Shutterbug's Blog

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


Leave a comment

Status update on my MM : 23 Jan 2018

Been a while since I updated my status wrt MM.

Got the CBP , LFT and RFT tests done a couple of days ago.

All renal parameters are fine. Potassium , Glucose , TLC are also within normal ranges.

ESR : 51 ( This is expected , 0-20 is the normal range)

Hb : 10.6 (was 11 in November 2017 )

Globulin Serum : 4.0 (increased from 3.8 in November, normal values are between 1.8 and 3.6 )

This is a cause of concern.

Spoke to my Ayurvedic Doctor who felt there is nothing to be worried about. However I am not comfortable and asked him if I can increase the dosage to 3 capsules three times a day. He actually wants to reduce my dosage if possible. But I am not yet comfortable reducing the dosage right now.

I have been observing a little dip in my energy levels and was also feeling cranky during the last one month.

I had been taking 3 caps of Curcumin for almost 2 and half years since May 2015. All was well during this period and hence a few months back I was put on Turmeric. But the tests in November 2017 revealed that Globulin Serum increased to 3.8 . I was back on Curcumin 500mg 2 Capsules three times a day in December 2017. With the latest reports I feel the dosage of Curcumin has to be further increased .

Glad he agreed and I am back to my original dosage of 3 capsules of Curcumin 500mg three times a day. I will continue to take Ashwagandha , Tinospora Cordifolia , Satavari along with Curcumin . I am hopefull that my counts will jump back to normal very soon.

I shared the reports of my results with a confidante at work. She knows a lot about me and my style of working and feels that I have been exerting myself at work and it is better that I slow down a bit ūüôā . Will do something about this .

In my next set of tests after a month I will be including tests for Vit D , B12 , Uric acid and Calcium levels.

That’s all for now.

Time to take loong deeep breaths and relax :))


Leave a comment

Recalling Memories of Dec 2011

memories

It has been 6 years since I underwent Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma. It was in Dec 2011 when I was ushered into an isolated , sterilised , spic and span room where I would spend 15 days all alone.

A room where I would be reborn ūüôā , where my healthy Stem cells would be put back into my bloodstream which in turn would produce fresh and pure blood cells.

I spent Christmas (2011) and the New year(2012) in this room . I had the company of Doctors , Nurses and housekeeping staff who were like family and I would look forward to meet them and chat with them.

Felt too weak to sit by the huge glass window which overlooked the front porch of the building . I had to take the help of a nurse to take a short walk around the room.

Spent my waking hours watching my favorite shows on TV. I kept switching between Cooking , Travel and Religious channels .

Each morning my blood samples were taken and I eagerly looked forward to the reports which would arrive in a couple of hours . The counts of various blood cells would reveal how well my Stem cells were functioning.

A lot of yummy food would be served but it was difficult for me to swallow as my digestive system went on a strike ūüôā

I patiently waited for each day to pass. My doctor promised me that he will send me home for Sankranti (a Hindu harvest festival which is celebrated around Mid of January every year ).

Since then , each year around December/Jan , I become nostalgic .

I made a lot of resolutions during those days ūüôā , all that I would do and not do. I have been quite successful with most of the do’s and don’ts ūüôā

Feeling very blessed and grateful as another memorable year is passing.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

A write-up on ‘Evidence Based Ayurveda Treatment & Diet for Cancer’ by Dr Nitin Kochar, M.D , Ayurveda

Here is an informative write-up by Dr Nitin , M.D. Ayurveda . I have been consulting Dr Nitin and taking his Medication since more than two and half years for Multiple Myeloma.

Thanks to his advise and medication I am free from Chemo since one and half year.

——————————————————————————————

Here is the link to the article :

https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/evidence-based-ayurveda-treatment-diet-for-cancer-30780/post

In the writeup , Dr Nitin has written all about the root cause of Cancer and how Ayurveda can help in combating the disease. He also answers some of the FAQs on Chemotherapy  Vs Ayurveda.

Here it is –

Frequently asked queries ?

