~ 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.

31 December, 2009

Happy New Year

Wishing all that visit my blog "A Very Happy And Peaceful New Year" It is tough for me to say goodbye to 2009, as it has been more comfortable than the two previous years for Hamada and I hate to wish the days away, but we must look forward with strength and hope. Thank you all for your most generous and comforting comments and good wishes throughout the year. We had a wonderful Christmas with our family staying with son Jo and Laura in the Chilterns and visiting friends and family. Hamada was most content and enjoyed very much this festive time. Now safely home again we shall look forward to 2010 wishing all those facing their own personal battles, hope, courage and a peaceful time.

20 December, 2009

Not A Good Sign.

As The festive Season approaches and most of the UK is covered in snow, we have further worries. Not a good sign this one, as once again the start of the severe nosebleeds Hamada has experienced twice before when the protein starts to rise. Most MM sufferers will understand Hyperviscosity. Hyperviscosity refers to an increase in the viscosity, or resistance to flow, of the blood. It is due to high levels of protein in the blood, specifically M proteins that attach themselves to platelets and interfere with platelet function. Hyperviscosity can result in:
Nose bleeding
Hazy vision
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Neurological symptoms (such as tingling or numbness in extremities) Hamada does not have any of the other symptoms except the bruising, nosebleeds and desire to sleep long hours but this is a vital sign that I have my eyes on very closely and I will be very watchful in the coming days.

18 December, 2009

A Journey To Make

As nearly all parts of the UK are experiencing quite heavy falls of snow and looking very picturesque. We are turning our thoughts to our Christmas Holidays and a journey to stay and visit with our sons in the south of England. It takes careful planning with a long journey, making it as smoothly as possible for Hamada, not allowing him to become cold or overtired at anytime and with a bit of extra padding around him for his poorly bones and all his medications of course. So with a little thought and everything needed to facilitate this, we are starting to get excited to see our family and friends once more for the festive season. A treat for me indeed as I usually host Christmas here at home. We seem to have rather a lot of packages to fit into the car already, with some special treats from Lincolnshire.

It has been a lovely month so far, a very busy time indeed with the sale of my book "The Power Within" which contains fifty of my poems of love that is selling so very well and I would like to thank all of you that have supported this cause. It continues to be available via http://www.susiehemingway.com/books/ but will not reach the US now in time for Xmas, as it takes approx five days.

This week we had our Nativity Pageant which was held in the streets of our little village, something I wrote and directed and it really went very well, with approx one hundred persons present. A lot of work was involved with the building of the sets and some very talented prop and lighting men did an amazing job. It was so lovely to walk the lanes of this pretty place on a dry night, singing carols as we made our way to the five tableau's set along the way. Stopping for mulled wine or hot chocolate, chestnuts and tiny ice cookies for the little ones. It was a very crisp cold night and lovely to see all the happy carol singers carrying their lanterns and enjoying the evening entertainment. After fireworks and setting off a large chinese lantern taking our wishes for our loved one high into the starry sky, we returned to the village hall for hot soup and traditional mince pies. A really lovely festive occasion.

So my friends, our very best wishes to you, we truly hope you enjoy the holiday season and we wish you a Very Merry and Peaceful Christmas.

A Garden At Hemingway.

07 December, 2009

Time For An Update I Feel.

Having been very remiss of late with no postings, time for a little update I feel.
As you will all understand life has been very busy indeed! Firstly at a most crucial moment,the publishing of my second book "A Power Within" my brand new laptop decided it was not happy to be working so hard for me, and refused to turn-on one morning. That really upset the apple cart! I was lucky to have saved the most vital information and all was not lost but a good reminder once again to back-up more often.
My book has really taken off, it seems there are many lovers of romantic poems and how generous people are in supporting this good cause. Not easy at this time of year and in the present climate but I know that many of the books sold are going for Christmas gifts, also many ladies are treating themselves to a little romance. It is so pleasing to know that there are many of you looking forward to curling up during the holiday season with your Christmas chocolates and treats and reading the love contained between these pages. Thank you for the lovely comments sent via my emails and here, telling me of your favourite poem and how much you are enjoying these poems of love in your daily read.
And So I thank you very much indeed, for this has now generated going into a second print, superb after less than a month!.

The wonderful Man whom all this writing is for, continues quite well, with a little improvement. WCC now at 2.1 Plat now at 54, and Creat 382 but the Paraprotein (M-Spike) is now 16.9! which we expected or thereabouts. No decision has been made to start Velcade, one of the only drugs Hamada has not tried. We had thought that perhaps this consultation would bring this. The feeling is still, that while Hamada is managing his quiet life with controlled pain and no other further symptoms, it would be wise to watch and wait a while longer. These past months have been so much better for him in many ways, a respite from the harsh Chemo drugs that pull him down badly. Although very weak he does manage to enjoy his days in a quiet way, is always happy, with seldom a down moment and just as amazing as ever. Now we even think of a New Year! who would have thought this possible at the beginning of this blog?

Never give up hope MM sufferers, even when given a poor prognosis and told the outlook is grim. So many are now proving the statistics wrong,giving them no credence. Many stories come to my ears of lives continuing well with many good and productive years. Keep strong and believe that with the wonderful new drugs that are now available thanks to good continuing research, that all will be well. My sincere wishes to you all and thank you so much for supporting MM.

A Power Within - fifty poems of love, is available via http://www.susiehemingway.com/books/

23 November, 2009

"A Power Within - Poems of Love"

"A Power Within - Poems Of Love" can be purchased with proceeds going to Multiple Myeloma
details on: http://www.susiehemingway.com/books/

Photo courtesy of Janey Johnson Photos: All Rights Reserved.

14 November, 2009

A Power Within Now Available to Purchase On-Line

Link here http://www.susiehemingway.com/books/ to purchase this richly designed poetry anthology filled with Poems of Love in diary form. More than one hundred pages telling ‘our story’ Proceeds to Multiple Myeloma.

