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


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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.

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My diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma

I had always been anemic since I was in my teens. I frequently suffered from tonsillitis and throat infections which required antibiotics. I always had this fear that I may be having throat cancer 🙂

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One day, 5 years ago, I collapsed and was struggling with stomach upset , throat infection and chills . Met a physician who lives close to where we live . He recommended blood tests which revealed that my Hb was 6 . I was advised to go for a blood transfusion.
We were not ready to get a transfusion and decided to go to Apollo hospital, Hyderabad to get a second opinion. I boldly walked into the hospital emergency and got admitted by showing my previous reports.

I was in the hospital for three days . Several tests were done, blood tests, Xray, bone scan and a Bone marrow test. I knew why the test is done but was confident that I was fine.

The test confirmed I was suffering with Multiple Myeloma.

A couple of new doctors came in and interviewed me about my past record . I told them about the compression fracture in my spinal cord..I was least aware of the seriousness behind the scenes. I was told to get a ‘port’ inserted into a blood vessel my arm . Now there was some suspicion that something was wrong but no one told/discussed anything with me , not even the doctor or nurses.I didnt ask any questions either. Inspite of being a very curious person always , I was too scared to ask..We just went about doing whatever was to be done. Everyone including my parents, hubby , sister appeared very normal and cheerful.

On the third day , with the port in my arm I was told to go to another wing to get an injection through the port. We entered a building which no one would ever want to even look at, the Cancer wing of the hospital. My worst fears began appearing to be real, but I was not ready to ask/confirm nor anyone around me was ready to talk.

While I type these words my heart seems to have stopped beating and I have tears in my eyes and my body is trembling.

My Oncologist had suggested that I should start chemo immediately. A second opinion was quickly taken and we went ahead to take the injections.

I put on a brave face and entered the Chemo ward where I saw many other patients on beds with IV.  I wanted to run away from the place. I hated myself for being in this place. I rebelled inside , that I don’t have cancer, even while an injection was being given to me, my first Chemo injection.  We came home. The next day I had very high temperature and thought I would die . But here I am , after 5 years , after undergoing Stem Cell Therapy . Hope to live and write for many more years to come .

Hope to tell my story to many more , to inspire and give them hope so they can fight and never give up.

People around me , my parents,my hubby, friends and colleagues, continue to be cheerful and their attitude is definitely helping me stay strong.

The attitude and behavior of people around a cancer patient can heal/break the patient.

All caretakers must appear cheerful when they are around a patient and help them feel normal and feel good about themselves. Give them the assurance that new and improved medications are now available , which is a fact too, and more will be available as we go forward. One can also try Alternative treatments simultaneously.

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The same applies to a patient too. To appear calm and try to be as cheerful as you can ,so that people around you can also stay strong and in turn can help you to heal better and faster.