1)¬†Are there any steroids in the Herbal medicines –¬†No, we do not do such kind of unscrupulous or non ethical practice. My drugs can be tested and subjected to any kind of test for that matter.¬†

2) Are these drugs safe during Chemotherapy- There are certain reports, published in good journals, which has proven good effect of chemotherapy when combined with herbal treatment. ( Care to be taken that herbal treatment should be of standardized quality and should not be given on the day of injectable chemotherapy, rest it can be given. It also depends of stage and type of the cancer, so final decision to be taken only after discussing every pros and cons) . There are various clinical studies indicating that if standardized herbal preparations of Curcumin, Ashwagandha are given along with chemotherapy, results are better. Many chemo resistant cancers respond very well when supplemented with Curcumin , Ashwagandha & Tinospora cordifolia. 

3) Can herbal therapy replace or avoid chemotherapyРNo, one should follow complete modern protocol as it is. Herbal treatment is mainly given to as chemo adjuvant to improve the immunity and mitochondrial function as stated above.

4)¬†Can Ayurveda treatment avoid surgery and radiation-¬†All of you will be surprised to read the fact that, in Ayurveda, which was written 3000 years B.C., it is clearly mentioned that, first line of treatment of Cancer is to surgically remove it and then to ” Burn” the margins, this concept is similar to today’s modern protocol of Surgery followed by Radiation. So any tumor , if operable, should be removed promptly by an expert Onco-Surgeon.¬†

5) What is Chemo prevention ?  This term was coined by Dr Michel Sporm, in 1976. Chemopreventives are the drugs, natural or Synthetic , which have potential to Reverse , Suppress and or Prevent further growth of cancer. I advise various such Chemopreventive herbs and ways to many normal people and also to cancer patients.

 

———————————————————————————————–

I am extremely grateful to Dr Nitin and wish that many more will benefit from his expertise.

In my Blog I have chronicled my journey , experience and progress with Alternative Treatment.

 

~~ Have a good Day !!

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Curcumin : Availability and its affordability by Common man

A lot of research has been carried out on the efficacy of Curcumin for treating various types of Cancers. There are several evidences from all over the world that prove the positive results of using Curcumin . Curcumin is being widely used for treating different Cancers. Not just Cancers but various other chronic  illnesses too.

curcumin caps

I have been using Curcumin capsules for Multiple Myeloma ,since last two and half years with good results .  Been off Chemo since more than one and a half years , on the advise of my Oncologist. I get Curcumin supplements from my Ayurvedic Doctor.  Usually patients are recommended a maximum dosage of around 8gm of Curcumin per day whereas I have been taking 3.5 gms of Curcumin per day. A single capsule of Curcumin , from most brands , contains 400mg of Curcumin extract . I take 3 capsules , thrice a day.

There are several brands selling Curcumin ,which can be bought online. Curcumin supplements are expensive and are out of reach to common man .

There is no way that information about  the healing properties of Curcumin  is known to common man. Most may come across unauthenticated self proclaimed healers or quacks who trap patients .

A lot of information is available on the Internet ,which is accessible only to those who are literate and have belief in Alternative treatments.

Most patients simply give up and accept their fate as soon as they are diagnosed.  The family members/caregivers too fall into the trap thinking it is a one way highway to heaven.

India is one of the largest growers of Turmeric, from which Curcumin is extracted. It is good to know that Turmeric/Curcumin is getting exported and is being sold/consumed all over the world for its medicinal properties.. Unfortunately Indians themselves are not aware of the potency of Turmeric. Though Turmeric is used in almost all recipes in most parts of India, the quantity used is very small and due to its low absorb-ability, the benefits are not being exploited. It is mostly being used as a colouring agent rather than for its medicinal properties. However, it is a fact that the number of cancer patients in India is much less compared to other countries due to regular consumption of Turmeric via their diet.

I began using plain Turmeric after reading a blog by one Ms Margaret from Italy. I was inspired by her success story and started taking Turmeric (higher quantities) from my own kitchen . What followed is an exciting journey which I have chronicled in this blog.

