Sunlit shafts streak in rays across celestial blue skies,
pink fluffy pendulous blossoms wave their clusters in the breeze,
the vivid startling green of spring appears.
Lucky are those who see this sight of approaching summer,
the russet copper tones of the Lincoln Reds standing proud and in our view.
The old bent ivy entwined gnarled trees start their fight for a few covered branches,
the lavender coloured lilac returns once more to please eager eyes.
A daily delight for you my love as this season returns once more, this quality that does not vary,
bringing a stillness to the land, gone are the painful gales of Winter.
Something strong, something constant and unchanging,
something to entice you from your bed...
Your wish to see these jewelled days has been granted.
Was he listening when I called to him?
Did he paint this picture just for you?
*Lincoln Red – A breed of cattle. May 2010.
All Rights Reserved -
29 May, 2010
24 May, 2010
How wonderful the weather has been here in the UK recently. Several wonderful sunlit days and temperatures on Saturday reaching 28c and a weekend that was hotter than Corfu! It was a real social weekend for us, with youngest Son Yousef(Jo) arriving on Saturday evening just as I was finishing a lovely Safari Supper in the village. I'm sure you know the type of thing, you all start together in one house and then informed where you will have your starters, after you have enjoyed that, you are told where to go for your main course and then every group ends up together in the final house for the desserts, cheese, biscuits and coffee. It was a warm balmy evening and so lovely to walk the lanes of our pretty little village, everyone going in different directions and passing each other again as we changed scenes. The organizer cleverly selected the houses I would attend, close by to our home, so for me on my walks to the next part of the meal, I was able to check in on Hamada. He is not well enough to attend this type of social occasion, so he chose to stay at home with very special supper tray. We could also kept in touch by mobile throughout the evening and we also have the wonderful 'Link-Line' alarm system fitted, so he wears the special pendant that will call anyone on his list immediately, should he feel unwell or need help. A wonderful system which allows me to relax some.
On Sunday which was again a very warm day, we had a lovely roast beef lunch at our village pub. Jo driving Hamada the little way, in his rather sporty car with the roof down, which Hamada so enjoyed (see Photo).
The other photo was taken during our meal and it saddens me very much to see how small Hamada has become. Of course I realized that before and am aware it's the nature of this beastly illness that has robbed him of 6" in height but recently he has become so much smaller in stature and seeing it clearly in this photo has confirmed these changes for me. After our rather good roast beef, we had a very lovely date to keep. One of the stalwarts of our village reached the grand age of ninety and we attended a garden party in her honour. Hamada made a supreme effort to be at this occasion as he is very fond of this particular rather marvellous lady.
The hosts of this wonderful event found Hamada a good seat under the shade of a large umbrella and with Jo's help he settled in very comfortably and managed a good time catching-up with all his old friends that through this long winter and last exhausting round of chemo, he had not been able to chat with in quite a while. What a change this lovely weather brings, we forget how important it is to those who are unwell. How it brought a sparkle to his eyes and such joy to his heart as each and everyone came to chat with him, almost as much a celebrity as the marvellous lady to whom Hamada had been so anxious to pay his birthday respects to.
14 May, 2010
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
10 May, 2010
Under a lovers gaze stoic and stubborn
I fight for you,
in watchful waiting the power of my mind
spurs me on…
The tiredness of these determined efforts for you,
to strive is hard to do.
With strength needed as not to succumb
I walk on and on,
for there can never be amongst this pain
nothing left for you ?
Don’t ever think I do not clearly see
for if only my eyes could shut out all,
to mar, inflict distress, destroy the purity of,
impair, fatally ruin – All this !
Through my smiles, the anguish of my heart,
flows in time with this wretched beast
as it continues it’s wicked path.
Under my lovers gaze, I fight for you.
*“There is freedom within
There is freedom without
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup,
there’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost”
*Extract from the Song “Don’t Dream Is Over” by Crowded House Written by Neil Finn 1987
Photo courtesy: Matt Rutherford @ www.mattrutherford.com
© Susie Hemingway 2010
07 May, 2010
It was a sad day for us both yesterday which brought bad news that Hamada is just not responding well enough to the chemotherapy drug Velcade. With just eleven infusions received since starting in late February and many stops and starts along the way due to a chest infection, severe reduction in neutrophils and platelets, it has been hard work for him from day one. Now again the next and what looks like the last cycle of four Velcade infusions- unless a miracle happens- will be supported with Filgrastim 30MIU/05 injections started yesterday and continuing throughout the next four infusions. Hamada’s Doctor at Lincoln informed us that a very poor reduction of 4.5 in para-protein level after eleven infusions is really not good enough and is most unlikely to make the 50% reduction needed to continue. Yesterday neutrophils were an alarming 0.68 and PP still at 14 !
So dear family and friends unless another miracle happens and we’ve had a few, Velcade will not be the wonderful elixir we so hoped would work for dear Hamada.
06 May, 2010
Just recently our dear blogger friend Nancy of www.lacootina.blogspot.com lost her short fight against Multiple Myeloma. There is no way to say just what an amazingly brave lady she was. So many of our MM blogging world will miss her writing terribly, I know I will.
Our hearts are sad for Nancy
a loss in which our hands would love to reach
across the miles of space to say goodbye,
we wish our eyes could see your words as daily missed
the spirit of brave trials in life lived with such pain,
in beauty of that lively energetic soul engraved within our minds
our hearts are sad for Nancy.
You found such laughter in a testing world
displayed in warmth that radiated upon your page,
filling our private worlds for us to read.
We loved the way your smiles and rants lit up our rooms
wishing for tomorrow’s sun, that could not be.
Your bravery as God enfolded you within his arms
for sure you are his special angel,
but our hearts are sad for Nancy,
our hearts are sad for Nancy...