05 November, 2009

How Exciting.

Later this month my poems are to be published in a book called “A Power Within” It is pleasing to see more than fifty of these poems of love, all together in a beautiful book with it’s rich coloured cover - not I might add, the beautiful photo I leave here for your delight today -and 105 pages, which would look beautiful adorning any coffee table. I am thrilled with the result of the proof and with the superb layout done by Matt Rutherford of http://www.mattrutherford.com/ thank you Matt. More news on the release date will be here later this month.

~ Sunset Photo courtesy of Colin Brown – All Rights Reserved ~

28 October, 2009

It Shines For You - by Susie Hemingway.

Silver shimmering crest of light
that shines and glistens on special nights
but only seen by those who love,
for those who notice this moon above
fluorescing glow of softest light
that shines on waves in rolling flight,
this secret candescent light that holds
a special place in lover's souls,
when the flotsam of life is tearing at you
lift your head and see this view.

When life's foreboding ways do seek
to sometimes knock you off your feet
take your dreams and shake them loose
never stumble for you will see
this shining luminosity of moonlight free,
for on these magic nights of love
that glow for lovers from above
especially for those entwined souls
for secrets between them never told

tilt your head to gaze above
to see this gemlike moon of love...

Photo courtesy of Sally Leeves
All rights reserved @ SusieHemingway 2009

18 October, 2009

"I Carry Thee" - by Susie Hemingway.

I carry thee like the heavy rain drenched leaves cover the precious plants
I carry thee like the mother with soft-fleshed babe in arms
I carry thee on heavy days, when limbs are tired but heart is willing
I carry thee.
I think for you on difficult days when drug filled mind is fuddled and quiet
I think ahead for you with heavy heart filled with anxious thoughts of decisions that must be made
I think of you when struggles to move are hard and bones make creaks and eyes are dulled
I think of you.
I watch for you, I listen to your breathing, when night has fallen and stillness comes
I watch for you with hope you never stumble or fall
I watch for you to make that kiss you love, entirely right at night
I watch for you.
I dream for you that days will pass pain free and be filled with God’s blessings
I dream for you when watching Autumn leaves fall as trees again show their tangled limbs.
I dream for you that you will see the Summer sun, rise across the pastures green once more

I carry thee....

@ Copyright 2009

Photo Courtesy of Janey Johnson Photos: All Rights Reserved

15 October, 2009

~ Secrets Of The Soul - by Susie Hemingway ~ *

In purple see the changing light
the stormy days to passive nights,
in secrets of the soul display
a campaign like tinders falls astray,
and yet, as seasons daily change
you adjust to fight on moving range.
In repetition all a part
this set-piece for you
that's learnt by heart.

I watch thee, I watch thee,
intrepid, fearless
and monumentally brave,
to eagerly face another day,
this gargantuan task,
in febrile waves you make,
the tiny steps you sweetly take.
This rape upon your ravished frame
comes back in haunting waves again,
this personal onslaught so powerfully dealt
in secrets of the soul displayed,
the campaign like tinders falls astray.

And yet in courage you edify
and make my heart to often cry...

*This Poem written in 2008 has been chosen this week, to be included in a new book of poetry called "Fact and Fantasy" by UK Poets, copies of which can be purchased from all good bookshops and also read through The British Library.

@Copyright 2008
All Rights reserved

09 October, 2009

Two Years Since Stem Cell Transplant

Two Years Since Stem Cell Transplant.

On the 8th of October it was the two year anniversary of Hamada’s Stem Cell Transplant. We once again thank Prof. N. Russell and his wonderful team at Nottingham’s "Centre of Clinical Haematology" for their expertise and for securing these past two years for Hamada. We continue with joy at each given day and try to make everyday as special as we possibly can. Although many testing times have occurred during these past two years with many health issues. Hamada has quietly and with great dignity, gently taken great enjoyment at each day with his family. He never ever complains and deals with this most difficult illness with great courage.
In celebration I post here Hamada’s favourite Poem, apart from mine! (I’m jesting of course)

From the Springtime of Love by Khalil Gibran.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving:
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Khalil Gibran 1883 – 1931

Photo by Susie . Rights Reserved - 2009.

03 October, 2009

This Sunset - by Susie Hemingway

Brilliant Sunset sinking fast
of pumpkin corals and scarlet reds,
slowly first, as watchful eyes
dream and melt in paradise.
We turn to stare at coloured sky
and watch graceful bird swooping by,
we listen to the palm trees sway
as sun kissed bodies feel close of day,
evening warmth on cooling skin
pleasures seem to merge within.

Sinking slowly, small cirrus streaks
enhance this beauty we love to seek.
Vermilion Ambers, Magenta hues
spectacular colours for me and you,
gentle sounds of ebbing waves
this rhythm and flow of life and days...
Why we seek this twilight sky?
this energy that makes us sigh,
that makes our shoulders rest this way
that always takes our stress away.

This colour of power, this colour of
might, this reason to live, this reason
to fight,
this Sunset watched with only you
delicious memories come into view.

With many thanks to Sandy Banks*
http://www.retiredforgood.blogspot.com/ for allowing me to use these very beautiful photos and for dedicating the lower rather special Sunset Photo to us both.* All rights reserved.

