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Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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Lock-Down Dairies – 22 May 2020 : Update on my Multiple Myeloma, my Curry leaves harvest

Been a while since I updated on my Multiple Myeloma.

This is the 9th year after my Stem Cell Transplant. I have been taking only Ayurvedic Medication for the last 4 years.

There are other detailed posts in the past where I wrote all about in detail.

I am continuing to take Circumin, Ashwagandha , Satavari , Tinaspora Cordifolia as per the advise of my Ayurveda Doctor.

I also take few Allopathy medications like Folvite ( for better absorption of Iron), Renerve (for peripheral Neuropathy), Antoxid HC (Multivitamins) and Feburic 20 (to regulate Uric acid) .

Apart from the above , I also have been following the lifestyle prescribed by ‘Natural Lifestyle’ , since 4 months. I have lost some weight due to the restricted diet. I do feel healthy otherwise. Just that I can’t physically exert myself a lot. Able to manage quite well even during the lock-down period doing all household chores with support from hubby and son πŸ™‚

I did the routine Blood tests 2 months ago (just before the lock-down) and the reports say that all is well.

However, it is 1 year 4 months since I did the Bone Marrow test. I feel it may not be necessary as I feel good and my routine tests including Serum Globulin levels were normal in the recent tests.

I am also back to work in spite of all the restrictions and risks.

I am dependent on my driver whenever . Doing my best to ensure that my Driver is also healthy. Provided Masks, Face Shield, Sanitizer , Liquid soap and gave him instructions on maintaining social distance and washing hands frequently.

Getting used to co-exist with the C-virus. With a little care and attention it should be possible to deal with it.

Harvesting curry leaves in my tiny garden :

I was all the while assuming that the curry leaf plant should be allowed to grow as much as possible before we start harvesting the leaves. I recently learnt that the branches should be cut frequently so as to encourage further growth of new stems.

So, I decided to cut off one of the biggest stems today. Here it is-

I then separated all the leaves, washed them well and dried them well.

This is usually how i prepare curry leaves before i pack them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.

These leaves are going to last me more than a week. Feels so good to be able to grow your own food ,that too organically grown πŸ™‚

~ Stay safe ~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 21 May 20 : Missing Mom n Dad , ripening raw Mangoes naturally using a jute bag

Missing my parents :

For the first time in my life ,I haven’t seen my parents for four months. Missing them a lot. They were supposed to come back to the city just before the lockdown but were unable to. Listening to the news on the Television about how bad the virus is affecting senior citizens in the cities , Dad decided to stay back.

They seem to be doing well , and assure us that everything is going well at their end and that they are happy in the village.

We do a whatsapp video call whenever they go to the outskirts of the village where the mobile signal is good.

In fact, folks in the villages are extra careful and watchful when such situations occur. Many villages barricade their main roads. They keep a watch on who is coming back to the village from other towns or cities and inform the police.

So far so good. The villages are safe as on date and that is a good sign.

However, the same is not happening in the cities. C19 +veCases are rising day by day while the lockdown is more like an eyewash.

Mangoes ripening under the jute bag :

There are several ways to naturally ripening raw Mangoes. Dry hay from paddy is one of the most prevalent method to ripen a lot of mangoes.

Here are my mangoes

At home people usually place the mangoes inside rice bags full of rice or inside an empty jute bag. The mangoes should not be completed closed and suffocated but there should be some air circulation otherwise they would rot.

These mangoes are from my neighbours Mango tree, some of the branches have encroached into our area :). Organically grown and naturally ripened.

Continue to stay safe !


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Lock-Down Dairies – 18 May 20 : Back to Office !!

End of Lock-down for me and I am back to work today. Our HR circular has given instructions that 50% of the employees will work in each shift with two shifts per day.I am in the Second shift which is from 1.30pm to 6.30pm.

Gave sanitizer, liquid soap, mask and face shield to the driver too and we started.

Stepped out of our colony for the first time in almost two months. I saw lots of road side makeshift vendors selling vegetables and fruits. Traffic was very less compared to the normal times but expected much lesser traffic. No police verification , no barricades whatsoever all along the 13 km from home to work.

Restaurants, Retail stores, Malls, schools a not open whereas all others like Hospitals , diagnostics, clinics, pharmacies , opticians, all construction material selling stores , auto repair stores , few sweet shops (without seating) are open.

