~ 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.

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

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