*Sandy said... Your poem prompted me to gift those precious moments as the sun slips down behind the mountain and sea - caught, but not stopped - to you and your beloved... I love your words that bring the essence of a season or a moment into very sharp focus. Thank you again....
All Rights Reserved@ October 2009

02 October, 2009

Update October 2009

As all tests were returned or done last week, we were seen very quickly at the Haematology in Lincoln Hospital yesterday. This appears to help save time for the Consultant with his study of blood results and checks of readings etc and although this involves two journeys, quite long ones for us. It is more preferable than the normal long waiting time for results to come through from the labs. Having found an improvement here, now for the big moan. The rather small car park for the disabled which is nearer the department, was completely full once again( that is sad in itself) After driving round for a while I had to concede, that the only place I could find, was miles away from the clinic we needed to attend. Struggling with the wheelchair in and out of the car is one thing. I am very physically fit but still it was most challenging for someone in their sixties to then push up the long hill leading to the Haematology department and certainly impossible for someone a little less stronger than I! It often appears strange to me, that the clinic where people have the most needs, is the furthest away! Very bad planning indeed, I suppose I could have weaved my way through all the miles of hospital corridors and up lifts but even my legs get tired sometimes! No wonder so many frail or unfit people have to rely on transport to and from their appointments, costing a great deal more with escorts in and out, than it would cost to make more disabled parking spaces - ah! I feel much better now for that wee moan.

All readings were much the same - very little change on all counts, except the dreaded para-protein (M-spike) which continues to climb and now at 13.09. Still,the consultants considered opinion, is that as Hamada is continuing well with no more pain than is usual for him and his Kidneys are holding well, that with all things considered, he should still not start Velcade yet and enjoy this respite, we are to return in December. The Doctor says to enjoy this good quality time and we intend to do just that!

Next week on the 8th of October it will be two years since Hamada's Stem Cell Transplant and we once again thank Prof N Russell and his wonderful team at Nottingham's "Centre of Clinical Haematology" for their expertise and for securing these past two years for Hamada. We continue with joy at each given day and try to make everyday as special as we possibly can.

*The above Photo was taken On September 26 2009

24 September, 2009

Autumn Lady by Susie Hemingway

She came rushing in, or though it seemed to me,
disbelief that this colourful Lady with her cloak of reds and golds
had already arrived, when I glanced from my window.
I must have been looking the other way!
but then we don’t count the days pursuing more important matters now…
As the relentless stricken battle appears once more on the horizon,
had she come to distract my mind or bring colours to my heart?

This feckless stunning Lady who sheds her clothes
and scatters them where she will,
like drops of tears in a template of sadness perhaps?
A powerful change of authority as restless and now incipient to decay.
Old roses fade and fall like shattered fragments of glass
from a precious mirror,
the hedgerows become bare, no more luscious berries
but still holding onto their thin strips of life.

Leaves, could they ever be more beautiful?
turning to deep maroons and burnished, glinting, jewelled colours.
Conkers appearing from their secret shells to fall in copper splendour
from the impressive stately Horse Chestnut trees.
We arrived, like we had just opened our eyes.

Another Autumn! who would have believed we would see this majestic
Lady together, dumbstruck once more at her beauty
but belligerently waging war on staying in our perfect peaceful Summer…
not for us, the rushing of time…

All Rights Reserved.

14 September, 2009

I Missed You - by Susie Hemingway

I missed you, when the heated rhythm of Salsa
- that feels so like chillies when they touch
your tongue - drifted across the dance floor.
I missed you as this enticing music reached
my jewelled pinned ears.

Where were you? when the luscious sounds of
Sax blues, caught my needy toes
so carefully encased in high dancing shoes.
Where were those slim ‘sun touched’ hands that would
reach to twirl me to the dance floor.

Where was the graceful dancer, whose gentle persuasion
could spin me like a whirlpool, making me turn
and sway to the sounds of Latin beats and Bluesy tones.
Tell me, where were those magical eyes,
those sparkling rays of light, that always laughed with me.

Where was that smile, those breathy movements on the
dance floor, those feet that could glide and coax
the dancer from my soul…
How my heart wants to dance with you once more,
instead of standing alone when the music calls to me.

I watched the others spin and whirl but my arms were empty,
sadness for your charms that made me feel like sixteen again.
I was never a wallflower but she has found me now,
where were you… when the deliciously heated sound of Salsa
reached my ears… where were you?

@ Copyright 2009 Susie Hemingway.
Wallflower Photo: courtesy of Janey Johnson- All Rights Reserved

*This Poem Although Written About My Husband Hamada, Was Posted On The Day Patrick Swazey Died Of Pancreatic Cancer. Patrick was a wonderful dancer bringing much pleasure to many ladies who saw him in the enchanting film “Dirty Dancing” So I dedicate this poem to Patrick-may you continue to dance in Heaven- and to all lovers of dancing"

06 September, 2009

"It Was A Comforting Day" - Susie Hemingway

“It was a comforting day” you said
skies of blue, white vapoury
scudding clouds lifting the
shimmering colourful kites
to the heavens in breezy skitsy way,
I followed your eyes
I tried to see your soul,
in quiet reverie as no one knows
the heart that pushes down the pain
in a day affirmative that popped
like champagne.

Laughter surrounds you
consuming and capturing this
mere moment but for you a life
so difficult and as fragile
as the bubbles in my glass,
breathe my love, live in mind forever
this sun warmed golden day
of perpetual joy,
paint these brushstrokes
on your heart, for life is now,
this time is ours
as precious and as beautiful
as the stunning mosaic sky.

My cares fluttered like the
swooping of the Kites
free and belonging to the skies,
intrinsic as the white opal swirls of the clouds
tossing my sadness into the wind
so carrying us forward with courage
to yet another day
refreshed and replenished
you glanced at me,
in soft light fading...it was a comforting day.

Copyright@Susie Hemingway 2009.
Photo courtesy of Matt Rutherford.

This poem is dedicated to Dianne and Vern West, Nevada, Arkansas USA
for their courage.

"It Was A Comforting Day" has now been selected by United Press for a new book of Poetry called "Spring Vision" to be published shortly.

22 August, 2009

"Calm Are The Seas" - by Susie Hemingway.