Had to observe the shap n size , the gait ,the hair to recognise my colleagues πŸ™‚ on the way to my cabin.

My Office entrance

Came in much early and found our floor was dark. I was the first one to come in during the second shift. Had to search for my cabin keys and open the door myself , something that I never did before.

Very soon , other colleagues started pouring in . Everyone wore masks but it was not easy to maintain 6ft distance.

Within few minutes of being in office and the past two months felt like a dream.

On the way back I noticed that my car driver was speeding, I told him to go slow but he said ‘curfew madam’

We reached home on dot.


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Lock-Down Dairies – 17 May 20 : My Face Shield , Lock-Down lunch with extended family, games we played during our childhood.

I will be going to work from tomorrow..end of Lockdown for me.

One vendor of my company had sent pictures of PPEs a while ago. One of them was the Face shield. When I had enquired he said he was supplying to Hospitals. Since I am dependent on my driver to take me to work in my car ,I thought it would be good if I can get a few of them. Luckily he agreed to give me and he promptly delivered today.

Face shield

Very light and comfortable to wear.

My brother and sisters families had decided last week to have a potluck lunch in our stilt floor today.

I made ‘Mirchi ka salan’ and ‘raita’.

Rangoli Raita πŸ™‚

I shared this photo with my classmates from college and everyone loved the design and the appearance :). One of them even named it ‘ Rangoli Raita ‘ … sounds apt isn’t it !?.

Other items in the Menu were Biryani, fruit salad and Double ka meeta.

Enjoyed teaching and demonstrating a lot of games that we played during our childhood ,to the kids.

Pittu / Seven stones / Langocha game

Pittu/Seven stones/Langocha , 4 pillars, chain, thokkudu billa, kaccha kaayalu (5 stones) , Veeri Veeri gummadi pandu etc were some of the games that were played without buying any stuff. All are team games which we played everyday for a couple of hours after school πŸ™‚

Kids were interested in learning and playing these games.

We started of by maintaining some distance but very soon forgot all about it. A few neighbours too were curiously peeping on hearing the laughter and noises. I had to keep telling everyone to maintain silence which was very difficult.

We all had a video call too with our parents for a while.

~ Let go and be free ~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 16 May 20: Video editing softwares , photography skills using a Smartphone ,Gimbal ,

I have been creating , editing and uploading a few videos during the Lockdown. I have used free apps on Android and found them easy to work with for quickly editing a video. However, I feel that the presentation is an important aspect that helps to retain the audience attention. To achieve this it is very important to use a good video editing software. I was beginning to find it difficult to edit on the phone and so switched to my laptop. Another reason for doing this is that there is little storage space on my phone and am finding it difficult to shoot more videos :). I can now copy the videos to the laptop and do all my editing. I downloaded a freeware today and working on my next video.

I also strongly feel that a good video is shot differently and makes an impact on the audience to want to see more. Looked up a few other videos on youtube to help me learn a few new ways to record videos. I have to start practicing too.

I was talking to my brother this morning about a video he sent . It is about capturing the rotation of the Earth using a camera. Was curious to know how the position of the camera changes while the Earth rotates . During the conversation he mentioned a ‘Gimbal’ . Heard about it for the first time and I found it to be a very useful device to record videos without much vibration.

Not really sure if I will have sufficient time to record more videos once I go back to office and resume work.

Almost 84,000 C19 positive cases in India and death toll is close to 3000 , recovery rate is 32% and government thinks that the fatality rate is low and the economy is slowly opening up. Can’t really imagine what the future has in store for the country.


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Lock-Down Dairies – 15 May 20 : Hubby’s Birthday, My Warli art lockdown project, flights arriving from various countries

Made a Lockdown cake for hubby’s Birthday today. I am not much of a cake Baker but do bake a basic cake once in a while. I don’t have an oven too, though I do have a plan of setting up a proper oven and grill. However, this setup will greatly reduce the space in the kitchen. So, whenever I feel like making a cake I do it in the crudest oven that is possible :). I take the biggest Aluminium vessel I have and pour some sand in it. I then place a wire rack on the sand. I pre-heat the vessel for a while. The container with the cake batter is placed on this rack.

