~ 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.

23 November, 2010

Gone to Live with God.

My beloved Hamada quietly and peacefully and with great dignity left us today to go home to be with God.
Dear Universe a new angel has joined. He is handsome, caring, loving and a great symbol of courage and strength. His wings spread across the globe sincerely and lovingly touching the lives of many. His journey on earth has been an inspiration of courage to us all.

The Start Of A Final Journey.

Just a short update for those who are awaiting news of our dear Hamada, especially our family in Egypt. Hamada has started his final journey home to rest. Yesterday a wonderful nurse from the Macmillan support team came to visit at home and confirmed what I already knew. Hamada is slipping quietly to his resting place. He is no longer speaking or drinking he has a 'rattle' on his chest and his body is slowly shutting down. I have spent all of the night hours watching over him, catching small naps when I can.

The Doctor is to arrive shortly and will bring or prescribe all necessary drugs to administer by injections or patches for Hamada's comfort now that he is not swallowing well.

For the nurses who I know read this web-blog: Hamada did not pass urine for 24 hours, but today some, which I believe shows his kidneys have not completely shut down yet. It is a much better way for him to 'pass' if they do.
As our Jo said, perhaps this is our last miracle for this journey to end peacefully this way and I pray with all my heart for this to be for my beloved Warrior. It is also possible that he will stay in this 'dream like' state for a few more days yet, although I do not believe so, he is extremely weak now.

My dear sister Jenny and brother-in-law Ian, lovingly came this morning to help me tenderly bathe him and to change linens and to make Hamada smell just like I know he loves, all friends will know how fussy Hamada is with his love of good cologne. He is peaceful and in no pain, dearly sweet and surrounded with much love.

22 November, 2010

Night Vigil

Hamada has spoken very little during the last two days. managing only to smile and greet the family who have all been here at "Hemingway" this weekend. I know by his smiles that he has enjoyed so much, seeing them all, during this bittersweet weekend.

Jo gave his father a wonderful shave something that I was not managing to do very well! It was a wonderful time of family closeness. I received some of the best much needed hugs, which have given me more courage to continue after this long worrying week.

After everyone had left I managed to get Hamada to his favourite chair in the sitting room during the early evening, thus giving me time to put fresh linens on his bed. He was not speaking at all during this time not eating anything, just dozing on and off. During the middle of the evening he became more agitated and seemed a little distressed so I helped him back to the safety of his bed.

As I settled him down for the night he spoke, his voice clear for the first time in two days. He was tearful and told me that he was very tired now but needed to say something, struggling to find the words he said that he did not think he could continue any further, almost as if he was asking for permission to go. I let him know gently that it was now time for him to rest and for him not to be concerned about anything but sleeping now. He spoke about his love for me and his worries of leaving me and I reassured him that I would be fine, his beautiful words brought a few gentle tears to us both. I laid my face close to his as he settled into a very calm deep sleep and so a time of loving observation and a night vigil for me began. It is now 6am and Hamada is still sleeping, his breathing just a gentle rhythm in the quietness of the house and as I go for my shower I wonder what this new day will bring and is it time now?

20 November, 2010

Such A Difficult Time.

The terrible headache which has been with Hamada for a week now, has become too much for him to bear. Yesterday he was prescribed control release Morphine and also liquid morphine for extra support. As we are now back with our own local GP, he is of the opinion that this headache is being caused by the lowering of kidney function even further. The kidneys will have course, taken a great strain during the recent blood and platelet transfusions even though great care was taken to transfuse really slowly ( 6 Hours ). Hamada has been in such great pain from this headache which cannot be allow to continue, hence the Morphine being started yesterday. All the family are here this weekend which is a great support. So much joy they all bring with them and they have been quietly chatting for short times with Hamada and the delight shows on his dear face as he enjoys seeing them so much. We are being spoilt as we have both had recent birthdays, wonderful days all together...just being...

16 November, 2010

This Must Be An Honest Journal.