Calm are the seas we travel now,
the sail is down
how tranquil is the ocean,
we drift past the deserted islands
with their scattered palms and
fallen coconuts,
we lay on the deck, with bronzed
skin and salty mouths
calm are our seas,
the soft magnolia smell of warm breezes
whispers through our hair
all is blue, placid and serene,
I am here with you, for once
essential as the mainstay
Calm are our Seas...

Photo: Personal Oil Painting - somewhere special in Oman.
* N.B. See Comments for Dedication.

@ Copyright Susie Hemingway 2009

14 August, 2009

It's Strange How You Know!

Its' strange how you know as soon as the consultant says "please have a seat" Some how you sense this is not going to go the way you so wish it would. Even chatting to the very pretty receptionist whom we have come to know over these years did nothing to allay my fears. Although Hamada had his bloods taken very quickly on arriving at Haematology yesterday and the waiting for the results was really very short indeed. I found it so difficult to sit patiently and concentrate on anything. Hamada always sits so calmly and yesterday buried his head in an interesting 'Flight' magazine. I nearly always listen to something calming on my ipod or read, but yesterday found myself reading the same line over and over again, being an avid reader this is not something that normally happens to me I 'drink' words as fast as I can. For me these consultations get more difficult as the months go by. Well a couple of results had not change too much - we are grateful for anything good! - the Haemoglobin was a little lower at 10.1 the Bence Jones was pretty level on last time results at 0.04 and the platelets had even risen a bit to 51. Then doom hits you like a weight sitting on your chest, the not so good... White Cell count now at the lower 1.5 and the Neutrophils at a very poor 0.72! and the dreaded Para.Protein*(M.Spike) is now at an alarming 10.7 !!

We discussed again with the Doctor what plan of action would be next and how far we should allow the Para Protein to rise, before the next battle begins. This depending now on a second Para Protein test done again yesterday,checking and double checking.

The Doctor stills feels Hamada should hold out longer, as he seems well enough in every other respect, some pain in left shoulder, back when moving and Oh! so VERY weary. So the figure of P.P. (M Spike) at 20, was thought to be the bench-mark for Hamada to start with Velcade. This figure of 20 seems high to me? I do understand the need to balance between the very poor blood counts and the rising P.P.
The Doctor also mentioned Revlimid again and this would be their second choice of action. Both extremely harsh drugs that must be considered very carefully.

I am aware of the recent news reports in America about our National Health Service here in the UK. I would like to assure any of our American friends, that what is reported in your press and on television, is nothing like the care and attention we receive here. Our consultant and his team, are well read and very aware of all the innovative work that is being done at such places as Little Rock,Arkansas. They seem very well versed on all the latest medicines and nothing is being held back from Hamada due to cost. Hamada drug regime is approx forty maintenance drugs per day and one 60 micro gram injection of Aranspt Darbepoetin alta, per week. He has been spared nothing and for that, I am eternally grateful. I would welcome any comments on this, email or here, on the decision to wait until the 20 PP mark. Thank you good friends, who bother to leave comments here and for caring to following Hamada's Journey.

*Myeloma cells characteristically produce and release into either the blood or urine monoclonal proteins. Monoclonal proteins are referred to as either, M-protein, para protein or M spike. They are terms that mean the same thing.
The monoclonal protein is an immunoglobulin and in myeloma cells one or more mutations have occurred in the genes responsible for immunoglobulin production. Typically, the antibody function of the immunoglobulin is lost and since it is not performing it's antibody function normally, more and more are produced therefore causing an increase in protein levels.

13 August, 2009

What will today bring?

It's a "what will today bring" kind of day...Consultation for Hamada with haematologist at Lincoln today. We'll take ANY GOOD results! Results of Bence Jones as well...for those who understand.

10 August, 2009

This Time I Spent With You - by Susie Hemingway.

It seems to be like yesterday
this time I spent with you,
inscribed within my heart
rust gold and cobalt blues,
unfurled in beauty of this desert place
in infinite dunes that stretched for always
like endless domes diorama,
asking me to look forever not relinquish,
requesting me to see your life.

The warm winds of the Rub' Al Khali
blew gently with your love,
like a sacrament anointed
within the centre of my mind,
awash my heart no clemency
the secrets of your soul,
in whirlpools of the desert
that stole my heart as easily
as the lushness of sepia light.

We ran, and fell upon those sands
while 'drowning' in the heat,
It seems to be like yesterday
the sands beneath my feet,
it seems to be like always
in this bejewelled world of yours
it seems to be forever
the love from you that pours.

My heart stayed in the desert
and this time I spent with you,

this time I spent with you...

*Rub' al Khali Arabic الربع الخالي‎), which translates as Empty Quarter in English is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including southern Saudi Arabia, areas of Oman and the United Arab Emirates. It can be cruel but it is breathtaking!

Copyright @ August 2009

08 August, 2009

"The Wedding Of Miriam And Hubert" by Susie Hemingway.

My very talented Sister Jane, restored the above Photo which is almost one hundred years old. She lovingly worked-on this picture from the past taking approximately twenty hours to bring it back from something that you could barely see, to this very interesting and wonderful keepsake for our grandchildren. She has been a great support and advocate to me during Hamada's illness and enjoys reading all my "Poems Of Love". So it was without hesitation that when asked, would I write a second poem for her upcoming journal about " days gone by - a family history" I very quickly agreed. It is still, after all, "a Poem Of Love!" So here we have:

"The Wedding Of Miriam And Hubert"

The faces staring out you see
a legacy from the past
linked by love it seems to me
a marriage that will last,
this primed, set and ordered way
made this for Miriam, a special day.

The Ladies all in hats so fine
brought in boxes and decked in time,
dripping with flowers, covered in lace
see how the little lads know their place!
Brush your hair, pomade at will,
shine your shoes, bring Grandpa's pills!

Sparkling jewels on collars and cuffs
has Aunt Maud brought her muff?
our handsome pair have walked the aisle
a special breakfast in a while,
but now we must all look our best
for Hubert's 'heaven' in nineteen eleven.

