~ 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.

26 February, 2010

To Fight Again - Thoughts by Susie Hemingway

Late winter months as news imparts
the gravity of this new start
dear God as we begin this fight
in restless days and feverish nights,
as poison flows through damaged veins
please not let this be in vain…
Smaller smiles through struggling days
of waiting for the nausea waves,
understanding strange regimes
jab jab as harsh it always seems,
as draw for tests to go ahead
when all he wants is his fresh clean bed.

Perpetual hours that make me sigh
impatience that since child has always been
and now this purgatory of hopeful scene,
as tedious the walks I make
through lengthy corridors and doors of pain,
please Lord! let there be a gain.
How good the compassionate nurses who
bring solace to my broken warrior,
a smile or a tender word all make a difference,
I notice a gentle hand on his shoulder,
in their relentless comforting care.
I also notice many sitting there,
with their dreams of better days…

My mind whirls as the precious cylindrical vial arrives with pomp and ceremony,
to scientists far away who have tried to bring
with knowledge gained, further days.
It is received with hope and joy
but will it work to overcome?
for this Man who waits expectantly with those oh! so trusting eyes.

A Poem about Chemotherapy February 2010– all rights reserved

19 February, 2010

To Fight Once More.

"The Journey"

Hamada starts chemotherapy once more, this time with the drug Velcade combined with Dexamethasone.
Velcade is a newer type of chemotherapy - at least here in the UK - an anti-cancer drug called a proteosome inhibitor. In the UK it is allowed on the NHS to people who have already been treated with at least one other type of chemotherapy (Hamada has received several types from 2006 until a Stem Cell Transplant in October 2007)
Velcade is allowed on the NHS for first relapse after a Stem Cell Transplant or in persons unsuitable for SCT.

Starting next Monday, Hamada will receive Velcade by infusion combined with 40 mg oral dex(over two days) this will be continued twice weekly for two weeks then 10 days rest and then repeated. He must reduce within four cycles or it will be withdrawn due to the enormous cost of the drug. Some people sail through the possible side effects some of which are very serious and so Velcade is not to be undertaken lightly especially when like Hamada whose blood is very damaged from previous treatments and his kidneys are compromised, it will be an extremely tough road to travel.
It is most levelling to watch as the disclaimer is signed, listing all possible side effects some of which, are particularly frightening but is there really a choice? Hamada is quite aware that while the Para protein (M-Spike) rises in such an alarming manner now at 18.6! something must be tried before more damage is done to his bones and vital organs.

Multiple Myeloma is not for the faint hearted. It was never a choice but we are ready together to once again fight this battle, we thank the patient doctor yesterday, for painstakingly answering my long list of questions and helping us to arrive at this decision and to those he consulted regarding Hamada particular case.

We also thank our dear family, friends and fellow bloggers for all the wonderful support given as Hamada continues his fight and his journey with MM. breathe...

04 February, 2010

All Is Love - by Susie Hemingway

Love is a perfect note; love is a certain smile or a gentle touch.

It is the dripping juiciness of ripe mangos on a parched tongue
or the smoothness of rippling silk as it touches your skin
or perhaps the sweetest strawberry dipped in liquid chocolate?
Love could be the aroma of double espresso just before it reaches your lips,
or is it the smoky woody smell of a newly lit fire?
All is love.

Love is also the stormy greys of long worried nights
love is restless broken sleep that drains energy from your soul,
love is eyes heavy from sadness.
But love is also the ashen face that looks at you when days are bad and you are brave.
Love is you starting the fight once more as realisation arrives in your eyes.
Love is also the beautiful eyes of family members whose tender glances record their own story.
Love is the strong arms that support and guide your way.
Love is the dearest child who stokes your hair with such beautiful gentle hands.
Love is our private moments that make difficult days better,
love is that look across the room that says it all.

Love is all these things...
And all these things are love,
and you.

02 February, 2010

A Busy Time Once Again.

Last week we visited Haematology at Lincoln for consultation and yesterday for further bone marrow biopsy/aspiration, further X-rays and now we wait the results. On Monday 15th the Doctors will meet and consult with Prof Russell from the Clinical Haematology Centre Nottingham ( Hamada's Stem Cell Transplant Specialist) with the view to Hamada starting Velcade. We will then return on the 18th February for their collective thoughts. As I have mentioned here several times it is not an easy decision to arrive at. Hamada has enjoyed two years three months since his Stem Cell Transplant with no Chemotherapy, a quiet life but a reasonable one. Now with his M-Spike/Para Protein at a whopping 18.1!! a decision must be made, the higher this reading the more damage will be done to his already fragile bones and organs. His kidneys, which at one time were at 6% are now holding well at 15% but still another reason to be very cautious. Velcade is a newer chemotherapy drug that Hamada has not tried before and is allowed here on the NHS for first relapse. Velcade is widely used in America, some patients doing very well indeed but there are problems associated with it - neuropathy and anemia being just two and with Hamada's very poor blood counts could be the greatest risk. A balancing act indeed but as MM has powerfully reared it's ugly head again, we feel we must wage war once more.

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