Need of the hour is to give wide publicity so that general public is made aware of the potency of Turmeric in preventing and treating this dreadful disease and other chronic diseases too. Quantity of Turmeric has to be increased in our recipes. Not the store bought turmeric powder but that which is prepared at home from the dried Turmeric root. This  would help a lot in prevention of such diseases.

Extraction of Curcumin from Turmeric involves a complex chemical process . Also Curcumin comprises only 5% of the weight of a Turmeric Root.

The government should subsidize Curcumin so that common man can afford.

It pains a lot  when I  hear that a patient has lost the battle .

If only they had the hope to live and not give up,

If only they were aware of Alternative treatments ,

If only they knew about Curcumin,

If only they had faith in the potency of Curcumin,

If only they had access to a good Ayurvedic practitioner,

If only they could afford it,

they would have been well and alive.

Unfortunately there are too many if’s , which is not a good sign. Too many lives lost in spite of having a solution ūüė¶

As of now , I am able to share my experience  through this blog.

I also share my experience via a Whataspp group which has members who are Cancer Patients / caregivers.

My Oncologist is aware that I am using Curcumin . I requested him to suggest Curcumin to his other patients as well. He himself had recommended Tinospora Cordifolia to me after my Stem Cell Transplant , 6 years ago . This is a natural herb which improves immunity and I continue  taking  this .

I also share my experience with others who are eager to listen and are interested in knowing more about my healing experience.

NGOs can help in spreading the information about Turmeric/Curcumin and should also be able to supply Turmeric/Curcumin to patients who cannot afford.

I am looking forward to the day when everyone is aware of the healing properties of Turmeric/Curcumin and is affordable by one and all .

There is simply no reason why so many lives should be lost.

Most important : It is highly recommended to increase the consumption of Turmeric through the diet, thereby  preventing and managing most of the chronic illnesses.

 


Leave a comment

An update on my condition – Multiple Myeloma

It’s been 4 months since my Oncologist told me that I was ‘Technically Cured’of MM. ( I underwent Stem Cell Transplant also known as Bone Marrow Transplant in Jan 2012)
He had told me to meet him again after one year. I couldn’t believe what I heard. I had a question mark on my face and said ‘One year , Doctor ?’ and he repeated what he said.

Isn’t that the best thing to hear ūüôā .

I had got used to getting CBP, LFT and RFT tests done every month and sometimes once in three months in the last few years, along with a Bone Marrow test every 6 months.

And so, in the back of my head there was this question , what if something goes wrong during this one year. One year is a looong time . I expected he would tell me to get a few tests done regularly like CBP, LFT, RFT and to meet him only if any of the parameters were out of range. But he didn’t say any of that.

In my head I was telling myself that I will get these tests done anyway, even if my Oncologist didn’t tell me to.

So here I am , I just got these tests done after 4 months and the results are out.
Here are the current values of some of the important parameters :
Hb : 11.2 (11 – 16)
Creatinine : 1.0 (0.6 – 1.0)
Globulin Serum : 3.8 (1.8 – 3.6)
ESR : 60 (0-20)

I don’t intend to meet my Oncologist with the reports as I didn’t find too much abnormality in the reports nor any change in my general health condition.

I sent my reports via whatsapp to my Ayurvedic doctor. He felt the numbers were normal . I expressed my concern about ESR being high and was told that it will not reduce so soon. There were times when the ESR value was much lesser , around 30 sometimes. High ESR implies greater inflammation in the body. Will work on that.

He wanted to reduce my curcumin intake from 3 caps / 3 times a day to 2 caps / 3 times a day ( Each capsule contains 400 mg of curcumin) . This is actually good news. My doctor has more confidence on me than I have in myself .¬†But , I was not ready and in no hurry to reduce the dosage¬† , so told him I would like to continue 3 caps/ 3 times a day for few more months. So glad he agreed ūüôā . I still feel like depending on Curcumin for some more time.

Some day I should be off Curcumin too and I am looking forward to the day when I will be 100% independent of any kind of support . The day when my mind and my body will be in sync :))

That’s all for now.
Will get the tests done again after another 4 months.

