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


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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.

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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 😦

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.

 

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Consumption of Curcumin / Turmeric, its effect on Body Heat and remedies.

 

Curcumin is definitely helping many patients all over the world in successfully managing Multiple Myeloma .

I have been using Curcumin and Turmeric since 2015.

When I recommended Curcumin to other MM patients/Caregivers , I got a feedback that many were unable to take Curcumin as they were experiencing uncomfortable side effects.

Nose bleeds and  diarrhea seem to be some of the common side effects.

Consumption of Turmeric and its extract Curcumin might increase the body heat in a few people. This in turn results in the above effects.

I would recommend foods like Cucumber  ,  buttermilk etc which cool the body. These foods help in balancing the body heat.

It is equally important that we avoid foods which increase Body Heat. Avoid Oily foods , Cold Drinks, Caffeine , Spicy food .

Everyday, I carry a box to work , that has Cucumber which has been peeled and cut into pieces. I have it as a snack between breakfast and Lunch.

My Cucumber for today 🙂

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I also carry buttermilk , in a bottle , to work everyday.

My advise is to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner rather than losing faith on Curcumin because of the above side effects . These side effects can be easily overcome and managed by simple home remedies and one can realize the benefits of Curcumin.

So , don’t loose heart …. have faith … do your research on the internet… a lot of information on foods that cool the body is available out there on the Internet….and get in touch with an Ayurvedic practitioner.

Stay Coool !


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Taming Multiple Myeloma – A Success Story from UK

Came across this article where a 67 year old woman from UK has successfully tamed Multiple Myeloma.

Dieneke Ferguson, the founder and CEO of https://www.hiddenartshop.co.uk learnt about Curcumin through Margaret’s Blog .

I was very excited when I read that Dieneke Ferguson too , just like me , was also inspired by Margaret’s Blog and started using Curcumin.

Here is the whole story :

How our CEO Dieneke Ferguson beat her incurable cancer through curcumin

Hopefully this news will inspire many others to believe that there is hope and not to give up.

 

 

 

 


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Use of Turmeric / Curcumin in Indian Customs and Traditions , Health and Healing , Beauty treatments

Turmeric Vs Curcumin :

Turmeric is a root/rhizome, a golden-colored spice that belongs to the ginger family . Widely used in India for different purposes. The words Turmeric and Curcumin are usually used interchangeably but Curcumin is an extract from Turmeric root, which gives the yellow color to the spice and has several healing properties. Different methods are used to extract Curcumin from Turmeric. Turmeric contains various ”curcuminoids” and Curcumin is one of them. Curcumin is a whole Pharmacy in itself and is used to treat several health conditions. Extensive research is being carried out on Curcumin in the western world for its healing properties..

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This spice has always been revered in India since thousands of years. But ,it is very unfortunate that the healing properties are unknown to majority of the current generation and the knowledge is slowly getting lost. Hopefully the research that is being carried out in the western world will bring to light the potency of Turmeric and thereby heal the world.

Here is an attempt to describe how Turmeric has been in use since centuries in Indian Customs and traditions.

Hindu Customs and Traditions :

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A few drops of water is added to Turmeric powder which is then shaped into a small solid cone . During Hindu festivals this form is worshiped as ”Lord Ganesha” , the remover of all obstacles. It is a fact that none of us  wish to face any obstacles in whatever activity we do/take up. This is a method of reinforcing our will power and also to invoke the blessings of the almighty.

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During Fridays, festivals and other auspicious events, Turmeric paste is applied on the threshold of the main entry door of the house and all other doors that lead outside the house. This ensures that insects and ants do not enter the house. Now a days this is done away with by using paints. Beautiful designs of flowers and leaves are drawn using colourful paints.

A married woman gives Turmeric root/powder along with ‘kumkum’ to other married women  (neighbors, relatives , friends etc), during festivals after inviting them into their homes. This is done as a blessing and good wishes for the long life of the woman and her husband .

Turmeric during weddings :

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Wedding preparations start with the making of Turmeric powder at home. An auspicious day and time is chosen for the event. A few women (relatives, friends neighbors) gather and use a mortar and thistle to crush the dry Turmeric root and symbolically prepare Turmeric powder.

A lot of Turmeric powder is used during Hindu weddings. There are a minimum of  5 rituals, spread over a few days , which require the use of Turmeric powder.

Haldi Ceremony is a very important part of a Hindu wedding. The bride and groom are smeared with a paste made by mixing Turmeric powder , sandalwood paste and rose-water, in their respective homes , couple of days before the wedding. Relatives friends and neighbors gather and make it a fun event.The Bride and Groom get a beautiful glow on their skin 🙂 . . This is repeated three times on three consecutive days. A natural beauty treatment instead of going to a beauty parlour or a Spa.

The bride and groom wear clothes that have been dipped in water that is mixed with turmeric powder . The cloth then gets dyed with a light yellow color.

