Shutterbug's Blog

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


2 Comments

Book Review – ‘Dying to be me’ by Anita Moorjani

A colleague recommended the book ‘Dying to be me’ by Anita Moorjani.

anita-moorjani

It is the true story of Anita, who had a Near Death Experience when she was almost on the verge of dying from Cancer,went into coma but recovered completely in a few weeks after that experience.A miracle by all standards.

I have come across people who have been managing quite well and living for several years. I recently learnt about a woman who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma 23 years ago.She meditates regularly and is doing fine.

While reading the book ,I was nodding at every point that was mentioned by Anita. About how we restrict our true feelings for the sake of society, about how we feel inadequate , how we give the least priority to ourselves etc.

Her experience during NDE about feeling one with all the beings in the universe , about realising that we are made up of love , about experiencing past present and future simultaneously , feeling love for all beings etc are all the same stuff that all spiritual masters have been saying all along and is written in various biographies and scriptures of hinduism and possibly other religions too.

I picked up the following from another link.

Things Anita Moorjani learned from her Stage Four Cancer & Ensuing NDE:

1. You attract what you fear.

2. If you’re sick, don’t fight it. Embrace it. Love where you are now. Only when you approach your health challenges from a point of love can you overcome the fear.

3. Sometimes less information is better. When it comes to illness, more information does not necessarily equal more power (too much research can actually add to the fear and symptoms).

4. Through your illness, your body is giving you a message. Work to understand and be with what is.

5. Everything comes from within.

6. Ask yourself, “What brings me joy?” And do more of that.

7. Don’t obsess and make your life about the illness.  

8. Love yourself unconditionally.

9. Positive thinking can only help to a certain extent. It’s more about being yourself and loving yourself – regardless of what you are going through.

10. Stop judging yourself.

11. Express yourself fully. Ask yourself: “Am I allowing myself to express who I am?  Am I being this person because I want to be accepted, or because it is who I am?”

12. Be centered in your true essence. From the place of pure centeredness, miracles are possible.  It’s about being, not doing.  When you are in the space of being, miracles are possible.

13. The only thing that limits you is your own beliefs.

14. The best way to get our of a fear state is to do something that brings you into a state of joy.  Find something that changes your state completely.  Whatever it is – music or art or going out in nature. Do something completely different. Or meditate.  If we can be still, we can go into a different reality.

15. Stay totally open. Get into a defused state in which all of the possibilities lie before you and you haven’t locked into any one.  

16. Follow your bliss and do what you love. We tend to do what we think we should do, rather than what our heart tells us to do.  We don’t do what makes our heart sing.

17. You are your own guru. All your answers are inside you.

18. Nobody is better than (or less than) you. We are all equal.

19. Focus on your feelings more than your thoughts. Make your everyday choices based on what makes you FEEL good, rather than what you THINK you should do or what others think you should do.

20. Don’t let a fear of failing or displeasing others run your life.

21. Realize your own MAGNIFICENCE!

Each of the above points has a deep significance and meaning. It is easier to read but practising is not that easy. Surely all of us have experienced and also accept a few of the above points. We should also incorporate the other points and also ponder on them as much as we can so that we can realise the benefits .

I shall read these beautiful words of Anita every day.

Very thankful to my colleague for recommending this wonderful book.

~Lokaan samasthaan sukhino bhavanthu~

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Alternative Treatments for Cancer

 

miracle ahead

People with chronic diseases go for various treatments depending on the faith they have in a particular treatment.  Most use allopathy by default, as the duration of treatment is the fastest ,success rate is highest and the results are quick. Some follow a different treatment based on the experiences of their near and dear ones or when Allopathy has no solution or as a last resort.

But usually for cancers Allopathy is the first and foremost treatment that one opts for as the diagnosis itself happens in the third or fourth stage wherein the disease would have progressed to a large extent and Allopathy would be the best treatment. .

I didnt think of Alternative treatments for two years after I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma . I started experiencing side effects of Chemotherapy in the third year and I began scouring the internet for other treatments.

Internet is full of articles on Alternative Treatments . Initially I didnt believe all that was written on various websites and was being said on youtube videos by patients. I found them ridiculous too. Always wondered how it was possible that people are getting cured of Cancer which is not curable . Not just ‘managing’ but they were getting ‘cured’ and have been living for decades without any Allopathic treatment. I felt that these people were just exaggerating , that they wanted people to watch their videos , knowing that many would be looking up , that they were just uploading these videos to get a lot of views/hits. There were websites which talked a lot about a cure but at the end of the page there is a link to a book with a price or some secret methods which confirmed my fears that people only wanted to make money by luring desperate patients.

I wanted to believe all this was true , that there is a way , but was not convinced.