Life will go on while Fasting , Pranayama, Meditation , Diet , Exercise will continue to be a priority.

happiness

 

~Sarve Janaha Sukhino Bhavanthu ~

 


Leave a comment

Shakti , Mitochondria, Energy , Mother , Health , Fasting and Cancer

The words in the title don’t seem to be related in any way , isn’t it !?¬† ūüôā

Let me attempt to explain how all of these are very much interrelated. Get ready to recall some Biology lessons from your school days ūüôā

Each cell in the Human body consists of several Organelles and one of them is¬†Mitochondria¬†. These are known as the powerhouses of the cells. Woww , sounds like Thermal Power stations or Nuclear Power stations isn’t it !!? And our body is a Power Grid !! ūüôā

Mitochondrial_dna_lg

It is these little things inside the cell which convert the food that we eat into Energy. This  Energy is used by the Cell to carry out its functions efficiently.

Hope you also remember reading that a cell contains a Nucleus which in turn consists of the DNA . But, did you know that Mitochondria have their own DNA too … This is News to me tooo ūüôā . The biggest surprise is that Mitochondria is originally a Bacteria . The Mitochondria invaded a normal cell and started a Symbiotic relationship. This was how the complex multi-cellular organisms including human beings evolved. Sounds unbelievable and interesting . Anyway, this is a different subject altogether.

matrix

Now comes the most interesting part. It has been scientifically proved that the Mitochondria in the cell comes from the Mother and not from the Father. Let’s see how that happens .The Mitochondria from the Father disintegrates as soon as the zygote is formed by the fusion of the Sperm and the Egg .In effect , all the Mitochondria currently existing in the world is from the Female Gender. Isn’t this amazing .

Permit me to digress a little.

In the Hindu culture , a Goddess (feminine form) is worshiped and is referred to as ‘Shakti’. Shakti¬† is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘Energy’. Fasting is an important part of worshiping¬† Goddess Shakti during various Hindu festivals. The Goddess is fondly addressed by most Hindus as Mother .

Let’s come back to Mitochondria. These Mitochondria are susceptible to damage due to various reasons. Thus , the efficiency of the Cell is affected leading to several illnesses including Cancer. One of the major causes of Mitochondrial damage is Medication. Medications like Analgesics, psychotropic medications , Statins, Antibiotics etc damage the DNA of Mitochondria. There are other reasons too… like inflammatory diet, stress etc

Thankfully there are ways to repair and Boost the efficiency  of Mitochondria, thereby improving our health.

  1. Fasting 
  2. Exercise
  3. Sun Exposure 
  4. Eating more Fat and protein , less of Carbs (Ketogenic Diet)
  5. Meditation
  6. Avoiding inflammatory foods like Maida (All purpose flour)
  7. Reducing Stress

Just after the recent Navratri festival,  my Ayurvedic Doctor had sent me a message about how Mitochondria is linked to Shakti/Energy, to Fasting during Navratri and worshipping of Mother Goddess  . The festival lasts 10 days during which Goddess Shakti is worshiped .

This was a revelation to me .

———————————————————————————————

Here is the entire message sent by Dr Nitin Kochar, M.D, Ayurveda :

Why to worship Durga or aadi shakti ? 
(Ancient wisdom with modern science)
For survival We all need a constant supply of energy, which is produced in our cells. Whatever food we eat, is converted by our cellular bio-fire into  energy, which is stored in the form  called ATP. 
This ATP is produced by Mitochondria ( cellular biofire) 
Our every cell is enriched with this Mitochondria and they are in abundance in our digestive and muscular system. 
Surprisingly all these Mitochondria are transferred to us through our Mother only as paternal Mitochondria are immediately destroyed after fertilization. 
So our Mother is the source of providing us energy . Hence we should be thankful to her and worship her. 
The best treatment to improve the functioning of Mitochondria is to do intermittent fasting or to consume limited quantity of satvik aahar. So in these nine days one should observe fast and consume only fruits and milk . 
As per the latest research , dysfunctional Mitochondria is the root cause of Cancer. And those who are doing intermittent fasting through out their life , they have very less or remote chances of getting cancer.  
Remember healthy Mitochondria is the  prime requisite of Good and robust  health. 
So worship and respect your Mother. Follow the ancient wisdom of fasting or eating controlled diet of satvik aahar to keep yourself fit. 
————————————————————————————–

Pious Hindus also fast during other days like Ekadasi (the 11th day of waxing and waning moon) . That would be twice a month.

