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


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December musings-2021

At the fag end of this October, I dug out my sweaters ,washed them, and kept them ready for the upcoming winter.

The winter months here in Hyderabad start in November and last till February.

In Hyderabad,Β  we begin to feel the change in temperatures during Diwali; the date is usually at the end of October or early November. The weather suddenly changes from being wet to cold. During the past years ,I have also noticed that around Diwali,Β  the rainy season comes to an end with a light drizzle, and the eveningsΒ begin to get cooler.

This year , during Diwali and for several weeks after Diwali too, the weather was cloudy most of the time. However, there was no drizzle. And when the sky is cloudy , the weather is not  cold. The clouds trap the warmth from the earth, and so it was warm even when winter season had officially begun.

The ceiling fans in our home continue to be ON even today, whereas during the previous years ,I used to have the heater ON during the nights in December. This year, until now ,I didn’t feel the need to bring out the heater. We have a small portable heater that keeps the room warm all night when it gets cold. The day temperature here in Hyderabad usually hovers around 20 degrees Celsius, and at night, the minimum is around 12 degrees Celsius . These temperatures are actually quite comforting compared to the colder countries, where central heating is a must.

It is past mid-december now, and the temperatures are slowly dropping.

Winter is the only season during which I really enjoy cooking in the mornings. Nice to feel warm around the stove while cooking  breakfast and lunch πŸ˜€.

We ensure all the doors and windows are tightly shut all the time to keep the house warm. One problem due to this is that the smells from all the cooking get trapped inside the house, in spite of the chimney and exhaust fan being ON.

I spend at least an hour in our Balcony during the mornings and enjoy the warmth from the sun while sipping hot herbal tea. Our balcony faces east, and so the morning sun helps in getting some vitamin D.

Here is the view I get to see while I warm up in the morning.

I noticed a strange astral phenomenon during the winter months. The sun seems to rise in the East and seems to set in the South. This is a practical demonstration of the Earth being tilted at an angle from the north. India is in the Northern hemisphere .During winter months, the southern hemisphere is closer to the Sun, and the Northern hemisphere is away from the Sun. When the Earth rotates around itself in this position, the places in the Northern hemisphere experience this phenomenon where the Sun seems to rise in the East and sets in the South. Surely, our ancestors keenly observed this phenomena and concluded that the Earth is slightly tilted and also observed the differences in weather is due to the rotation and revolution of the Earth. Very interesting.

No wonder our ancestors were able to observe nature closely and discovered a lot about nature and the stars, they lived and worked closely with nature ;there were no tall buildings that blocked the view of the sky.

Hyderabadi winters are cold and dry, causing chapped skin . As a result, the skin cracks up and results in an itching sensation. It is important to keep the skin moist by using a moisturizer or by applying oil on the skin before taking a shower.

Winter also disturbs the immune system and causes coughs and colds. Nature bestows us with fruits that are high in vitamin C during the winter season and wants us to eat more of these.I love fruits and enjoy oranges, custard apples, strawberries , and Amla that I order on Farmizen. These are organically grown and are delicious.

Every December ,my memories take me back to December  2011, when I was admitted to Apollo hospital in Hyderabad for my BMT. Those memories are painful, and so I don’t like December.

It’s 10 years since, but the memories are still fresh.

I will pen down my thoughts and memories in my next post.

Till then, take care and stay safe !!


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Second day into my Sore throat issues

Night of Day 1:

Last night , my Bronchitis worsened and my throat was beginning to burn as I was coughing a lot.

Yesterday, my Ayurveda Doctor, advised me not to start nebulisation.

It was late night and I was unable to tolerate the breathlessness and burning throat.

So, I decided to take nebulisation and felt better this morning.

My condition this morning :

This morning at 8am I updated my Ayurveda Doctor on my condition. He advised me to start an antibiotic or take one Herbal tablet. However, I have not yet started these as I wanted to wait till evening.

My coughing episodes have reduced and soreness in the throat too has reduced. I was continuing to cough up some watery phlegm all morning.

I was in no mood to eat ,so I had papaya for breakfast.

I was feeling mild breathlessness throughout the morning but was able to manage. I continued to take the herbal cough syrup and Mishran powder every 6 hours.