I had some chocolates , so melted them ,added more powdered sugar and some home made butter and spread this on the cake. I should have added little more of baking soda. Otherwise the cake was tasty.

One of my Lockdown projects was to draw some warli art. I will be resuming work from Monday 18 May 20 and was unable to draw. I finally decided to start drawing this evening.I feel like a school kid doing the homework just a few days before the vacation gets completed :). Here is the work in progress-

Work in progress – Warli

Finally the flights have started arriving from various countries bringing in Indians who were held up due to the Lockdown. Know a couple of people who are put up in the hotels in the city for 14 days self isolation.

Heard they had a tough time during the whole journey. All said and done ,how much ever one has travelled all over the world,home is the sweetest place on the Earth πŸ™‚

Take Care !!


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Lock-Down Dairies – 14 Mar 20 : Hubby is back to work , Vegetables to be sown in May, Plastic shields inside cabs

Hubby is back to work today after almost 50 days of social distancing. While getting ready to go to work and wearing socks and shoes he said , ‘I feel like a school kid going to school after Summer vacation’ πŸ™‚ .

I have a few emply containers now and ready to sow some seeds. I googled to find out which seeds are best sown in May and found that Parwal , colocasia, ginger, turmeric, onion, capsicum, okra, brinjal, chilli, coriander are to be sown now.

I had planted 4 colocasia roots in the beginning of May unknowingly and two of them are growing.

Colocasia

I sowed chilli seeds last month and transplanted them around the last week of April. They are growing too. I have capsicum seeds and sowed them today.

I too have to start going to work from 18 May onwards. I called my Ayurveda Doctor to ask him for his advise, as I depend on a Driver. He asked me questions like , where does he stay , whether he stays in a slum or a proper house, whether he has a separate bath/toilet . Said I should give him Tinaspora cordifolia and zincovit . That I should keep the car windows open , if possible use a full face cover , to use a plastic shield between the front and back seat of the car, to spray sanitizer on this cover frequently.

I know one vendor who is supplying Face shields and I am checking if he can give me a few. He is usually supplying to Hospitals and Health workers.

The plastic shield in the car is something that I was hearing for the first time.I assumed that a lot of people in Mumbai are already using these as the number of C19 cases in Mumbai is very high. Doctor lives in Mumbai. I looked up on the Internet to check for some pictures as to how these plastic shields are fixed and came across very few videos that too only from China. These are being widely used by Cab drivers.

A thick plastic sheet fixed between the front seats and back seats

Got an idea as to how to fix these shields . I now have to get hold of a two sided tape and a big thick plastic sheet. Seems like a big project. But I like the idea. Very useful for people like me who are dependant on a driver to move around. Surely the Drivers too would prefer to be safe and this is a great way.

Hopefully these plastic shields will soon be available in the market.

Anything and everything to be safe.

Take Care folks !!


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Lock-Down Dairies – 13 May 20 : Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Birthday, back to work from 18 May 20 ,Heart attacks /fear of COVID / frustration because of Lock-Down

13 May is Guruji’s Birthday. I heard about Art of Living in 2001 . Very soon came across a course being conducted by Art of living close to where I lived. I immediately jumped at the idea of attending this course. The 6 day ,3 hour sessions were excellent and definitely transformed me internally. I soon bought a lot of books which were all about the knowledge sessions including several question answer sessions . I enjoyed reading these books which helped me deal with day to day situations and also satisfied my spiritual quest to some extent. I also learnt Pranayama and Meditation which I had always been curious about.

All the knowledge, pranayama and Meditation helped me extensively during my diagnosis and treatment of Multiple Myeloma and continue to help me.

I am extremely grateful to Guruji for showing that spirituality is the solution for all problems in this world , for making me a strong person and giving me the courage to fight for my life.

Happy Birthday, Guruji !!

Received a circular from our HR department today regarding starting of operations for all employees from 18 May 20. Called my Driver and told him to come back from his village. Hardly any checks/restrictions by police these days. Namesake Lockdown. Mentally getting prepared for resuming work. Though there is an exception for those with health issues to work from home, I am planning to resume work.