Don't forget your gloves or cane,
dear God, don't let there be more rain!
bring the chairs for we must pose,
young Jimmy please to wipe your nose.
Are we ready in our places?
A little stern, for happy faces!

'Poof and Bang' the camera goes
who'd have thought the world would know...

* Pomade: A Scented ointment for hair or skin of head.

:Thank you to Gerald Tucker for the Family
:Photo Restored by Janey Johnson.
:All Rights Reserved

24 July, 2009

This Fight Without Choice.

It was never a choice was it?
it sneaked in and through
along and around,
this nasty wicked 'beast' that coursed
along the channels of our lives
it tangled and tried to spoil,
bent, broke, quietened and flawed
it tried to rob, steal if you may,
inflict, damage and take away,
it encumbered, hampered, distressed
and sapped,
this dark encroacher that went too far.
Still, it did not spoil or mar
love twixt us two
this fight...without choice.

All Rights Reserved @ July 2009
*This poem is dedicated to all Multiple Myeloma Sufferers and their Carers.

21 July, 2009

A Little Update.

We visited Hamada's very nice Renal Consultant Ms Little at Lincoln County Hospital today, to receive the good news that Hamada's Kidneys are still holding without the need for dialysis. We were a little apprehensive as Hamada's eyes have been somewhat swollen lately and I did have some concerns. We also delivered the 24hr Bence Jones marker test to Haematology once again. Although his cholesterol is very high at 9 and he will now require statins, his weight has improved and although blood remains very poor - Ms Little jokingly announced that he has only 2 white cells! - and the cancer is high, we are still very happy with any good news that can be found in this daily battle. At the weekend, Hamada managed to join the 'The Big Lunch'* in our village, which was a nation-wide event with many towns, villages and streets participating. I felt this would be good for him to see all our friends and as we had family visiting for the weekend and the event was held outside, quite a safe event for him to attend. A thoroughly nice afternoon unfolded, the picture above was taken at this occasion.
*The Big Lunch = everyone brings a dish or two to make a wonderful feast and we all share and eat together.

05 July, 2009

"The Waiting Game" by Susie Hemingway

Nothing now for you they say
they will not offer yet, no way
no action or depart from same,
it is to be a waiting game...
and so the dictionary spills to me,
tarry, await, bide but see,
expect and watch, kick in one's heels
but do not depart from daily pills.

Continue strong with courage they say
but 'they' don't live from day to day!
stand firm, remain, counter or sustain
is there justice to obtain?
grasp this power of resistance
strong to overcome, do not waver
build your fortress, this war for us
which will be done.

Dig in and fight to stop invade,
your courage will make another day...

20 June, 2009

"Calm Are These Days"

Soft jade green and mellow amber
are the colours of these days,
soft green like finest cashmere
I'd wish to wear in special ways,
liquid amber of runny butterscotch
poured gently smooth on silky creams
calm like soothing sax at midnight
seems to be the current scene,
days unfold like gentle ripples, lapping
clear against the shore and you
as peaceful as the morning vista
that glistens across land we adore.

Calm and peaceful for a while
like soft vowels in lovers breath,
warm and sweet like feather touch
a pause infinite and needed
Oh! so very much...
Then days that came like brightly coloured
Peacock that arrived in view,
we sat together admiring beauty
no 'grey life' was meant for you!
Colours shimmering a Midas touch,
treasures of the purest nature
"thank you Lord" this means so much.

Soft jade green and mellow amber
are the colours of these days,
then turquoise blues of dazzling splendour
arrived for us along the way
like prismatic rainbow over Maui
or amber sunsets falling West
just as clear as morning dew
with glistening eyes - I drink this view.

All Rights Reserved @ June 2009.
Photo taken by Susie Hemingway
( The Peacock visted for three days )

Continuing - Update

Hamada's consultation this week with his 'Dr Angel' at Lincoln County was thorough and certainly without time limits. Dr Angel went slowly through all the stats and very little has changed. Haemoglobin up a notch at a lowly 10.3, White Cells up a little at 1.9, Neutrophils up at 0.72 Platelets down again to 42 Everything else is about the same, but as we anticipated Para-protein is up again from 8.4 to 8.8 Bence Jones reading is now at 0.04.
The outcome is the same, we must wait and monitor. Just maintenance drugs daily but not including any Chemotherapy. Again the Consultant discussed Velcade and the newer Revlimid both of which Hamada has not tried, but still the consultant's considered opinion is not yet. Hamada remains very weak, sleeping more than 16 hours per day! but has in recent weeks made two celebration evening dinners out, so is feeling very pleased with himself. We are grateful for these peaceful calm days without the trauma of harsh Chemotherapy.

10 June, 2009

The Eyes Of Pride - by Susie Hemingway

Brown they are you know,
big and shiny like Autumn conkers
fringed and dark charcoal smudges
emitting beams like fireflies,
seeing all but telling no one,
meditative powerful authority
once of lushness,
the eyes that could bewitch a maiden
now a little faded perhaps rheumy
one might say, yet could in a blink
seduce and tempt to lead astray...
the eyes that tell the story
the eyes that show their pride,
watchful ebony pigments that
twinkle indiscreetly like
magnificent coal diamonds,
templates of sadness
still, such infinite eyes of pride.

08 June, 2009

Hamada Makes It! - As Sure As....

As readers to this blog already know I chronicle here, a continuous register of updates and poems telling of Hamada's journey with the difficult disease of Multiple Myeloma. A most complex illness to treat and stage, with at the moment, no known cure. Still for many people it can be managed well if diagnosed early. Hamada was diagnosed when the Myeloma had attacked his kidneys and was in eighty percent of his blood-steam. So you will understand his courageous battle with this disease.
Hamada was very keen that I record his progress or lack of, during this journey to perhaps help others. So you will appreciate that my poems must be and are, from my true feelings and watchfulness as the days go by. Hamada is currently out of remission but is not undergoing any Chemotherapy treatment at the moment,with only maintenance drugs prescribed, in the hope that he will become a little stronger to try again any remaining chemotherapy drugs. that he has not tried before.

