Shutterbug's Blog

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


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Update on my Bone Marrow Biopsy – M Band not seen !! 23 June 2018

It is one year since I got a Bone Marrow test done.

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I was diagnosed with MM in Oct 2011 and underwent Stem Cell Transplant in Jan 2012. Since then I have been doing the  Bone Marrow Test every six months. In June last year ie June 2017 ,  my Oncologist told me to come back for the test after a year !!. Once a patient crosses five years after a Stem Cell Transplant , the Bone Marrow Test is done once a year. That was the second best thing that happened to me. The best thing to have happened was in Feb 2016 when my Oncologist said I could stop taking Chemo Medications 🙂 .

I have been taking Ayurvedic medications since more than three years and the results are good.

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The Bone marrow sample was taken last week. Reports usually take around 5-6 days . I had been a little nervous while I was waiting for the Reports , though I was confident that all will be fine.

While I was in touch with the Hospital to check if the BMA Reports were ready , I was surprised to see a whatsapp message from my Oncologist after 5 days.

He sent me the Report via whatsapp !! There was no comment from him.

I opened the pdf document and quickly scanned for the words ” M Band ” or ” M Spike”, while my heart was racing. I did find the words ” M Band not seen ” .

Yayyy !!

There was a BIG smile on my face and I immediately called Dr Suresh.

He said ‘Everything is OK’ .

I said ‘Thank You Doctor , when can I meet you’.

He said ” what for ?”

I said ‘I would like to meet you’ 🙂

I then shared the Report via whatsapp with Dr Nitin , Ayurveda . He immediately called me.

He was very happy with what the Reports said.

Met Dr Suresh this morning .

He said ‘we don’t need to do the Bone Marrow Test from now on’. 

That is the greatest thing anyone like me would love to hear 🙂

I blurted ‘What Doctor, how can we stop?!!’

He said ‘just do the Electrophoresis test once every six months. As long as there is no M Band , there is no need to do a Bone Marrow Test’

I was happy with that advise.

Wow , no more piercing of my Sternum. 🙂

He then asked me if I had any other problems.

I asked him if Neuropathy is permanent and was happy to hear that it is reversible and no where it is written that it is permanent.

Sounds good but there has not been any improvement in my condition in all these years.

To alleviate my Neuropathy he recommended Pregabalin instead of Renerve which was advised by a Physician. Renerve does help but my B12 levels are exceeding the limits which not good either. Will try the Pregabalin tablets.

He then told me there are four new drugs for managing MM , with lesser side effects , one of them being Neuropathy. He also said that Bortizomib , the drug that I used , causes Neuropathy. This is good news . 

Its more than three years since I started taking Ayurvedic Medication from Dr Nitin and almost two and half years since I stopped taking Chemo medications. Dr Nitin now wants to reduce my curcumin dosage . However I don’t wish to hurry and plan to reduce gradually.

I also sent my report to Dr Gayatri, who was diagnosed with MM way back in 2002 . She has been a guiding and inspirational force for me since last three years. She had introduced Dr Nitin , Ayurveda to me. She hasn’t been taking Allopathy nor Ayurvedic medications since last several years and is doing well.

When I asked her how she Manages , she tells me that regular Pranayama , Yoga and Meditation do help in healing.

Felt so good talking to the Brave lady who oozes a lot of Energy. She is a God send.

Dr Nitin too had reiterated that Exercise, Pranayama, Yoga and Meditation can correct DNA problems. He insisted that I should be consistent with these practices.

Right now my highest priority is Pranayama, Yoga and Meditation along with Ayurvedic medication , proper diet and regular fasting.

Time to celebrate !!


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Raw Turmeric Vs Turmeric powder

I am in love with Turmeric, the Golden spice. A lot of research has been done on the health benefits of Turmeric and a lot of people the world over are experiencing positive results.

My being alive on this planet is primarily due to Turmeric.

Turmeric is widely being used to treat several illnesses from minor to major chronic illnesses of the body and the mind. There is a lot of information on the Internet.

Everyone is aware that prevention is better than cure but how many actually take the effort to be healthy.  We don’t even know what to do to prevent illnesses. With the kind of diet and pollution levels ,most people should be worried about ending up with some kind of illness, but are clueless as to how to prevent.

By consuming Turmeric we can greatly reduce and even delay the probability of occurrence of illnesses.

Almost all Indians consume Turmeric via their food . Turmeric powder is one of the key ingredients in most Indian recipes. However , the quantity and quality of the Turmeric powder that is used should be increased so as to get the maximum benefit.

Turmeric can be used in the form of a powder or as raw turmeric. It is preferable to use Raw Turmeric .