A lot of cases of heart attacks these days. People who are hypertensive or have had heart surgeries/ angioplasty seem to be affected a lot by the media propaganda that they are in the high risk population ,resulting in heart attacks. Can’t really pin point but surely the scare is definitely having an impact is my guess. A lot of men are unable to stay idle at home and would be frustrated, unlike women who have become busier during the lockdown.


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Lock-Down Dairies – 12 May 20 : Passenger trains restarted, Migrants moving from cities to their towns/villages during Lockdown , My mint harvest, Containers/pots made from empty plastic rice bags.

Several passenger trains started towards various cities from Delhi. Several citizens are stuck in other cities/towns during the lockdown and with this step they have some hope that they will finally reach their hometowns and meet their families. There are strict thermal screening tests at the Railway Station. Some of the destinations may insist on the passengers being quarantined but that would be next to impossible. Most like passengers will be told to self quarantine at their home for 14 days.

Meanwhile the number of COVID positive cases are continuing to rise while the number of positive cases that are recovering are also rising.

Mr Modi has addressed the nation and encouraged all to go local and be vocal. He also stressed on being self reliant. There is no other option but to go local and all countries eventually will do the same. That we should go ahead with building the economy while taking all precautions.

A lot of Migrants also moving to their hometowns by whatever means they can. They are even walking hundreds of kilometers. Unfortunately some have even lost their lives on the way.

Decided to harvest Mint leaves from my tiny garden. The easiet greens to grow by a beginner who wants to grow food is Mint leaves. Can be grown in very small spaces and in containers too.

I also made a short video on my Mint harvest. Here is the link –

There was no more space in my tiny garden to sow any more seeds. There was no way to buy some containers/pots too as none of the plant nurseries or online sites were delivering these items. Looked around the home so I can reuse/recycle some stuff and convert into containers, and came across some plastic rice bags.

Containers made with empty rice bags

I had red soil , sand , some cocopeat and manure and quickly took help of hubby to fill these emptly rice bags with this stuff. Before putting the soil I made small holes at the bottom of the bags.

Very happy to see these Lockdown Container s :). Am yet to decide what I will be sowing in these.

I am continuing to work from home and experiencing the busiest days in my life πŸ™‚ .

~ Om Shanti Shanti Shanti ~


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Lock-Down Dairies – 10 May 20 : Mother’s Day , Video on how I make Ash gourd juice , Lockdown Party with extended family , Mangoes from neighbours Mango tree

Today is Mother’s day . I usually meet Mom every year on this day and wish her. This year my parents are in the village as they had decided to stay back during the lockdown period.

” Love you Amma for always encouraging me and being a very strong pillar of support in my worst times, for giving me a second life in this life “

I decided to make a video on how I prepare my Ash gourd juice each morning. Had been drinking this juice since 15 Jan 20 but somehow was unable to make a video. Finally did it today πŸ™‚ .

Here is the link :

Here is my Breakfast for today:

I put carrots and coconut slices in the mixer grinder. I love the sweet taste and prefer this rather than eating them separately. Easier to chew too :).

My Sister and Brother live with their families very close by and we all haven’t met since the lockdown. We decided to have a Tea-party this evening. Each of us brought some snacks along with Tea and water melon juice.

I made ‘Pesara pongananu (Moong Dal fritters) using a Cast iron Paniyaram Pan, Chutney with Bengal gram and coconut, Watermelon juice and Tea.

Pesara ponganaalu in a cast iron Paniyaram pan

My Sister brought Bhelpuri and Mango Kesari and my SIL brought Samosas.

We had the get-together in our stilt floor which is totally open and used only for parking the cars and bikes. We started the party by sitting a little far from each other but very soon we all got closer to each other πŸ™‚

It was wonderful and we plan to have potluck lunch next Sunday.

There’s a huge Mango tree in our neighbours yard and a lot of branches are spread over our plot. Each year during this season we pluck the Mangoes that grow in our plot πŸ™‚ . Today we decided to pluck the mangoes and there were a lot of them. Shared them with my brother and Sister . These are the big juicy mangoes and we are going to ripen them naturally using a Jute bag. I also plan to slice a few mangoes, dry them in the sun and store them for future use in various curries. We call them ‘Mamidikaaya Orugulu’.

I also plan to make Mamidikaaya pulihora, Mamidikaaya pappu , Sambhar for my family.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful strong . God can be easily experienced in Mom’s Love.