So it was with great delight this weekend that although very weak and sleeping for best part of everyday, he managed to courageously find enough energy to join in Son Matt's 40th birthday evening celebration, at a very nice local Inn for a splendid family meal together. He had so desired to be there, was determined beyond all measure to make it... so 'As Sure As' with a little help from family members, Hamada made it to the Blue Bell Inn. He enjoyed so much this very important celebration although not moving much at all the following day and resting continuously since. Well done Hamada, I know what it took to manage this and I am so very proud of you Habibi.

01 June, 2009

As Sure As - A Lament by Susie Hemingway.

As sure as the sun rises
in the East everyday
as sure as your smile
lights-up the room where you lay
as sure as this calamity
life robs in this way,
as sure as my anger
snags through this pain,
as sure as the worried looks,
painted on the faces of friends
I see, there will be no gain.

As sure as the rippling tide
ebbs again to flow,
as perpetual stride comes
in the darkness I know,
as soft light fading
to soothe for a while,
how pointless this shattered glass
I hold in my hand...
for as sure as faded petals fall
from the 'roses' on your face,
as sure as your dark eyes
keep looking for me,
I'll breathe and breathe again
so you will never see...

As sure as the gibberish words that I write
as sure as day, comes after night
as sure as this ache that grips at my heart.

As sure as....

All Rights Reserved @ June 2009

Photo: Courtesy of Matt Rutherford.

28 May, 2009

Finding Something That Chills!

Hamada continues much the same, sleeping his way through most days, bless him. He is trying to conserve/find some energy for a forthcoming special event. Son Matt's
40TH Birthday, when the whole family will be here for a long weekend. We hope to make this a very special occasion and so we need Hamada, if he can of course, to be able to join us - at a very special place, for the evening celebrations. So fingers crossed for that.

I have recently been playing the new CD of Melody Gardot, this music of the 'sleepy Jazz type' that Hamada and I love, it seems to have such a relaxing effect on us both, we imagine dancing together as we did just a few years ago - see my poem "We Dance Again" below.

If you would like something to take your mind of 'horrid things' and I know many readers here do. Try the lovely sound of Melody Gardot and her new CD "My One And Only Thrill" Listen to the enchanting "Our Love Is Easy" and the sensual track of the named album, "My One and Only Thrill" and the very delicious "Deep Within The Corners of My Mind" - I so wished I had written that! The wonderful orchestral backing which is quite perfect runs through these tracks, so if you are stressed and worried, this is indeed, very 'good medicine' as it takes you easily on a much needed journey...

21 May, 2009

Susie's BBC Radio Interview with Judy Theobald

You can hear Susie reading on the third anniversary of Hamada's Diagnosis with Multiple Myeloma "I Write for You" and also the full BBC radio interview on the Judy Turnbald Morning Show on, http://www.susiehemingway.com
Under the Categorie - Site News

~ My wonderful congratulation flowers shown above ~

12 May, 2009

Life Is Fragile..Love Is Not - by Susie Hemingway

So spins our lives in turning chasms of change,
blurred and slippery as water
cascading over slimy rocks,
my wordless gesture in trouble times
invades your worried mind,
fiercely as the brushing hand to restless horse,
my smile confirms, to reassure your fretful gaze.
As hell as life sometimes appears,
in daily disclosing of newer pain,
my heart swoops and suffers,
my misty eyes my soul knows
life is fragile but love is not.

As birds black and shiny soar
to 'crow' in noisy rattle begin,
another nasty turn like sin,
to stab in pain, to etch within,
to reproduce in making bold this latest evidence,
dismissing in magicians wand, I wave again
I wave again...
To struggle and plunge I flounder there
impeach myself but always care,
frightened damp and cold
my misty eyes, my soul knows,
life is fragile, but love is not
love is not...

All Rights Reserved @ May 2009

Excerpt from United Press:

Your poem " Life Is Fragile - Love Is Not" has been recognized as one of the best poems this year and to mark this fact we wish to publish it to a new book called Whispers On A Breeze a showcase of the best work of a group of Poets. This book will be ready for publishing soon can be ordered at all good bookshops.


Hamada continues comfortably, still sleeping for about sixteen hours per day. He enjoys all his meals and eats remarkably well. For some time I have been looking at the benefits of 'Curcumin' and the very encouraging documentation regarding this supplement for sufferers of many ailments, in particular Multiple Myeloma. Of course it is always a difficult choice to make when deciding to try any addition to the already large amount of maintenance drugs taken daily and the advise of consultant must always be taken into consideration. For many, these extra supplements do seem to help and we were very thoughtful and a little excited about something that could potentially help Hamada. The biggest concern was of course his ailing Kidneys, although much better than at diagnosis, are still a cause for concern. Also the greatest factor, his extremely low Platelet counts (44).
So today when receiving information from the Scientific Panel of a leading distributor of Curcumin here in the UK, confirming that this supplement does indeed have an anti platelet effect and the potential for exacerbation of low platelets,we have decided not to pursue Curcumin further.

26 April, 2009

Breath Of Life - My Partner - by Susie Hemingway

Fresh blood falls upon our streets
like dark red satin, smooth upon a bed
wild trees blow and hang their limbs
as pain strews all living things,
still within, as snug as partners curl
upon a furry rug in fire glow,
my mind tells me you're safe
my heart knows you are there
you are the sunlight in my arms...

My heart impaled transfixed in fear
when world rocks life so bitter and cruel
this struggle for peace so gently brave,
in quiet times as I survey the scene
and in frightening moments of terror
come fragrant as a summer rose
thoughts of you, to clear my mind,
you are the sunlight in my arms
you are my breath of life...

