Shutterbug's Blog

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


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Stop being too nice

Unknowingly , I made some of the biggest blunders in my life . I always said nice things to people , was always accommodating and mostly didn’t hurt others feelings. 

I had always felt that one should not hurt others feelings at any cost.  It was always about telling only sweet things to all and ignoring anything negative.  Height of Positive thinking I guess 🙂

Everyone calls me a Nice person. Feels nice to be called nice but I was not truly happy just being nice. Many times I suppressed my true feelings. I now feel that a nice person is actually not nice and is not genuine all the way. I was always in a fix not knowing whether I was right in being ‘nice’ . I now realize I was subconsciously afraid of being criticized for having expressed the not so nice things , that I was not strong enough to face the consequence of expressing my true feelings and that I was not ready to lose friendships nor my reputation.

I have come across several people who are very straight forward and frank in whatever they say. I had a wrong opinion about such people. I now realize that they were being true to their innermost feelings . They express exactly what they feel. They just don’t care if they are being harsh or hurtful. Whereas, it is us who unnecessarily attribute too much importance to their opinions. Everyone is free to express their opinion isn’t it and so should we. Express and let go.

After some introspection , thanks to some of the motivational quotes that I see on FB, Whatsapp etc , I finally feel happy expressing what I truly feel .

Here are a few such quotes which have been very powerful in creating a new me.

I now enjoy saying No 🙂 . I feel powerful and in control when I blurt out that No or when I disagree. Of late I have begun expressing my true feelings at home, at work or with friends. It feels so good , feels like new found freedom. Am sure this helps in improving our health too.

I have made up my mind not to regret after those words have left my mouth 🙂 .

I will just say and forget .

I will be strong about my opinion on any matter.

Will let people find their own solutions.

And it is ok to not be liked .

express

 

 

 

 

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A few clicks with my phone camera during last few months

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On my way back from work . Dark clouds and Heavy downpour at around 5pm. Clicked from inside my car.

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Diwali decor in our Balcony. Strings of electric lights and rows of Oil Diyas on the ledge. Marigold flowers on the Main Door.

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A rainy day . Spotted lots of little diamonds caught between the leaves when I reached home. On my balcony.

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A foggy morning near my place of work. Great place for walking/jogging.

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Golden trumpet blooms in our little garden. Clicked one morning while I was starting to go to work. These were drenched during the showers in the previous night.

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View of the lawns in ISB. This was my first visit to the beautiful campus.

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Mom presented this pot to me. There were lots of buds when I got the pot with this plant. Clicked this pic and sent to Mom . She would ask me if they had bloomed.

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Another cloudy day. Clicked this when I went for a long drive with Mom one day.

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Lakshmi Puja on the evening of Diwali.

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Tried to capture the rain drops . The scene was ethereal . Cool breeze , sound of rain , the golden glow from the street light with the falling rain drops . Tried my best to capture those drops but failed.


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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. 
————————————————————————————–

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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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 🙂 . 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 🙂 . 

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

 

 

 

 


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Diwali and cancellation of my Official trip to Delhi.

Every festival in India is celebrated with gaiety . Diwali too is celebrated in all parts of India in different ways. 

Almost all the Hindus clean up their homes , all family members get involved in decorating the house with Rangoli , thoran and diyas . Most Hindus also perform puja to Goddess Lakshmi in the evening .

There was a time when I too would look forward to Diwali , I still do but now there is some nervousness.

It is due to the burning of firecrackers during Diwali. All the towns and cities turn  into gas chambers and the fog worsens the situation as the weather transitions from Rainy season to the Winter season . The environment turns toxic owning to the harmful chemicals used in the making of  these crackers. 

There is a rise in patients getting admitted to hospitals immediately after Diwali with complaints of respiratory issues. Small children and old are the most affected. In spite of the rise in pollution people do not realize the harm that we are causing to ourselves and the planet by burning crackers.  

Glad that in 2016 the Supreme Court had banned the burning of crackers in Delhi . But, how many heed to the order. Every day some of the News Channels display the pollution levels in the bigger towns and cities in the Country. This year it is learnt that Crackers are already illegally stocked up by the traders in spite of the ban . They will find numerous discreet ways to sell their wares.

I am allergic to dust and all kinds of smoke. I do my best to avoid such environments.This year Diwali is being celebrated on 19 Oct.  I had to cancel my Official trip to Delhi on 23 Oct  for this reason. I cannot take the risk of travelling during this time as the smog in Delhi is very severe and pollution reaches very dangerous levels. Emissions from vehicles, Thermal power plants around Delhi and crop stubble burning around Delhi are the reasons for the severe Smog in Delhi during this part of the year. Add to this all the toxic emissions from burning Fire crackers and you create a recipe for disaster. Delhi turns into the worst polluted city in the world.

Unfortunately , people do not understand and compete with friends and neighbors as to who burns the most crackers. It also pains that the supreme court ban is being  politicized and communal color added 😦

Looking forward to the day when Firecrackers are banned all over the country . High time the manufacturing of these crackers are banned. Hope to celebrate a noiseless , smokeless  and pollution free Diwali in the near future. 

 

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Happy Deepawali !!

 

 

 

 

 


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Down with Sore Throat 

Was down with severe Throat infection in the last few days.This is the result of my recent visit to a supermarket. I had also visited a clothes  exhibition a couple of weeks ago without a mask. I have always been allergic to dust. The reason I usually avoid Malls, supermarkets and clothes stores. I usually wear a mask when I visit these places.I didn’t have a mask this time and very confidently entered this supermarket on my way back home. Within two days I began seeing symptoms of a Bronchitis attack and a sore throat. I started drinking warm water with turmeric to soothe my throat. But I failed this time  . It got severe by midnight and I was forced to pop an antibiotic.

Visited my ENT doctor next evening . I have completed the course and almost back to normal today.

Had to apply leave at work. Luckily we have a loong weekend along with a holiday for Dasara and Gandhi Jayanti .I will be back to work fresh and more energetic.

Each time after I recover I tell myself that I will never go to Public dusty places without a mask and I invariably end up at such places in a few months.

 


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Perspective is Everything : Change your Perspective and Change your Life

Came across a few thought provoking statements recently via Youtube/ Books/ Quotations etc which I would like to share :

  • Our body is a conglomeration of a variety of single cellular organisms that have come together to form a body and  give us a beautiful experience on this Beautiful Blue Planet . Our body is a moving colony of cells, bacteria and other micro cellular organisms inside and on our body that have decided to live together in a symbiotic relationship to give us this experience.
  • We are here to express ourselves and not to suppress our thoughts and feelings. We have been brought onto this planet for a purpose . Each Individual is a unique package that is creative , has different thoughts , full of emotions and  full of ideas which have to find an expression. So, don’t hesitate to speak and express emotions . Not letting them out leads to stress in the body and mind which results in disease. Release your emotions and thoughts. Speak up, Forgive , Forget and Let Go ..in turn get healed and live a Healthy life. It is also very important to say NO when you actually feel that way.
  • Earth doesn’t need us, we need the Earth. The Earth knows how to repair, heal and revive itself and to continue it’s journey. It is time to save ourselves by helping the Planet to heal faster.
  • WE make choices every moment which in turn decides the next moment . It is we who are creating our future every moment.What happens to us is mostly the result of what we have chosen to do. Let’s not blame others for whatever is happening to us. We have the power to create our world by choosing and reacting wisely to every situation that we encounter.
  • To Worship or Pray , is to be full of Gratitude. In this unpredictable world this is the ultimate form of worship.