My condition in the afternoon :

I had idli and sambar for lunch. Ordered from a restaurant. Felt nice to eat idli with hit sambar.

By afternoon, my breathing was getting tougher though coughing was much lesser. I decided to take nebulisation in the late afternoon. Felt very comfortable after the nebulisation.

For dinner I had Rice with Rasam. My taste buds have lost their sense of taste and Rasam is one dish that tastes good when one is sick. Rasam is sour,salty ,tangy and peppery. It is like a soup made with all healthy ingredients like pepper, cumin seeds, garlic, coriander seeds, turmeric powder tomatoes, tamarind/lemon juice ,curry leaves and coriander leaves. All these ingredients boost the immunity too. Most South Indians prefer this comforting food , rice with rasam, when they are sick.

It is 8pm now and I feel much better. Breathing is normal and cough has reduced too.

As of now ,I don’t see any reason to go for the COVID test.

Hopefully things are under control now.

Hope to sleep well tonight :).


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Down with Severe Sore throat after more than 2 years

How it started :

Just when I was celebrating my ongoing Root canal treatment ,I woke up this morning with discomfort in my throat. I immediately drank a concoction made with a powder that I always have at home. I always keep stock of this powder and consume it whenever I sense  some trouble in my throat. I get this Mishran powder from my Ayurveda Doctor.

The usual worry started as I began to think how I ended up with a sore throat. What might have triggered this. I have been successfully managing well for the last two years and never did it get this bad.

BTW my son caught a cold three days ago and I was constantly giving him Herbal remedies. Today is the third day and he has almost recovered.

Did I catch the bacteria/virus at the Dental clinic. This was precisely the reason why I was avoiding to visit the Dentist.  Was it at Starbucks , I hadn’t visited any eating place during the last two years.

Me and my son did a little cleaning at home a few days ago. We did wear masks while cleaning. All of us are allergic to house dust and do our best to keep the house dust free.

Was the dust ,after vacuuming, lingering inside the house and did we inhale that dangerous stuff or did I catch the virus from my son. I made sure I was nowhere close to him during the last two days.

Hmmm….whatever be the reason , it is here to stay πŸ™

Advise from my Ayurveda Doctor:

Called my Ayurveda Doctor and described my  symptoms. I asked him if I should go for a COVID test and he told me to wait for a day.

Whenever I have severe sore throat, I usually end up with  Bronchitis. I began coughing up watery phlegm and when I told about this ,he suggested a Herbal tonic. I was able to get this tonic from a local Ayurveda store

If the Bronchitis gets severe ,I will have to start taking nebulisation. I have a portable nebulizer at home. The doctor advised me not to start nebulisation yet.

It is 6pm now. Since morning I have been taking the  Concotion and the herbal tonic every 6 hours. Not feeling comfortable yet. The irritation in the throat continues.

Hoping there will be some improvement by end of the day.


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My Ayurveda Doctor, to me: According to me, you are Cancer Free !!

I have been taking Ayurveda Medication for Multiple Myeloma from my Ayurveda Doctor every month. I have been prescribed several types of medicines with different dosages during the day .

This month too my medicines were delivered , but I opened the parcel only after a few days of receiving it. You know the virus thing and not to touch parcels for a few days and leave them outside the door thingy πŸ™‚

When I opened the parcel I found that the required dosage of tablets/capsules was missing from a couple of medicines. I then messaged my Doctor informing the same. He said I should be reducing the dosage of medicines. I refused to accept what he said and said that I prefer to continue the same medication for ‘some more time’ .

He then said that I should reduce my dependence on Medicines and that I should be more confident and do meditation also.

I said OK and then …..

My Ayurveda Doctor : According to me, you are Cancer Free !!

I couldn’t believe those words. Those were some very precious words that any patient would love to hear from a Doctor. I was feeling overwhelmed and my eyes were welling up.

While it is true that my last test reports , few months ago , were all normal , I didn’t want to rush and reduce the dosage.

I do believe that my new ‘Natural Lifestyle’ along with Ayurveda is doing wonders for my body. I do feel good and able to manage most stuff on my own at home and at work too !! . I do get a lot of help from hubby and son πŸ˜›

Its been more than 5 years since I started taking Ayurveda Medication and No chemo since then.

