Shutterbug's Blog

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


Leave a comment >

My day begins with a hot yummy drink made with two magical spices namely Ginger and Cinnamon.

I would like to share the recipe to prepare this yummy elixir.

Ingredients : (for one serving)

wp-image-894815334

  •     One inch piece of Ginger
  •     1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  •     Few drops or more of lemon (as per your taste)
  •     1-2 tsp of honey
  •     Water 250ml

Roughly crush the ginger and add it to the water. Add cinnamon powder. Let the mixture boil for 5 mins.

wp-image-910106072

Strain the water .

Add honey and lemon juice into the glass.

wp-image-1220504811 wp-image-1918023618

A right mix of lemon juice and honey , as per your taste, can enhance the yumminess of the drink, making you want more of it 🙂

Enjoy your yummy and healthy drink !!

wp-image-1222151810

Both Ginger and Cinnamon are rich in antioxidants which eliminate free radicals in the body. They also reduce inflammation in the body . Inflammation is the major cause of most illnesses.

Most foods available these days are in processed form which are very unhealthy and are acidic in nature.

It is very important that the body is maintained in an alkaline state by consuming more foods that are alkaline in nature.

Ginger and Cinnamon are alkaline and increase the alkalinity of our body.

Several lifestyle diseases can be avoided by intake of foods which are alkaline, are high in antioxidants ,which  reduce inflammation in the body and increase immunity in the body.

Having a warm liquid first thing in the morning also does a whole lot of good to our digestive system.

Do include more fruits and veggies in your diet , to maintain an alkaline state in the body.


Leave a comment >

Without a Dad, there is no Birth.

This Father’s day , I would like to share an important role that my Dad has played in my Rebirth too.

Five years ago, I was living in denial and was devastated when I was getting hints from many angles that I was diagnosed with Cancer. No one in my family spoke about it openly and neither did I have the courage to ask directly nor did I dare to see my reports.

I knew that Mom was unaware of my condition. Dad had told her that it was a condition that can be treated. That I will be getting the best treatment which is called Stem Cell Transplant. He bore all the pain himself , unable to share with Mom , not knowing whether she would be able to accept the situation. Poor Dad.

I was in a confused state.

I told myself that I should not cry , that I should appear very normal and not talk about it. I went to work . But I was walking around like a dead person. Everyone in my family , hubby, siblings appeared very normal and made me feel very comfortable.

One of those days , before my Transplant,  I broke down in front of my Dad. I didn’t dare to do that in my Mom’s presence.

The Golden words that Dad spoke to me at that time were ‘Everyone experiences health issues in their life time. We have to face it. The medical field is coming up with new drugs very frequently. Nothing to worry ‘.

Dad underwent Coronary Bypass surgery twice. He continues to lead a very active life and has a lot of confidence on the Medical treatments and new medications that are being churned out periodically. He says this from his own experience during the last 17 years. The whole process was better and he got healed much faster after the second Bypass Surgery compared to the first time.

Those words inspired me and there is no looking back. My tears had dried and never ever did I shed a tear again.

My Dad is my biggest inspiration. Having seen the way he dealt with his own health issues I am able to go ahead with a lot of hope and courage.

We went ahead with the Stem Cell Transplant . He stood like a Rock , monitoring my progress and coordinated with all agencies like hospital staff, donors etc. My Oncologist too was surprised by the amount of care and support that he took all the while. Dad would accompany me and hubby when we went for the post transplant consultations too.

Finally, he is confident that his daughter is now strong 🙂

Thank you Dad for showing me the way. Those few words were so precious.

Love you Dad.

fathers day

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment >

Rahul, the Bravest warrior against Cancer I have ever known, is no more in our midst 😦

He founded Yoddhas.com to bring all fighters to a common forum so all can share their wins , problems and solutions.

It was my Dad who first saw an article in The Hindu newspaper about Yoddhas.com founded by Rahul. Dad told me to take a look at the article.

Rahul had declared that he was preparing to get a Stem Cell Transplant with Stem Cells from a Donor . The treatment was very expensive and he was seeking donations too.

Found his contact number on the website and immediately called him to learn further details . I heard a very strong and confident voice which gave me a lot of strength and courage to fight my own war.

Very soon he started a Whatsapp group and added many MM patients and their caregivers to the group. Dr Ram Ganjoo , Oncologist is also part of the group and is always available on the forum , eager to help and is very supportive.

It was in this forum that I expressed my conviction about Circumin and its potency in killing Cancer cells . Dr Gayatri , also in the whatsapp group ,who successfully conquered MM heard me and directed me to meet Dr Nitin,  an Ayurvedic Doctor from Mumbai who had prescribed Curcumin and other herbal medications to her . She is perfectly normal since several years. My conviction about Circumin doubled.

I must say that it is through Rahul , albeit indirectly, that I found a solution. I always felt that he lived for others more than for himself.

Deeply saddened on Rahul’s demise 😦

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Random musings : May 2017

Wanted to share some of the exciting events happening in my life these days 🙂 .