The store bought powders may be adulterated. It is best to prepare the powder at home using dried Turmeric root. First crush the root into smaller pieces and then grind it in your mixer grinder.

It is best if you can get hold of raw Turmeric root. You can also grow it in your garden.

Here is a link that tells you why –

https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-queries/7-reasons-why-raw-turmeric-maybe-better-than-powder#rawturmeric

This website has a lot of information on the health benefits of Turmeric.

Hope you too will benefit from this Golden spice.


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Recipe for Treating Cancer

All of us have come across mails/posts via mails/social media about effective methods to treat Cancer. Being a patient myself and having researched the Internet for a cure , I wanted to share my thoughts on these remedies .

Once a person is diagnosed with cancer and the word spreads , they receive suggestions from family, friends , colleagues and other well wishers about various Alternative treatments.

It is up to the individual to believe in the methods that are being followed by other patients to heal themselves. Once they have faith in these treatments , they can choose from the available options based on their conviction and then follow those particular remedies. There is no single recipe that is suitable or preferred by all.

Several ingredients are available to make a great Recipe to treat Cancer. Here are some that I would like to share from my own experience :

  • Avoid sugar
  • Exercise/Yoga
  • Reduce consumption of carbohaydrates like Maida / All purpose flour .All bakery products to be eliminated from the diet.
  • Avoid acidic foods and increase intake of alkaline foods : More of fruits and vegetables and less of meat , caffeine etc
  • Drinking lemon juice
  • Drinking wheat grass juice
  • Doing pranayama : Systematic Deep breathing
  • Meditate
  • Take Herbal supplements like ashwagandha and curcumin (very effective)
  • Eat lots of immunity boosting foods.
  • Reduce stress
  • Getting more of the sunshine vitamin (vitamin D) : check your Vitamin D levels and take supplements as advised by your physician and increase your exposure to the sun.
  • Check your Vitamin B12 levels and take supplements if required.
  • Include probiotics : Include Curd / Yoghurt in the diet
  • Juicing
  • Fasting
  • Replace refined oils with cold pressed oils
  • Use clarified butter . Also known as Ghee . Cow Ghee is the best.
  • Avoid all processed foods.
  • Stop drinking and smoking.
  • Respect every Cell and Organ in your body .
  • Forgive yourself , forgive others, love yourself.
  • Learn to say NO.
  • Pursue a hobby.
  • Read success stories on the Internet.
  • Subscribe to some motivational and fun stuff on various social media on the Internet.
  • Be Grateful for what you are blessed with.

Choose from the above as per your convenience and belief. Read up on the Internet about those which appeal to you. Follow the method strictly.

Continue your Chemo medication along with the above.

I have been doing my best to follow all the above.

It is all about maintaining a Healthy Body and Mind by eliminating foods that feed Cancer cells and including foods that help in the Apoptosis (destruction) of the Cancer cells.

Have faith and hope that you will get healed.

And Lo ! you will get healed.

With all the available methods there is no reason why any form of cancer cannot be eliminated from this planet. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should lose the battle.

 

“If you think you can or you think you can’t , you are always Right – Henry Ford “.

 

 


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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 !?  🙂

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

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 !! 🙂

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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 🙂 . 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.

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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 .

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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. 
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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 !!

 


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Treat Cancer – Yes, you can !

I had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma ( a form of Blood Cancer) Five and half years ago.

I have come across many articles on how to ‘Manage’ the condition.

Here is nice compilation that I received from a WhatsApp group .

I do believe and have been practicing most of what is recommended in this compilation and hence wanted to share.

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AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY (‘TRY’, BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY .. 
Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins: 

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body.. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size. 

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime. 

3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors. 

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, but also to environmental, food and lifestyle factors. 

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet to eat more adequately and healthy, 4-5 times/day and by including supplements will strengthen the immune system. 

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc., and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc. 

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs. 

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size.However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction. 

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications. 

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply. 
*CANCER CELLS FEED ON: 
         a. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color . Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt. 

       b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus.. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells are being starved. 

        c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer. 

       d.. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).. 

       e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it. 

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup. 

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells. 

14. Some supplements build up the immune system.

(IP6, Flor-essence , Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells.. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells. 

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Be a forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

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Please share the above with those who can benefit.


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Update on my Condition – Multiple Myeloma

It is 3 months since I had my Bone marrow test .My results were -ve , No M-spike was seen.However , my Oncologist wanted me to be back with my CBP , LFT and RPT reports after 3 months. I actually expected he would say  I can come back after one year 🙂 but he didn’t want to take any risk. So I complied. I remember him saying that after 5 years of having the Transplant (Bone marrow Transplant) , I will have to take the Bone Marrow Test once every year. For the past 5 years I have been doing the test every 6 months .