Turmeric powder is mixed with rice which is then called ‘Akshintalu / Akshatalu ‘. These Akshintalu are used during puja and also used to bless others by sprinkling a little on top of the head of the one taking blessings who bows down and touches the elders feet.

In South Indian weddings , this rice is taken with cupped  hands by the bride and groom and  is poured on top of each others head during the wedding ceremony.

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A long thread is smeared with Turmeric paste and a Turmeric root is tied at the center of this thread. During the wedding ceremony the groom ties this thread around the neck of the bride with three knots.

 

 

Health and Healing :

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An Indian kitchen is incomplete without Turmeric powder in its spice box. Almost all Indian recipes contain Turmeric powder.Thus ensuring that turmeric is taken everyday in our diet. Turmeric also enhances the color of the dish. The anti bacterial properties of turmeric prevents food from decaying quickly.

 

Turmeric powder is Mixed in milk and consumed in order to treat coughs and colds.

Turmeric is supposed to be good for the Liver and digestion.

Turmeric is applied to bruises as it is an antiseptic.

Small balls are made with wet Turmeric powder. A few of these are consumed in order to reduce menstrual cramps .

Turmeric is a blood thinner and reduces cholesterol. Helps in controlling Blood Pressure.

It is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the major reason for most of the chronic diseases including Diabetes , Cardiovascular diseases , Arthritis , Cancer etc.

Curcumin induces apoptosis in tumours . It induces cell death in cancerous cells thereby stopping the multiplication of these cells.  A lot of research is being carried out and there is sufficient proof that this property of Curcumin can treat almost all types of Cancers.

Beauty Treatments :

Many South Indian women apply turmeric paste to their feet every Friday and during festivals and other religious events. Being an antiseptic it protects the feet from infections and cracked feet.

Turmeric paste mixed with other items like milk, chickpea flour etc is applied as a face mask to get rid of acne, pimples and other skin problems . It is also an excellent exfoliant and gives a glow to the skin.

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No wonder Turmeric has always been given a lot of importance in Hindu customs, traditions and rituals since a long time and is treated with piety and respect.

It is highly recommended that everyone include more Turmeric in their diet. It is also advised to prepare your own Turmeric powder instead of using the store-bought powder which is usually adulterated.

I have been using Curcumin every day since Jan 2014 , to fight Multiple Myeloma. Currently not using any other drug. Hope to manage my condition as long as I can.

~Yad Bhaavam Tad Bhavathi  : You become what you think ~


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My current regimen for Multiple Myeloma

I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in Oct 2011. I Underwent Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in Dec 2011.

I was on Thalidomide from June 2012 to Dec 2014.

In Dec 2014 my plasma cells started increasing and my Oncologist suggested that I go for another Transplant. I was put on Lenolidamide.

After some research on the Internet I started taking Ayurvedic medication. After three months my condition improved.  I met Dr Kochar in Apr 2015 and started taking his medication along with Lenolidamide.

On the advise of my Oncologist , I stopped Lenolidamide in Feb 2016 , as I was in remission.

That was the most miraculous moment in my life 🙂

I continue to take Ayurvedic medication prescribed by Dr Nitin Kochar, Mumbai.

I am currently taking the following Ayurvedic medicines :

Curcumin                                                                                                                                         Ashwagandha                                                                                                                             Tinaspora cordifolia                                                                                                                     Satavari                                                                                                                                           I also take another tablet which is a mix of several herbs.

I also take allopathic supplements like Renerve (Mecobalamin), Antoxid HC (Selenium+Copper+ zinc ) , and a tablet whenever my uric acid levels are on the higher side. I also take Folvite daily.

I fast one day every week.

Exercise is always recommended but I was unable to do any form of exercise all these years as I felt weak. I now feel strong enough to go for a walk . I started going for walks since one month and I am enjoying. I currently walk a distance of 1km in 15 mins, straight after work before I go home.

I do pranayama and meditation along with few simple yogasanas in the morning before I go to work.

I also follow the diet prescribed by Dr Kochar.

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Dr Kochar has put a smile back on my face.

Thank you , Doctor !!


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Update on my condition – Multiple Myeloma

Its been a while since I updated my status wrt Multiple Myeloma. Got the BMA, Electrophoresis and Microglobulin tests done about 10 days ago. The samples are  sent to a lab in Mumbai and it takes 7-10 days for the results to be declared.

Went to the counter in the hospital yesterday, where the Reports are to be collected. The person at the counter took almost half an hour to trace my reports. I was already tense for the last 10 days and the tension was mounting. The moment my Reports were found and handed to us , I quickly grabbed the papers and began scanning for the words ‘M Spike’ or ‘M Band’ . Found the words ‘No M Band is seen’ and heaved a sigh of relief. Quickly thanked the Almighty and then proceeded to meet my Oncologist. He took some time to read all the statistics on my reports and exclaimed ‘Wonderful !!” . Told me to meet after 3 months with my CBP,LFT and RFT reports .