Me and my siblings  performed Dad’s 75th birthday a few days ago , in a traditional way. The event is called ”Sahasra Nakshatra Shanti”

Mom and Dad performed “Homan” followed by “Mangala Snanam” in the temple and then there was a “Lakshmi Narayana” puja at home too. All of us including the kids enjoyed the homam which started at 5 am .  We had just a few days to do all the shopping for clothes, puja items, flowers , fruits etc . It all happened with a short notice. So glad that we were able to perform this event for our parents.

Temple where the Homam was performed .

IMG-20170528-WA0030-2

Lakshmi Naraya Puja at home with 1000 Lotus flowers.

IMG-20170528-WA0036

An important activity at work currently is the migration to the new GST( Goods  and Services Tax)  regime imposed by the Government of India. This project is keeping me busy with several back to back meetings with other Departments to incorporate the new changes in our business processes , testing the new scenarios , preparation of cutover data which includes downloading and uploading of data to the Database , testing the monthly Return formats etc . All organisations have to migrate to the new Taxation on 1 July 2017.

Projects on IIOT too are in the pipeline and I am very excited to get them implemented.

I am also due for a promotion to a higher grade at work. I will be facing an interview and I think I am cool and confident 🙂 . Have been busy preparing for the interview too.

My niece’s (BIL’s daughter) wedding is coming up and I am looking forward to all the fun and dressing up for the various events. The wedding is a 5 day event and I may have to travel a lot from one end of the city to the other side as they live across the city. Will be fun helping and watching the proceedings up close.

Was tough getting my clothes ready for the event. Been shopping all through May. Had to do all my shopping after I got back home from work. All my favourite clothes stores are far from home and farther away from where I work and hence I was getting home late on most days. Thanks to mom for helping me select some good stuff. I love her choices.  I always enjoy shopping with Mom. She knows what looks good on me and I always get compliments 🙂

So glad to be busy with all these activities. Never been this busy in all my life 🙂 . Too many events happening simultaneously.

The GST and IIOT projects will keep me very busy for a few more months.

I also have to take an appointment with my Oncologist as I am due for a Bone Marrow Test in a couple of weeks from now.

Love you Life !!

 


Leave a comment

Drive to Shadnagar and a Tomato farm

This time we drove South towards Shadnagar .The town is on the right side of NH7 while going towards Bangalore from Hyderabad. We took a left turn as soon as we reached the town.  After driving straight for a couple of kilometers we took a detour just after a village named Buchigudem.

Very soon we came across a tomato farm. Several men and women were busy harvesting ripe tomatoes in the farm.

IMG_20170514_163533546

As usual I was excited and hoped to get hold of some tomatoes.

Despite the hot summer there were a few fields here and there.

We moved closer to the labourers and asked if they would sell the produce to us. They told us to ask the owner who was sitting close by.

IMG_20170514_164207353

IMG_20170514_164334623_HDR

The owner agreed and we managed to dump 10kilos in the rear of our car.

IMG_20170514_165415088

He agreed to give 10kilos for just Rs 100. Whereas these were being sold for three times the price in the city.

I spotted goru chikkudu kaayalu or Cluster beans stored in plastic bags near the heap of tomatoes and we picked a few kilos .

IMG_20170514_164556234

Felt good that we got some farm fresh veggies :))

The fresh air and gentle breeze was invigorating.

 

Love spending time away from the city once in a while. I have this wish and always dream of having a small house at the edge of a village adjacent to a farm  🙂

It was teatime . On our way back we stopped at a roadside restaurant named ‘Aashiana’ , adjacent to the highway , in Shadnagar. We ordered Mirchi bajjis. They were some of the best Mirchi bajjis I ever had . A waiter served the items while we waited in the car.

NH7 is a busy highway which connects Hyderabad and Bangalore. 

Wish to go there again just to eat those Mirchi bajjis 🙂 and also pick up fresh veggies.

 


>

Summer brings its own set of woes and sweet pleasures each year.

Rather than crib about the heat , one should enjoy the yummy stuff that nature provides during this season . Yes , its the fruits 🙂 .

Mangoes and Watermelons make a grand entry during the month of February and exit in June. These are the Summer months.

During Summer , in Hyderabad,  Jackfruit , Seema Chintakaaya / Jungle Jilebi , Figs and Palmyra fruit also make an entry. Unlike Mangoes and watermelons which are sold in almost every street corner , these are usually spotted only at the bigger farmer’s markets.

I make it a point to regularly visit the farmers markets , locally known as ‘Rythu bazaar’ , to get my fix 🙂

There was a time when the city dwellers could lay their hands on the Palmyra fruit when they visited their parents / grandparents who lived in villages and towns , far from the city. That’s where the Palmyra trees grow. These trees almost grow wild. They are hardy and don’t require any special care. I too would get to eat this Palmyra fruit when I visited my Grandparents village during peak summer.

There were times when I used to spot a hawker selling these in the city, but they would be the more mature ones which are hard ,rubbery and bland  instead of the tender , sweet and juicy ones. The hard ones  can upset the tummy.