And its been 5 months since I started following the Diet prescribed by ‘Natural Lifestyle’ . Surely the combination is working for me πŸ™‚

Thanks to the Almighty for showing me the right path.

I hope and wish more and more people give up wrong eating habits and spend more time on improving their health by eating wholesome food that comes directly from Mother Nature, by exercising, Meditation and most important to have a free mind by letting go , being grateful, by forgiving self and others , giving up resentment and being compassionate to all .

~Love U Life ~


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First COVID +ve case confirmed in my company followed by panic

The first COVID +ve case in my company was confirmed yesterday.Thousands of Employees and Non-Employees work in our company. The news spread like wildfire within minutes in all the different whatsapp groups. All the primary contacts of this person have been told to quarantine themselves at home.

Our HR department immediately convened a series a meetings and formed a few committees which will oversee such cases. Procedures to inform HR regarding sysmptoms, going for the test , quarantine for self and family , referrals to Panel hospitals etc were quickly decided and circulated on our Intranet.

Senior colleagues in my department met this morning to decide as to how we can restrict movement of others coming into our building. It was decided to put up a barricade at the Main door of the building and have the door manned so as to stop others from entering our building. The decision was implemented immediately and we heaved a sigh of relief. Glad that we have reduced the probability of the virus sneaking in.

I had always been wondering as to how people are get infected , in spite of taking all possible precautions. I got my answer today when I observerd a colleague taking of his mask while talking on the phone. I noticed that he touched his face several times during the conversation. After his talk ended , I told him my observations and he was surprised. I now have a clue as to how we are committing blunders …. purely by ignorance. Even the so called educated are not exempt from such blunders.

All my family and well wishers are worried for me and have been suggesting that I work from home . Unfortunately our HR doesnt permit WFH , as we are a manufacturing company. The maximum possible is to work in Shifts , so the workforce is staggered. But with thousands of people it is not practical.

The best we can do it to limit meeting coworkers , have very short conversations, not to remove the mask at any cost and keep sanitising the hands.

The Enemy has surrounded us. Have to be very cautious at every step. Quite possible that I might have touched the virus and then gave it a nice wash with the sanitizer πŸ™‚

Have to be overly cautious as I have comorbidities.

I still feel confident that I can defeat the enemy πŸ™‚


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My current Diet – “Natural Lifestyle”

I had mentioned about my new diet in one of my earlier posts. I am currently following the Diet recommended by an organisation named “Natural Lifestyle” .

I read all about the founder Shri Acharya Mohan Gupta and his Gurus. Watched a lot of videos on their youtube channel. I got convinced to follow the diet prescribed by him.

The diet recommends Intermittent fasting for 16 hours every day. Most of the food is eaten raw and only one meal during the whole day comprises of cooked food.

The diet is based on the belief that ” One who eats once a day is a Yogi, who eats twice a day is a Bhogi and who eats thrice a day is a Rogi “

In the above statement the food that is eaten is food that is cooked.

The aim is to eat just one cooked meal in a day and Raw food / juice during the other meal times.

This diet helps in cleansing the body and to treat diseases.

Here is my diet on any normal day :

Pre-Breakfast : 8 am – one glass of Ash gourd juice

Breakfast : 10am – A plateful of Raw vegetables with a few slices of coconut

Lunch : 1-2pm – 3 Composite Rotis with lots of vegetable curry

Dinner : 6-7pm – A plateful of fruits (any one type of fruit) with a few slices of raw coconut

This has been my diet for the last 5 months.

I do cheat once in a while and eat a little bit of regular food like rice with curry or vegetable fried rice or breakfasts like upma , dosa and junk food like noodles too πŸ™‚

I have lost a lot of weight after following this diet. My family and colleagues do comment on my appearance but I am happy as long as i am healthy.

I am able to carry out simple tasks like cooking , going to work and spend some time in my garden. Not doing much physical work .

So far so good.

It is a bit cumbersome to follow this diet as my diet is different from the diet of family and this requires more cooking time. Hubby and I plan our meals and so we are comfortable.

Very difficult to control the senses of taste and smell :). There are times when I feel, what is life if I am unable to eat all that I would like to. But I console myself that i have to do anything and everything to stay alive and this keeps me motivated to continue this diet πŸ™‚

~


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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 – 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 – 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.