~ 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.

14 May, 2010

From Small Acorns


Written on the 4th anniversary of Hamada's diagnosis with Multiple Myeloma.

Recently I left a comment on a fellow bloggers site thanking her for her generous continuous support, not only to me but to many other Multiple Myeloma sufferers and their Carers. Many hours of her time must have been spent reading and entering her sensitive most knowledgeable comments worldwide. She does so with grace and clarity unstinting in her kind praise of my diary poems and has been following Hamada’s journey for a number of years. She always seems to pick just the right time for a comment to bolster flagging spirits and I have noticed her words when most needed on many blogs around the world. This to me is just the most perfect use of blogging.

When I first started entering my thoughts in the form of poems four years ago it was the only way to find an outlet for my overwhelming sadness and terrible frustrations at the changes that had befallen Hamada. It had been suggested by my Son whose understanding of my need to write my poems and his great knowledge of blogging guided me to this unique world. I could vent my feelings sending my words into the ‘blogosphere’ never thinking or caring if they would be read or not. Cleansing my mind very often of my innermost feelings, thus saving my sanity from the injustice of it all. I have spoken on the radio before of my need to record this time of Hamada’s journey with this most difficult of diseases. When asked has this been helpful to me, I answered to say with sincere honesty that yes this has most definitely been the case. What an amazing outlet is this most modern of all media. I have been writing poems since a young woman, so for me the easiest format was to place my poems in a diary form. Releasing as the need came, the words of my heart.

My how from little acorns grew the biggest tree! Overnight my blog was visited and within a short while I had found this wonderful support network of other MM sufferers and their wonderful caregivers. All seeming to want to read my poems and I in return was able to not only glean the information I so badly craved about this illness of Multiple Myeloma from their sites. To subsequently understand their knowledge, the complicated medical jargon and learn about the different circumstances of these wonderful people but also and most importantly for me, to acknowledge the pain contained in their web-pages. We very quickly formed a united front against this beastly cancer that has intruded into our lives and have over these past years formed great friendships, with new bloggers arriving weekly. We spur each other on in times of crisis and rejoice and praise together in the good times. We feel each other’s pain as if it was our own, can relate and understand the many problems that Multiple Myeloma brings. How a kind caring word helps a difficult day.

Many of us, Patients and Carers worldwide have also formed friendships via the much maligned network of Facebook, where we reach out the hand of friendship daily, supporting each other where we can. For me this is so much better than the psychiatrist couch or local Carers group which would be too difficult to attend when caring twenty four hours a day and when time is so precious.

Of course poetry is not for everyone and certainly my poems of love cannot possibly be to everyone’s taste but in the years I have been blogging, much to my amazement I have never had a nasty or inappropriate comment, not a single one; and this week my first web-blog reached fifty thousand hits. I would never have believed the whole new world that has been opened to me through a few simple poems. I thank the many internet friends who choose to follow our journey and allow me to follow theirs. Not a path I would have readily chosen but Life with a capital L threw this Myeloma our way, bringing many in the same position with their friendship to offer, some joy amid the sadness. I know my Family, Myeloma friends and their Caregivers completely understand that for me to complete this journal successfully; I must always write my poems as a true recollection of this time. They must be an accurate account, so this does not always make for easy reading and for some who find them too sad, I know they won’t be read. For the many who send emails and place their lovely comments on my blogs, I thank you. For I also know that many find them moving enough to release what I know have been called ‘healing tears’. If this helps just one person in some small way to continue forward, refreshed to yet another day, as it does for me when the words escape from my mind, then I consider it a worthwhile therapeutic exercise. I am aware that for many, writing of love and personal feelings is difficult and somewhat embarrassing, although this has never been mentioned to me. I am not so insular as to not understand this and it is a selfish purgative act so entirely helpful to me and after all was the very reason I started these blogs in the first place. Many of my poems are sad but we have over the years enjoyed so many happy and immensely joyous occasions and I have tried to capture these too especially in my earlier poems.

Using this most modern media to vent my feelings and save my sanity has brought many rewards but mostly it has been the link-up of this simply wonderful group of kind and caring individuals who are all following the same path as me.

To the wonderful lady whom I mentioned at the start of this article, who has the biggest caring heart and provides such a service to those who are often in a sad and difficult place I salute you.

To the wonderful folk doing the very best they can daily for their families and loved ones and in the continued fight to help with the individual knowledge gained which we all share, in the hope a cure for this most wretched illness will be found, I stand in praise of you.

With loving thanks to my supportive family my special girl and men friends who never ever fail me.

Taken from: “Small Acorns “– written on the 4th Anniversary of Hamada’s diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. May 2010.

Copyright @ Susie Hemingway 2010

13 comments:

jinksy said...

I don't think anybody could fail to be moved by the honesty with which you write. Blogland certainly allows us to bare our souls in a safe place, and long may it continue to do so!

Jenny R said...

Beautiful, thoughtful words Susie. Out of this terrible illness comes new and sincere friendships and support for one another.

Sid said...

Thanks for this posting Susie.
Your blog, poems, Hamad updates and supportive comments have been an inspiration to us.
Lots of love to you and Hamada.
Sid and Myra

Susie Hemingway said...

Thank you Jinksy, I think that is such a nice comment to make - I write from my heart for I know no other way. It does not always make for easy reading but it is most beneficial to me, as "From Small Acorns" tells.
My Fond wishes to you x

Dave King said...

Jinksy's right, it's the honesty that both makes the poem and communicates the love.

Susie Hemingway said...

Thank you Dear Jenny, Yes from the sadness of these past four years we have discovered some really amazingly supportive people. I just hope I manage to continue to do the same for them when they have similar rough times to get through. So many thanks for your help also, what would we do without you. xxx

Michael Morse said...

I'm happy you found your rightful place in blogland. I often tell people how I "landed" here, purely by chance, almost magical. I'm better for it, thank you.

Walt Trachim said...

Small acorns, indeed!

By sharing both the struggles and the joys of what you and Hamada deal with every day, you both are a testament to what both real love and real courage are. I am privileged to be able to witness this. And I'm with Michael: I believe I've been made a better person for it.

Thank you, my friend.

Susie Hemingway said...

Thank you Sid and Myra for your nice comments but Sid I believe you are the inspiration dealing the way you have over the past few months. We so wish you positive results now, so you may enjoy and continue your walking once again.Such a very brave man indeed x
Lots of love Susie and Hamada.

Susie Hemingway said...

Thanks Dave for the kind comment.

Susie Hemingway said...

Michael and Walt You see just like I said in "From Small Acorns" the support over these past few years, has been amazing. Even in the early days when I thought I was talking to no one, you were both listening, kinda of nice that and thank you.

Jo said...

Susie, the husband of one of my best friends had Multiple Myeloma, and she was so alone throughout his journey. You are so fortunate to have found a wonderful network of people who can help you and support you, and even just cry with you, if need be.

Geraldine Ferraro has had Multiple Myeloma for nine years. Here is her website:

http://www.aftercancernowwhat.com/2009/08/geraldine-ferraro.html

Blessings!

Jo

Nick said...

Susie -

You and Hamada are a daily inspiration. You confront this horrible disease with grace, dignity and determination and the love which you have for each other is a thing of rare beauty -- conveyed so profoundly in your wonderful writing.

As a husband, a Myeloma patient and a human being, I am moved every time I visit.

Warmest wishes to you both!

Nick

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