This tender ,jelly like fruit has a cooling effect on the body , does some good for the digestive system and has several vitamins and minerals.

Since past few years I have been coming across vendors selling whole bunches of the fruit. We can pick the fruit of our choice and they would cut it for us. One can buy the whole fruit or get the pods removed.

These are whole bunches of the fruits.

This is how the fruit appears when the top part is carefully removed using a sharp sickle.

Each fruit has three pods.

The pods have a creamy brownish layer.

Remove the outer creamy brownish layer to reveal the translucent fleshy fruit.

Trying to remove the pods out of the fruit is tricky and not advisable as the fruit is easily bruised and the sweet juice is lost.

Hence it is preferable to  eat these directly from the whole fruit by using the thumb and digging into the tender juicy fruit .This is an art :))

This method ensures that the juice is intact.

I have fond memories of eating these sitting under the Palmyra trees in Granny’s village . We would reach the fields by 5pm, a guy nimbly glides up the tree along with a sickle and cuts off a few Bunches. They fall from a height of 15-20m with a thud.

He then expertly cuts them open revealing the white translucent fleshy pods.

Time to hold the fruit in the left hand and dig into the pulp using the thumb of the right hand and squeeze out the jelly along with the juice and quickly suck the juicy pulp with the mouth :)) . I know , it does sound gross :))

There is an easier method to dig into the tender fruit. Using a spoon to scoop out the pulp and the juice is quite simple and requires no mastery 🙂

Grab these if and when you come across them and enjoy the delicious fruit !!

 


Leave a comment

Multiple Myeloma, Symptoms

Multiple Myeloma is a condition when Plasma cells in the blood start misbehaving. These cells form antibodies , which fight infections. When these plasma cells undergo mutation in the DNA, they develop into antibodies which do not perform their job well and on top of that they do not die. They are supposed to die after doing their job well. This is called apoptosis. Every cell in the body dies after doing its job. When they don”t die and start accumulating in the blood  and inside the Bone marrow the condition is called Multiple Myeloma.

  • Low immunity
  • Anemia
  • Back pain
  • Pain in the feet and legs in general
  • Pain in the lower ribs and also just below the lowest part of the ribs on either side of the body
  • Feeling weak and lethargic
  • Always feeling sleepy or wanting to rest . Waking up early is difficult.
  • Suffering from frequent infections in the throat, stomach etc

These are the usual symptoms and were my symptoms as well , before I was detected with MM.

I always felt very weak. I would find it very difficult to wake up and get out of bed. I always wanted to sleep. I kept dragging myself to work . I was unable to stand for more than 10 minutes while I cooked. My feet would begin to ache and I had to sit down every 10 mins. I met several physicians in the last few decades. I also went for a complete health check up too. All of them recommended Iron supplements for my perennially low Hb count. I always took the course and felt good for a while and soon my symptoms were back. The cycle would repeat.

I frequently suffered from throat infections since I was a child and had to pop in a lot of antibiotics too. I also suffered from bronchitis as I am allergic to dust. This too could be due to low immunity. I kept telling my doctors that I frequently fall ill but none of them suggested any further investigations.

Many times I would be told to get a chest X-ray done as they suspected TB, but the result was always -ve.

I had also met an Ayurvedic doctor who checked my pulse . It is called ‘Nadi pariksha’. He prescribed a lot of medications too and said I was highly stressed and that I should do pranayama and meditate regularly.

My actual problem went undetected for decades.

I suffered a lot when I had my periods. They would always arrive early. Severe cramps ensured that I take a pain killer and was unable to go to work. I hated myself for being a girl :((

One day in 2011 , I slipped on the stairs and had an L5 compression fracture in my spine. My bones had become very weak. A normal healthy individual would not have been affected by that kind of a fall. Don’t know how and why the Orthopedic doctor did not suspect that something else could be wrong. He could have at least told me to get a test for calcium and Vitamin D done. I was told to use a cross shaped device for 3 months to heal my fracture.

Just after I recovered from my fracture , I collapsed and fell sick . I suffered from viral fever, throat and stomach infection simultaneously , started experiencing chills with fever in the evenings. A physician who had a clinic where we lived suggested I get blood transfusion as my Hb was 6 . We then decided to go to Apollo and get a second opinion. The Physician there suspected MM after a few preliminary tests.

A few tests like LFT, RFT and CBP can help in pointing towards MM.

A high ESR because of inflammation in the body. CBC Report gives the ESR value.

A high Serum Creatinine in RFT report.

Serum Globulin in LFT would also be beyond the limit.

Hb would also be low as per CBC report.

These are some of the parameters that can give away MM to a discerning physician.

Further tests including Bome marrow tests Electrophoresis will be done to confirm.

Thanks to Allopathy and Alternative treatments for giving me a second chance. I am actually living a healthier , productive and happier life after my Stem Cell Transplant followed by Ayurvedic treatment and proper diet.

So glad I got a second chance to tread this beautiful planet.

You too can !!

Have faith in the treatments and in yourself.