I came across various articles on the reasons for cancer and a cure. Juicing, diet, exercise, detox , supplements, antioxidants , various high frequency protocols, immunotherapy , Ph therapy, effect of yoga and meditation for curing the disease and the reasons for cancer varied from DNA mutations to microbes to lack of Vitamin D , poor diet , stress etc. These are a few of the topics that I was reading and trying to digest . All the information was baffling.

Just when I relapsed , at the end of the third year after my Bone Marrow Transplant for Multiple Myeloma, I came across a blog written by Margaret , a patient with Smouldering Multiple Myeloma. She was using natural supplements and has been successfully ‘managing’ the disease for more than a decade. After reading her blog , all the information and videos that I had seen suddenly flashed across my mind and I began believing all that I had read and seen. Suddenly all of it made sense. I was desperate for an alternative solution.

I talked to my Oncologist if he could recommend any Ayurvedic doctor but he was unaware of any specialist in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian mode of treatment  which uses natural herbs for curing various ailments. He didnt discourage me from using any alternative treatment and advised me to use ‘Tinaspora Cordifolia’ , a natural immunity boosting supplement.

I recommend everyone to do their own research. Once convinced one has to start incorporating one or more methodologies as per their faith and convenience. One needs to have faith in the treatment and should go all the way and follow the methodologies scrupulously.

I have almost given up food products made with sugar , milk , all purpose flour , rice and also reduced salt intake .All of these comprise a bad diet. These are the five white poisons that Ayurveda recommends to avoid.
I also read that cancer cells feed on sugar. I initially started taking supplements like Curcumin (in the form of turmeric) suggested in Margarets blog , started doing Pranayama and meditation , I also started taking ashwagandha , shigru , punarnava , garlic , had ginger decoction in the morning, eliminated most acidic foods  and lo and behold within three months my MSpike was down to Zero !!

It is nothing short of a miracle.

I was later referred to an Ayurvedic Doctor by another MM survivor and since then I have been using Curcumin and other natural supplements since last one year. Fasting is also part of my regimen. I have been encouraging the use of Curcumin to whomsoever I come across. Curcumin is an extract from turmeric .Turmeric is a spice that is extensively used in South Indian cooking and as a medicine in India for various ailments.

It is one year and 3 months since I started following the new regimen and my M-Spike is in control.

Talk to other patients and their caregivers who follow Alternative treatments make your own decision.

If there is a will to survive , a solution will appear out of the blue. Never give up !!

Have patience and the Miracle will happen.


Leave a comment

Hope is Real ! World Cancer Day , 4 Feb 2016

image

Rewind back to Oct 2011.

I enter this building in Apollo Hospital , Hyderabad,India for an injection.
On the building I see ‘Apollo Cancer Hospital’
At the entrance to the lobby there are banners of healthy and beautiful smiling people , a young girl with long hair and an older man saying ‘Hope is Real’.They must be Cancer patients who seem to be leading happy normal lives now . How can Hope be Real ? , what does that mean.. it is the chemo and radiation that helps people to prolong the life, i think to myself and move in.

Half my mind was in denial that I have Cancer. I shut the other half and just went about doing what I am told to do. No one around me uses the word Cancer , not even my Doctor , I mean Haemotologist. No one in the whole building ever used the most dreaded word . Hubby, Dad, Sister, brother, none of the nursing staff, no one utters the word even by mistake.Just like in the movies 😀 . Mom is totally ignorant. She appears normal . Dad must have told her that everything is OK with me. My son was totally ignorant.
Half my mind believes that I am getting treated by a Haemotologist rather than an Oncologist.The word Haemotologist stuck in my head since the day, when of one of the doctors doing rounds , comes to my room and casually mentioned that my reports are being seen by a Haemotologist. I had voluntary got admitted to Apollo to get tests done for my abysmally low Hb count. I was in the hospital for a few days when all the tests were being carried out, including a bone marrow test.

On the third day of getting admitted, the Haemotologist meets me and explains how my plasma cells are misbehaving.That plasma cells become antibodies , but the antibodies in my case are not doing their job and on top of that they dont die after a certain period , where as they are supposed to die. He makes it appear as if it is a mild problem with my plasma cells which is being rectified by giving a few injections .
I assumed that my doctor who is a Haemotologist sits in this building for some other reason and he has nothing to do with Cancer.
After a few such injections spread over two months , my doctor suggests that i shave my hair before we do the Stem Cell Transplant. No questions asked.The Haemotogist explains the whole process of the Transplant and I am excited to go through it all.
We plan a visit to Tirumala and offer my hair . Everyone knows that Chemotherapy causes loss of hair . Since I had very long hair I was advised to get a cut , but I continued to move around in denial.
That this is not Cancer but a similar kind of problem that is treated in a similar way to cancer. I was sure that this is a disease related to the immune system.That my immunity is low because the antibodies are useless.