"How harsh, how tough, these long days
how precious your honourable soul,
how undemanding how much you care,
this ready smile of a brave man
and as you fight for strength, this daily task
your right of sovereignty is quietly protected,
this stillness comes, our land is covered,
lives are changed."

But, you are the sunlight in my arms
Still you are my partner,
Still my breath of life...

This poem is dedicated to the Men and Woman of EMS/ Fire Services, Providence, Rhode Island. USA. and to all Medical Personnel, Fire Fighters and Police Forces World-wide, who have partners and loved ones waiting for them at home.
See: http://rescuing-providence.blogspot.com/2009/03/poetic.html

3rd June 2009. Have heard from Paul Embery, Regional Offical,London Region FBU, that this poem has now been circulated to all members of the London Fire Brigade.

All Rights Reserved @ April 2009

24 April, 2009

Hamada Update - 24 April 2009

Some awaited tests came back yesterday for those who understand and like to follow Hamada's journey.
The Skeletal Scan clearly shows the L1, L2 and T8 collapse and now there is a small area showing in the pelvic area,which is to be expected but of course still very worrying.
The Bence Jones is holding at 0.03 but the Para Protein (M-Spike ) is up again, now at 8.4 but not at the speed of the past 3 Months.

The Bone Marrow returned at 5%. better than we had hoped for - was 80% at diagnosis in May 2006 - Stem Cell Transplant achieved to good partial remission in October 2007.
Still, there is to be no further treatment at the moment apart from the massive amounts of maintenance drugs daily, even though the M-Spike is rising...the consultants view is to watch and wait.
I would welcome any comments on these readings from those who understand. Thank you.

Our very best and heartfelt thoughts to all our friends and carers who read this blog, and are making with courage, the same journey as Hamada.

22 April, 2009

Through My Eyes - by Susie Hemingway

The music, distant, dusty but ours from years ago...

fills my mind and soul
my toes in shiny heels do tap,
my face in smiles my hands do clap,
and through my eyes, absorbed and clear
such beautiful faces, sitting here,
these sparkling eyes, this crowded room,
so young, peaceful, handsome, so alive...
just enjoying each other, just being together.
I hear their laughter I place my hand on his,
through my eyes I see them here
through my eyes I see it all...

All rights reserved @ 2009. - Written about the evening of the 18 April 2009

Indeed A Wonderful Weekend !

Hamada and I spent such a wonderful four days with younger son Jo in the beautiful Chilterns, Bucks. Jo and his beautiful Laura, entertained and looked after us so very well. It was such a delight to do nothing for the long weekend and so many thanks to Jenny and Ian who helped Hamada to make this journey with help travelling, and all the necessary carrying of extra 'bits and bobs' to make Hamada as comfy as could be. Hamada managed so well, but still having to sleep once again after breakfast, enabling him to join the fun in the evening. It was a super time, some good shopping and lots of laughter for me with the girls and wonderful party times in the evenings with superb dinners - Jo being a consummate chef - and not having to cook a single thing the whole weekend, thanks Laura, was an extra treat. It was really special to catch up with family and friends, to see Rich and James once again, they had grown up with Jo and had frequented our family home in earlier years and are now young men. Thank you Jo and Laura, I am sure you noticed the extra sparkle in Hamada's eyes X

11 April, 2009

Hamada Continues Well At Easter-Time

Photo: Easter Sunday Last Year ! - 2008.

Hamada is continuing well, and we plan to have a small Easter-time celebration at 'Orchard End' with a good Roast Dinner and some Chocolate Treats. Hamada is not well enough to join the wonderful Easter Breakfast which after watching the Sunrise at a local beauty spot, is celebrated together with friends at the Village Hall. Always a lovely occasion, especially last year with the sudden onset of snow!
This week we had a very comprehensive consultation at Nephrology at Lincoln, going over carefully all the drugs Hamada takes. Then a good discussion with the specialist Ms Little, her very considered view being, that Hamada's kidneys are just functioning enough without the need for Dialysis. Dialysis may just give him a little more energy but not enough for the dramatic change to Hamada's quality of life that would ensue, with this irreparable (for Hamada)procedure, the need also - if not done at home- for the four days per week, journey to Lincoln. This with all the other clinic visits, would be far too much for him to endure. So we are thankful that his kidneys are holding on. We believe this has been achieved with the very good amounts of water taken daily to flush through the proteins that prevent the kidneys from filtering waste products from the blood. When Hamada was diagnosed almost three years ago he had only 8% kidney function he now has 15%. We still await the results of the latest Bence Jones 24hr test, also the Bone Marrow Biopsy and the Skeletal Scan.

We wish our very good family, friends, at this special 'Spring Time' who with watchful eyes, continue to support us -how lucky we are to have you - and to all fellow Multiple Myeloma sufferers, a very "Happy Easter" or "Happy Spring Feast"

27 March, 2009

I Watch - by Susie Hemingway

In watchful reverence as slumber creeps
Comes the silver rays that cast shadows on my walls
My pen doth scratch the paper,
In breaking silence comes my poetry by moonlight,
Rest quietly beloved, with your rendezvous in dreams
This daily plunder systematically steals your frame
But nought can rob your soul.
This modicum of peace, this repose in sleep.
I proffer my heart as my hand trembles in writing,
Just your breath faint and steady, holds my heart.
And as the clouds cross the quivering rays
Leaving my heart in darkness,
In breaking silence, comes my poetry by moonlight...

