susie Hemingway

You are the sun when shades are pulled

You are the sparkling water that rushes

over shiny rocks in torrent stream,

You are the smoky moonlit shadows on quiet walls

You are the sweet smelling cotton of summer days,

Yours is the smile, adorned in radiant highlights

on a tired face,

Yours are the dark 'bitter chocolate' eyes

that twinkle indiscreetly !

Yours is the contented sigh that embellishes my room,

You are the blackberries that hang in myriad burgundy

array against my garden wall,

You are the saxophone in bluesy midnight tones

that stirs my heart,

You are the will and courage of every day

and I am the heart that never ceases to worry...

All Rights Reserved 2008

"You Are" - Now Selected For Publication in A New Poetry Book - The Gift Of Love

08 October, 2008

365 Days Post Transplant !

"Congratulations Habibi" It is now 365 days post transplant for Hamada. We once again thank Professor N Russell and his team at The Centre for Clinical Heamatology at Nottingham City Hospital.

07 October, 2008

A Partners Guilt

So many Carers of people with Multiple Myeloma are either wives, husbands or partners. caring for their love ones. A tough job to undertake, often immediate and always completely life changing. It is not only for the sufferer of this destructive condition whose life undergoes such a dramatic change but also for the Carer, whose life suddenly goes spiraling in a different direction to the one he or she imagined. Myeloma by and large but not always, seems to present itself in later years, very often about the time of approaching retirement. A time when you perhaps imagined doing things together, or for some of the time separately, that you dreamed of throughout your working life. Husbands who looked forward to many days spent on the golf course for example, who now spend their days in hospital waiting rooms or tending their love ones. Woman who had imagined easing up on the daily rush of fitting work around home care and had hoped to spend their days, for perhaps the first time in their lives after caring for their families, doing the things they had long to do. All these things are true for me and my love one, a life changing course of direction for us both. It is not easy missing the things I loved the most, dancing together and the passion of our type of relationship, walking together, exploring new places, help with entertaining - nothing quite so nice as the man pouring the drinks - and now often seeming to have a child again, instead of the powerful man I knew so well. So for me, I am often filled with guilt at missing those things. So I pull myself back, when thinking of all the things that Hamada loved the most too, and now must miss so badly. How frustrating it must be, not to be able to play any boisterous games with his beloved Grandson when he visits. How sad it must be to rely heavily on us all for simple things, like getting to his feet from his chair. Not being able to walk freely or for any distance, knowing he will never run again. For someone who was once so fit, it must be purgatory. So how dare I even think about things I miss, or dreamt of in my retirement. It is true to say that many younger people are now being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, so it is not entirely a disease of the elderly, how much worse it must be for those who still have young families to support and care for. I cannot imagine and in that respect I am so lucky, but I still feel guilt for wishing that things were not this way.

Now to the second guilty part, and I wonder how many partners feel the same as I do. Could I have picked up that he was so unwell sooner. Hamada had achieved over the years the highest qualifications in education and had become a very successful business man. He travelled to many places but mostly to the the Middle East where his superb knowledge of English and native Arabic helped with the education of others and he was indeed very successful throughout his career. During his early fifties I had noticed a slowing down, he was not nearly as dynamic as in early years, certainly not so driven - the same can be said for most of us as we get older, I suppose - but for someone like Hamada whose very core of being was his career and work ethic, it was quite a dramatic change. So here comes my guilt, could I have missed signals that he may have had MGUS or in fact 'Smoldering Myeloma' working away in his blood for a number of years before the full blown Multiple Myeloma was diagnosed. Could I have picked- up on the fact that something serious was 'going on'. Something that had we caught it earlier could have saved his kidneys from such profound damage. Hamada always had regular blood tests over the years and many medicals for insurance for work contracts , but never of course the type of blood or urine tests that would have alerted us to this disease. He never had bone pain or kidney symptoms and never were any unusual blood problems detected. Yet, as the closest person to him, could I have picked-up, that this dear man was changing, or suffering in some way. That the slowing down career wise, the poor decisions regarding his businesses, the financial errors of judgement made, were in fact because he was very ill. Perhaps indeed already harbouring the growing Myeloma of abnormal plasma cells and that by the time of diagnoses were in 80% of his blood stream! Could I have noticed something? anything? that would have alerted me to get specialist help sooner. Tell me, do all Carers feel this way? I know the outcome of this particular disease cannot be changed but would Hamada have stood a better chance and gained more years, had it been diagnosed earlier. Yes for sure, this Carer feels some guilt, do others feel the same I wonder.

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