I never ever looked up the words Multiple Myeloma for almost 2 years after my Stem Cell Transplant .
I , who immediately opens Google to learn more about anything and everything instantly over the smart phone, never had the courage to type these two words. I was reading news, accessing Facebook, Gmail, was watching cookery and gardening videos on YouTube , even looking at house plans and interior decoration, everything on the Internet but never could type those two words.
I was damn scared and shivered at the thought that I may be having Cancer but why is no one uttering that word if I have Cancer.
My Stem Cell Transplant was done during Dec2011/Jan 2012. I took rest for 6 months and joined work .
I then insisted that we should build our house , the house that we were discussing about with an architect and also drew plans just before i was diagnosed. We successfully built our house and moved in. I wanted to complete this project come what may, even if i would live in the house just for a few months. There was some doubt in the corner in my head, that I have Cancer and may not live long. I , my soul , had to leave my body in my house , come what may . That was the strong will power that got me going.
It is one and half year since we moved to our own house in which we now live.
The moment we moved into our new home ,I felt relaxed .Now that the mission was accomplished I had the courage to type those two words on Google.
The search for a cure began . I wanted to live but I didn’t believe what the people in those videos were talking about. That they got cured by following this and that method.
DEC 2014:
Come Dec 2014 and my Oncologist , yes by then I knew for sure that I had Cancer, declares that there is a relapse.
I shudder and then when he says that we can plan for another Stem Cell Transplant after 3 months, I take a breath. It’s been 3 years in Dec 2014 , since I had my first Transplant. So I may get another 3 years after I go for a second one.
I am back home and start getting mentally prepared for a second transplant. Paralelly I start scouring the Internet for more stories on getting healed and the methods of getting cured.
I see a divine blessing in the former of one Mrs Margaret , who had a detailed blog , who had MM too , and how she has been dealing with the problem for more than 10 years using Naturally occurring products like Circumin.
I read most of her posts and started taking similar medicines made by one of the famous manufactures of Ayurvedic products in India.

It’s been a year since I started using Ayurvedic medications and there is no sign of the disease and no Transplant either.
It is 4 years since I was diagnosed with MM.

Under the denial , there was a strong wish and hope to live . The statement ‘Hope is Real’ now makes a lot of sense.
It is the hope of wanting to live , the hope that one can beat cancer , a hope in Alternative medicine , a belief in what was being said by the people in those videos who said that were getting cured, a hope in the Divine, a hope that there is a way out, a hope that continuous research in Allopathy will result in a cure , a hope shown by cancer fighters like Lisa Ray who are leading a glamorous lifestyle.

Yes HOPE IS REAL!!

I hope to tell more and more people like me to have Hope. Hope is THE cure !


Leave a comment

Curing diseases by Fasting ?!!

I am currently taking ayurvedic medication along with Lenalidamide 5mg for Multiple Myeloma.
My ayurvedic doctor has advised me to fast twice a week on Monday and Friday.
I have been fasting since last week and today is the second day in this week.
I can sip warm water through out the day. I can also take tea/coffee( 2 or 3 times) and fruits ( 2 or 3 ) if i feel very hungry. I am allowed to take vegetable soup for dinner. I started fasting without asking any questions.

This is my food for the day.
image

I have never fasted in all my life and always wondered why people fast , especially when it is linked to religion and rituals.

I have been able to manage last week and this week but a lot of questions have been popping up in my head.
What if i become too weak in the process? what if my immune system weakens further? What will my Oncologist say if i tell him about my fasting? Can i take allopathy medicines during fasting? Am i doing the right thing ?

My ayurvedic doctor has been asking me for the feedback as to how i feel during and after the fast and i did express my concerns this morning.
He told me to read an article on ‘fasting before chemotherapy’ in the ‘Biomed journal’ . Googled for these words and found a few links .
Read the information in one of the links http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/15/652 . Found the article too technical for me but got a gist of what was being researched. Seemed interesting. The cells which get damaged due to chemotherapy recover faster if a patient has been fasting prior to chemotherapy.
Also protects normal cells from the side effects of chemo.
Came across articles where people got cured of gall stones , cancer after fasting.
Other articles suggest when the body is on a fast all the cells go into a ‘repair’ mode . The DNA repairs itself and the result is a stronger immune system. Fasting enhances the functioning of cells and kills the cancerous cells.

Wowww sounds great !!

While reading this my mind wandered to know more about Ayurveda and fasting. Googled and found some interesting information. Ayurveda mentions cleansing the body of toxic wastes that have accumulated in the body, balancing of doshas , improving the digestive system etc.

I am now convinced that fasting is a must.Fasting has always been a part of life for the devout and intrinsic to most religions , although common man fasts with an intention of salvation rather than for health, which is a side effect of fasting anyway :).

“The best of all medicines are rest and fasting.” – Benjamin Franklin.