All Rights Reserved :@ 2009
"I Watch" has been selected to be published in a forthcoming book by United Press called 'Poetry By Moonlight'

20 March, 2009

A Second Opinion

It was such an important Consultation for Hamada yesterday - as Para Protein/M Spike is now at an alarming 8.1 - we gained a much desired second opinion.
Armed with all our questions and with no time limits, we discussed once again, any treatments now open to Hamada.. Our Doctor Angel who had been studying Hamada's blood chemistry and massive amount of medical notes also agreed, that to try with Velcade at the present time is not an option. He also suggested that another drug combination, one that has not been tried before, maybe sought further on. Hamada's blood CBC is very poor and damage from any of these strong 'chemo' drugs, may do more harm than good, spoiling what quality of life he enjoys now. The consultant has requested another Skeletal Screening and a further Bone Marrow Biopsy. These will take place this coming Monday. So it is final that at the moment it is a wait and observe approach. The Doctor answered every question frankly and clearly which is how we like it. It was a good consultation and I feel that all is being done for dear Hamada.

Clicky Web Analytics


03 March, 2009

" I Write For You" - by Susie Hemingway

As sun doth melt the silver days
and fresh green buds do chase away
the remnants of these chilly days,
I write for you...
you sleep and sleep my only love
you miss spring birds and clouds above,
in dreaming slumber, days do pass, and
even though against the breeze
the fragile words do come to me,
still sleep stays on those lovely eyes,
for days are shorter dear for you
the circle smaller, in violet blue,
again the sun will find it's rays
to warm your heart and fill your days
and I will spend my time with you
in quiet gentle solitude,
till this day, my only love,
I write for you...
soon once again, dear God for me
you'll sit on swing, beneath the trees,
to listen to the buzzing bees
the rustle of the summer leaves,
then you will snuggle close to me,
when smudges of my tears
do fall, to stain the ink,
and you will sleep,
and I will write
my words for thee...

This Poem read by Susie on BBC Radio on 20 May 2009 during Poetry Week, can be heard, on: http://www.susiehemingway.com ( just scroll down, past the poem "Love Smiles" )

Copyright @ 2009

01 March, 2009

My Heart Goes Out

My heart goes out to Teresa (TK) my friend on here, and on 'Face book' . Her dear Husband Richard, lost his fight against Mutiple Myeloma yesterday. Teresa has always been so supportive and so very knowledgeable, helping to guide many, on medical issues through her informative blog. Richard was a brave and courageous man who will be missed very much.

My prayers and thoughts are with you Teresa

26 February, 2009


Hamada has continued quite well since the last consultation at Lincoln. He sleeps a lot, managing to get up for lunch, with a little siesta in the afternoon. He then enjoys to read or watch some television in the afternoon and evenings. He loves looking across the meadow from our windows, now the snow has gone and Spring very slowly comes once again to the Village. We have managed with some great help from our dear Brother-In-Law to visit "Orchard End" for lovely meals or teatime treats, cooked so beautifully by my sister Jenny, how lucky we are to have them here. I have been looking and reading about other treatments for Hamada and will ask for a second opinion at our next clinic visit. Thank you, for the many mails of alternative ideas for further treatment. I will ask about all of these and perhaps the right time to implement them, should the consultants think they would be suitable for him. I must ensure there is nothing more that can be done for Hamada. He is very content with his 'quiet life' is in no pain when sitting still or lying - his medicament's cover that - which is a blessing, but he does struggle with pain on moving. It is very difficult now to get him in and out of the car and then so much of his precious energy is used up. We now look forward to the next visit in early March from our children - they do lift our spirits so.

Life is fragile but love is not....

11 February, 2009

A Disappointing Consultation.

It was not a good consultation for Hamada this Monday at Lincoln. A very disappointing CBC again, alongside the news that the Doctor does not feel Velcade is in Hamada's best interest. We were so hoping for the benefits of this drug. The Doctor is of the opinion, that Velcade is way too powerful for Hamada's already weaken state, believing it will do more harm than good? I will of course, see what a second opinion thinks, but at this time the doctor feels it is not an option. There is thought that Thalidomide may be used once again, to try to reduced the very high, now at 6.3 para protein (M spike) or as a 'last ditch attempt'! It seems he would prefer to 'manage' the Myeloma in an effort not to do further damage with even more strong chemotherapy. Hamada has accepted this, but it does not 'sit well' with me at all. Although I clearly understand what the Doctor is trying to say - and knowing this time would surely come along - I am by nature, a 'fighter' and find this the most difficult time of all. It is written across Hamada's notes that this terrible disease is now too hard to treat!
It has not been easy to write this post, as I am sure you are all well aware.

For those who understand these readings: PLT.now at 39(normal 143-332) HGB10.7 WBC1.05 NEU 0.58 and Paraprotein 6.3

So my friends "make everyday a masterpiece"...

All comments welcomed.

31 January, 2009

Deal On Myeloma Drug !

Great news yesterday as we heard that the drug advisers have changed guidance on Lenalidomide, also known as Revlimid. Revised draft guidance has agreed access to the treatment for myeloma sufferers, under a cost -sharing deal where the drug company will pick up the cost after two years. This is the first guidance from NICE to be revised after the new rules, designed to be more flexible in judging treatments, offering survival benefits in terminal conditions. This latest recommendation is out for consultation until the 20th February.

You can read the more on http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7859053.stm and also more from the wonderful http://www.myeloma.co.uk/ who have fought so hard for this to come about.
It is indeed the most wonderful news.

09 January, 2009

In Quiet Days - by Susie Hemingway

In quiet days as fearsome news
imparted so gently, comes to view,
your face so stoic hardly moves
my accepting warrior, my hero true.

The look that really says it all,
and although you can't, your standing tall,
as beautiful hand is placed on mine,
I bite my lip, as the clock chimes.

Say nothing yet, let's think it through
for actions now will be askew,
decisions made in quiet ways, will pave
for you another day.

The reality that stings my eyes
the sadness as results arrive,
in watchful bide my thoughts of you,
your boldness gallant fighter true.

In quiet days of misty cold
our world is smaller, but not letting go,
this 'beast' that creeps within our realm,
will, with courage, be crushed down.

My accepting warrior, my hero true...

Clicky Web Analytics