My Hb touched 11 for the first time in decades. The range for a healthy woman as per my report is 11-14. This is an achievement !! A record break !!

Yayyyy !!

My Globulin Serum too is 34 which is well within the range. A bigger achievement !!

He was very happy on seeing the reports 🙂  and exclaimed ‘you are off all medication isn’t it ?!!’.

I said “Yes Doctor, but I am continuing to take Curcumin and I am sure it is helping me “.

It is one year since I stopped chemo and taking only Ayurvedic medication.

He then asked me , “Do you think  people should go for a Bone Marrow Transplant”.

I was confused.

I immediately said “yes,  there is no other option “.

I then reminded him about the advise he gave me , after my Bone Marrow Transplant (in Jan 2011)  , about using “Tinaspora Cordifolia” , to improve my immunity. Later on , it was this advise that motivated me to look for alternative treatments and I finally found the way.

Having started using Curcumin 2 years ago ,followed by good results , I had been very eager to push Curcumin  and I wanted my Oncologist to prescribe Curcumin along with Tinaspora Cordifolia to all his other patients.In fact, I started using Curcumin, two years ago, just when I was advised to go for a second Bone marrow transplant .

The right time had arrived and I blurted out ” Doctor , you can also recommend Curcumin to other patients. I have read a lot on the Internet and it prevents and treats all types of cancers.My ayurvedic doctor gives me Tinaspora Cordifolia too ,along with Curcumin and some other herbs”

He nodded and  I felt relieved that I finally said what I wanted to say :))

It is a delicate situation wherein a patient suggests an Allopathic Doctor to prescribe Ayurvedic Medication to his other patients . I am so glad that my Oncologist is open to try out other forms of treatment and encourages his patients.

Hopefully more patients will benefit and will be encouraged to try ayurveda , the way I did.

My sincere thanks to Dr Kochar, Ayurveda and Dr Suresh , Oncologist.

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My ‘Life Support System’

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I wouldn’t be treading this beautiful planet if it weren’t for some special people in my life to whom I will be forever indebted.

My Oncologist , a thorough  gentleman always positive and encouraging . When I had questions he would patiently explain in detail. Made the ASCT ( Autologous Stem Cell Transplant) process appear very simple which helped me go ahead with confidence. I completely surrendered to him He continues to support me while I try alternative therapies.
My parents who had sleepless nights and helped me recover from the terrible after effects of chemo. At times I would be so irritated with the discomfort that I would push away the glass of drink that my dad offered to me.
I am so sorry Nanna.
Love you Amma , Nanna .

Hubby makes sure I have all the medicines at all times …reminds me when I am due for the blood tests,fixes an appointment with the doctor. I don’t have to think when my next blood tests are due. Took care of me like a baby , feeding and giving medications on time when I was admitted in the hospital before and after the Transplant. His highly disciplined military style ensures that everything happens on dot 🙂  Nurses can relax  when he is around 🙂 He has been very patient all the while and continues to bear with my grumpiness till date.My son too bears with my erratic behavior .

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I am so grateful to my organisation that bore all the expenses for the Transplant.
My colleagues at work have been super accommodating. I would go to work but did not have the energy to take up any tasks…they just patiently waited for me to bounce back.Initially it was very difficult for me to sit for 10 hrs every day including travelling. No one ever made me feel that I was sick. They didn’t shun me nor avoided me, which is what I had expected. I was part of all the events and occasions. Such wonderful people they are.Once I had  bounced back I started volunteering for more assignments and now I am also made responsible for some important tasks in the organisation.

I also have good domestic help to take care of the household chores. To take care of cooking and cleaning and to drive me to work everyday. May God bless them.

I am also being taken care of by Mother nature which is nourishing me through the various leaves, seeds and roots of medicinal plants. I have also surrendered myself to my Ayurvedic doctor who is treating me with various herbs.

There are also a few good online friends who keep me going with their encouraging words.

How can I not mention the invisible spiritual guidance which is supporting me all the while. Without which I would have given up the fight long ago.

A disease like Cancer requires hell of a lot of support from all directions and from within.

How many are blessed with this kind of support system. It pains me a lot to see the suffering that people are going through and are giving up due to various reasons. A lot more has to be done quickly by  medical research. Oncologists and hospitals should treat patients with a holistic approach by including counselling sessions to the patients and  their caregivers.Alternative therapies should be a part of the treatment.

Feeling blessed.

  ~~Lokaan Samasthaan Sukhino Bhavanthu~~