What a relief !!

It’s been 5 years since I underwent an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant.

I sent a msg to my Ayurvedic doctor while we (Hubby and Dad) sat in the hospital canteen.

He was happy and congratulated me .He too had been eagerly waiting for my results.

I am off chemo since last 10 months and taking Ayurvedic medication for the last one and half years. All the credit goes to Dr Nitin for treating me and following up closely on my progress. While he feels that my faith in Ayurveda and following the protocol religiously is helping me. Yes ,ultimately it has to work both ways along with God’s grace  :))

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Yayy ..time to celebrate !! :)) with a cake :))

 

 

 


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Summary of my Journey with Multiple Myeloma

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Here is the write-up that I sent to Dr Nitin, my Ayurvedic doctor. He wanted to share my case with his students and others. It is a chronological summary of my journey with MM.

Age: 46

Gender: Female

Location: Hyderabad

Diagnosis: Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in Oct 2011

Jan 2012: Underwent Autologous Stem Cell Transplant (ASCT) at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad. Started taking Thalix 50mg (Chemo)  initially and later increased to 100mg.

Dec 2014: My Plasma Cell count increased to 12% and my Oncologist advised that I should go for another round of Stem cell transplant after three months i.e. in Apr 2015

He also changed my medication to Lenolidamide 10mg (Chemo drug)

I did not want to undergo the second round of SCT. After desperately scouring the Internet I came across a blog by another MM patient , who was living with Smoldering Myeloma and was using Natural supplements to manage her condition successfully for a decade. I then started taking Ayurvedic Medication like Haridra, Ashwagandha, Shigru, Punarnava from ‘Himalaya’ brand . Many other bloggers too recommended Curcumin but because I did not know where to get it I began using Turmeric in the form of Haridra from ‘Himalaya’.

I was experimenting with the above. I also informed my Oncologist that I was taking the above medications and he did not have any objection.

In fact he himself had advised me to take Tinaspora cordifolia ( a herb) , after my transplant for improving my immunity.

In the next three months my blood counts and ESR levels were slowly showing improvement. That was a good sign.

Apr 2015: Was lucky to get introduced to Dr Nitin Kochar , Mumbai by Dr Gayatri ,MM patient from Delhi when I told her that I was using Turmeric. Met her via a social networking group named ‘Yoddhas’. Their website is Yoddhas.com. I Started taking Curcumin and Punarnava and followed diet given by Dr Nitin Kochar along with Lenolidamide. Finally I was in professional hands and it was a great relief.

May 2015: Bone marrow test was cartied out at the end of May 2015 which revealed that MM was in Remission. There was no mention about second time transplant 🙂 . My Oncologist obviously was surprised and happy too.

Oct 2015: Continued taking Curcumin along with Lenolidamide. Bone marrow test was done and my M Spike was zero. Yayyy !!

Feb 2016: My TLC count, neutrophils became very low. The counts were decreasing gradually over the past few months. Started experiencing several infections simultaneously. My Oncologist advised me to stop Lenolidamide. I continued  taking Curcumin , Ashwagandha and other herbs and followed the diet as per Dr Nitin’s advise.

May 2016: Bone marrow test revealed MM in remission. I have not been taking Lenolidamide for the last 3 months. No more Allopathy.

Currently taking Curcumin , Ashwagandha, Nimbodi, Bavchi during the last 3 months. Have been fasting once a week and taking diet as per Dr Nitins advice.

My Oncologist told me to take a break from medication for another 3 months.

Yayyyy !!

Hopefully this will be a permanent break 🙂

My experience with Fasting : I had never fasted all my life. I was nervous initially. I currently fast once a week. I am not supposed to eat anything till dinner time. I can take tea/coffee two or three times during the day. Only if my stomach rumbles and feel weak I am permitted to eat a fruit. I can manage with three servings of fruits . Only Luke warm water to be taken throughout the day. For dinner I am allowed to take vegetable soup and kichdi (single pot meal cooked with lentils, rice and veggies) . I eagerly look forward to eat the warm bowl of kichdi in the evening and feel grateful for the food. It is a great feeling . I am enjoying my days of fasting. Makes the body feel light. Makes the food during the rest of the days taste great.

I also did my own research on the Internet on the effect of fasting and read that Fasting makes the cells go into repair mode. This period of rest heals the cells and tissues in the body , which is very important for a healthy body. I am convinced and surely we can give up food for one day in a week for improving our health. The side effect of Fasting is better health 🙂

On other days too , I follow the Diet given by Dr Nitin. I have reduced consumption of Sugar, Maida , Milk , Wheat , tur dal and have included more of millets , Moong dal , chana dal , veggies , nuts in my diet  .

Feeling good , happy and quite comfortable now. Wish to share my miracle with as many as I can so they too can benefit from Ayurveda , Fasting and proper diet.

~Sarve Janaha Sukhino Bhavanthu~