Cow Ghee (clarified butter) is an important ingredient in the preparation of Prasadam (food  offered to the Deities) . It is good fat. As per Ayurveda , there are 60 health benefits of consuming Cow Ghee and hence it is recommended to eat Ghee everyday.

In spite of being a Hindu I had always doubted Hindu Rituals and customs since I was a kid . Whereas most of such rituals and customs have health and hygiene as the underlying principles .  There are a lot of folks who are attempting to revive such customs by interpreting in a scientific way. The western world is taking cues from  Eastern traditions , is experimenting and confirming what was already known and in use in the Hindu way of life since thousands of years.

I always wondered as to why I perennially felt lethargic and was highly susceptible to Chronic cold, cough and Bronchitis attacks. I had no option but to take antibiotics each time. This cycle kept repeating once every two months till I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. I now realize that my Mitochondria were severely damaged by all the Antibiotics which resulted in Cancer.

Hopefully one can now appreciate how all these words are connected and make sense.

So thankful to my Ayurvedic Doctor for enlightening me.

One need not accept or worship Goddess Shakti or know about Mitochondria to realize how important it is to ensure that our Mitochondria and thereby our body is healthy .  Just follow the above methods and stay healthy.

Durga-mata

Shubham Bhooyaath !!

 


Leave a comment

Change in Complexion of the skin due to Chemotherapy 

A young woman from Kerala, India , came across my blog a few months ago. Her Mom is taking Chemotherapy along with Ayurvedic Medication , for Multiple Myeloma. I had received a private message from her and we exchanged information over the phone.

A few days ago she messaged me on whatsapp and asked if my complexion had changed because of taking Ayurvedic medication. We had discussed about my Ayurvedic Medication too during our previous chats.

I then told her that the change is not because of Ayurvedic Medication but due to Chemo.

Here is my own experience :

After my Bone Marrow Transplant for Multiple Myeloma¬† in Jan 2012, I came home and looked at myself in a full length mirror. I just couldn’t believe what I saw . I was horrified. I almost felt ashamed of my appearance. I lost 10 kgs weight and my skin was much darker. I was definitely glad and excited to be back home , alive ūüôā . None of my family members including my little nieces and nephews , uttered a word about my appearance :). I still wonder why they didn’t . Poor things would not have even recognized¬†me. I was bald , wearing a scarf , with a dark complexion and had lost a lot of weight.¬†

There was a small mirror in my room at the hospital but somehow I didn’t notice that the skin was turning darker day by day. I was in the hospital for 20 days and the other side effects overpowered this effect on my skin ūüôā .¬†

During the next visit to my Oncologist I asked about my complexion too, among many other queries. I was told that I should not be surprised if my nails start turning black very soon. He told me that my skin is reacting to UV light and I can try and avoid being in places with lot of light. Whereas I wanted to get some Vitamin D by exposing  my skin to the Sun . This was more important to me for strengthening my bones. The complexion thing was a very minor issue among the other issues that I was experiencing just after the BMT.  I just wanted to be alive.

Over a few months the complexion lightened just a bit . The whole nail did not grow to  a dark shade but I had one or two stripes of a dark shade on the nails . The nails slowly got back to normalcy but I can still see a pale grey stripe on a couple of nails even now.

It was only after I stopped all Chemo and started Ayurvedic Medication that my complexion slowly got lighter. I stopped Chemo in Feb 2016 . I guess I am 50% back to my original complexion now.

I really don’t know if everyone who takes Chemo for Multiple Myeloma has this side effect.

 

Finally , it is important to be grateful that one is alive and nothing else matters . Work towards improving your Health , mentally and physically. Have patience and read success stories of  other patients , yes there are several of them all over the world. 

the secret