Hamada has now received two whole blood units and one of platelets which took six hours, being slowly transfused as to protect the remaining kidney function. Still from Friday evening Hamada has been suffering from an extremely bad headache and he has vomited several times. I have been carefully monitoring his blood pressure and temperature which have both been raised and at one time gave great cause for concern leading me to phone the Doctor for further advice on getting this pain under control. It was not a pain in a single place but around the temples and something like a migraine type headache affecting his eyes. Giving gentle massage to the area seems to help some. It has been an anxious four days I must admit but being as honest as I can, I feel his kidneys are shutting down and we are approaching the end.

14 November, 2010

A Watchful Weekend.

A very watchful weekend for me as Hamada recovers from six hours of transfusions on Friday. Transfusions were done very slowly as to protect the kidneys as much as possible. Hamada is very weary as normal but what is concerning me is the headache that will not leave him. He had a slight temperature which has abated now and this headache is not in one place but appears to be in both temples. He already takes six paracetamols and two Nefopams daily, so really at the upper level with trying to protect the little kidney function left. Hence I have nothing to increase the help with this annoying migraine type headache and of course I am aware of blood clots and this has been my worry since Friday. So not much sleep for me. He says he does not wish me to call a Doctor as it is not bad enough for that ! Certainly I would call the EMS if I felt it was getting worse or BP increased. I am hopeful that it will settle tonight but it's almost like his body does not like this blood (2 units) or the platelets (1 unit) very much. If not, a visit from or to the Doctors tomorrow, will be the order of the day.

12 November, 2010

Time For A Top Up.

After blood tests done yesterday at Lincoln County Hospital the results show that Hamada's platelet level is extremely low at 16. So this morning he will have a further blood test to check antibodies(I believe) and then his special ordered Platelets will come from Sheffield and he will receive these at the Medical Day Unit at Lincoln. A simply wonderful team there!
This transfusion will hopefully help make him more comfortable and halt the bleeding that can be seen in hundreds of little blood spots under the skin. Many on his face and even more on his arms and lower trunk. He will be at the hospital for at least three hours but this hopefully will save a weekend stay. Many thanks to our Jenny who has been assisting with another strong arm, bless you Jenny, what would I do without you X

Addendum: Hamada spent six hours getting transfusions today - on arriving his HB had dropped to 8 and his Platelets only 10 - he is back home now and feeling somewhat better.

09 November, 2010


When I started this blog more than four years ago I promised always to tell how it is for a Carer of someone with MM. It was important for me that my poems conveyed a little story of the days that unfolded on this journey. Sometimes the truth of my feelings may hurt more than at other times. I try to think of other MM sufferers, I truly do. Then of course those that maybe hurt by my thoughts here, will not subscribe. So I continue through these most difficult days. The following two verses describe my feelings during a very lovely birthday weekend for Hamada. Our son Jo spent a special time with his Father, we had a celebratory meal together and all in all it was a perfect weekend. Except for one thing although I suppose I have always seen Hamada through 'rose tinted glasses'. I could now see clearly what I suppose others can see and have notice for some time, visual changes to my dear man's face.

Extract from "Changes"

The once thought improbable
is happening Darling Man,
I cannot close my eyes
to forget these brown eyes fading,
I cannot shut my mind for all I need
is to see your smile.

These brutal changes tear at your resistance
this beloved face is changing
dissolving and vanishing from view
but never from my heart.
I can at last, see this Beast Within.

Changes... So many changes...

All Rights Reserved November 2010
Unabridged version of "Changes" is now on http://www.susiehemingway.com

05 November, 2010

Beautiful mellow Autumn days spent quietly, enjoying precious time with good food and sweet music. Nothing terribly important to report. We are to meet the nice Macmillan Nurse who phoned this week later on this month. Hamada does not really need assistance yet from this wonderful team of nurses and I hope it will be a long time before he does but as they say it will be nice to have a visit, so the nurse may get to know him. I will have the kettle on ready for a cuppa together. This will also give me a moment to ask questions and further advice.

We are planning to visit Haematology on the 11th to get CBC’s done, in future I will be able to read the kidney results on-line and this has now been set-up. So a future plan seems to be taking place and in the meantime we are looking forward to Hamada’s birthday at the weekend and a small celebration, a planned meal at the village pub which he usually enjoys very much. The photos here are from “Hemingway” It is a beautiful Autumn here in this little Village in the month of November.

Photos: Susie's Collection at "Hemingway"

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