Munira Premji

Toronto General Hospital, Sunday, April 15th

This has been a tough weekend.  I woke up on Saturday morning with a high fever — not a good sign when you are undergoing chemotherapy.  Based on doctor’s orders, I ended up in the emergency ward where I also learned that my white blood cells were pretty much non-existent, and my hemoglobin had gone down to 74.  I have been admitted into hospital for treatment of Febrile Neutropenia until things are under control.

In the past two days, I have been poked and prodded.  I have had to have an EEG, a chest xray, numerous blood and urine tests and, of course, the requisite IV (to quickly disseminate antibiotics into my body).  It has not been much fun.  Mentally, I am in good shape.   Physically, I am really tired and have been sleeping a lot.  Later this week, I might receive a blood transfusion.  I am scared of blood transfusions given my previous experience, but will  need to get over this fear.  And, I experienced first-hand the difference between being tired and being fatigued.

My goal is to do whatever it takes to be well enough to undergo my third chemo on Monday, April 23rd.  I have designed an alliance with the medical team here so we are all working toward the same goal.  While I do not want to be at the hospital, I do not see this as a setback, and I am not frustrated by this turn of events.  I just have to remember that everything that’s happening to me is because the chemo is working – and that’s a good thing.  Unfortunately, chemo kills not only the bad cancer cells but also the good cells, so some discomfort is to be expected. The key is to get back on track and just move forward resolutely.

So, I will make the most of my time at the hospital.  I will spend dedicated time with my family who have been taking turns to watch over me.  Last night, Shayne and his girlfriend, Fareen, and Sabrina and her boyfriend, Afzal, were in the Emergency department to spend time with me.  Everyone was in fine form and we laughed so hard for almost 3 hours that I was afraid that hospital staff would escort them out!  I finally kicked them out at 1am so that i could sleep.  Who said hospital visits had to be boring? 

I plan to watch the Blue Jays game against Baltimore. I will definitely watch the Flyers – Penguins game (I am cheering wildly for the Penguins as I have picked them to win the Stanley Cup – and they need all the help they can get).  I plan to treat myself to a delicious hot chocolate from Mohamed Sunderji’s Lettieri cafe downstairs.  And, I might even watch a Bollywood movie on my iPad (there are so many of them on Netflix).  Now that would be a treat!

Unfortunately, because I am in the hospital, I will not be able to drop Sabrina to the airport tomorrow when she goes back to Africa for 4 weeks to wrap up her project.  I have promised her that I will be there with bells on my feet to pick her up from the airport when she returns on May 11.  Something wonderful to look forward to!

– Munira


Wednesday, April 18th – Munira is home !  Her white blood cell and neutrophil counts are back to normal, and her hemoglobin count is trending upwards (78 yesterday).  Sabrina arrived safely in Nairobi and will be facilitating a workshop in the Kalelleni district on Friday.  We are so proud of her!  And, we are looking forward to that chemotherapy treatment on Monday!


  • Minaz Jaffer , April 27, 2012

    Dear Mukhianima,

    I do not know if you received our message earlier. We pray for you everyday and will ask Mowla to heal you as soon as possible. For the moment we are mukhi mukhinai of Burundi Jamat, Therefore we will pray for your health, happiness and strenght. Be positive and everything will come to a place. On behalf of us and as Aziza’s parents we love you and look forward to see you soon.

    Yasmin and Minaz Jaffer

  • Alnasir Samji , April 25, 2012

    Mukhianisaheba, Mukhisaheb: Our prayers are with you every inch of the way. Your spirit, and your generosity of sharing even during these challenging days, are inspirational. May you and your family be granted continued strength during this journey. All the best. Nimet and Alnasir Samji

    • Premji Family , April 27, 2012

      It is at times like this that you see the power of prayers. Thank you for being with us through this journey every inch of the way. Some days are good, some days are not so good. But we are so optimistic that we will make it through this with Mowla’s grace and mercy. Munira

  • Saira Nasirdin , April 25, 2012

    Mukhiani Ma, YAM! I am sure your chemo went well and Inshallah with Mowla’s grace you are back on the path of recovery! I think of you often and always pray for you and your family Ameen!

    • Premji Family , April 27, 2012

      Ya Ali Saira – – Chemo went well. Next one is on May 14. Munira

  • snensi , April 24, 2012

    Asking all the angels to join me in getting you to smile and ease all the pains…
    Where is the mic, we have to sing together still…:)

    • Premji Family , April 27, 2012

      Banaaaa! I am thinking about getting a karaoke machine (english and indian songs). Any suggestions? Then we can sing together professionally! Thanks for sending all the angels my way. Munira

  • Rashida Kanji , April 23, 2012

    Thinking of you today as you go through another chemo. May Mowla give you all the strength & courage. Keep smiling.
    Special specail love & Prayers,


    • Premji Family , April 27, 2012

      Thanks for the special prayers. Munira

  • Yasmin Rahemtullah , April 23, 2012

    YAM Munira & Nagib
    The courage you show in your fight against cancer is truly awe-inspiring. Nothing I say will take away your pain but I want you to know that you are surrounded by family, friends & your willowdale jamat who care about you a great deal. Just remember that we love you and are praying for you all the way.
    I saw Shayne in DW JK and wanted to come with him to visit you but he was not sure if you were allowed visitors. Please let me know when is a good time to visit you as I really would love to see you.
    Sincere Prayers, love, hugs & kisses
    Yasmin & Mansur Rahemtullah

    • Premji Family , April 27, 2012

      Yasmin & Mansur – – Really appreciate your emails and thank you for keeping in touch. Your prayers and support are giving me a lot of strength. Munira

  • Saira Nasirdin , April 23, 2012

    Mowla is holding your hand while you are going through your chemo, he will give you the courage and strenght to go through this, he always does! be your brave self. Mukhiani ma I will say a special tasbih today just for you. Inshallah all will go well.

    • Premji Family , April 23, 2012

      Ya Ali Saira. Thank you for your timely note. Amen for your prayers that chemo goes so well today. Munira

  • Dilshad Nathoo , April 23, 2012

    Just wanted to let you know we’re thinking of you today and saying extra prayers. Hope you’re at the hospital getting your 3rd cycle of chemo.
    Extra extra extra love to you and the family today.


    • Premji Family , April 23, 2012

      Thanks Dilshad. Could always use extra prayers on chemo day! Munira

  • Fatima and Adil Haji , April 22, 2012

    Dearest Munira
    A new moon today, a symbol of renewal and cleansing, of hope, courage and promise. Keep up the fight. We pray for you and your wonderful family for perserverance and strength. Your blog is insightful and contemplative. So much to learn about an open heart and the sheer determination of the spirit that you have no matter what. Brava!
    Lots of love and prayers

    • Premji Family , April 23, 2012

      What beautiful symbolisms about renewal and cleansing! Through this process I do feel reborn in a strange way. Today is chemo day – – when I am always a little anxious and yet visualize the drugs going in and attacking the cancer. After today I will be half way through the treatment. Something to celebrate! Munira

  • Nazmina , April 21, 2012

    Mukhiani Ma,

    It was wonderful to see you in person last week; we love you and pray for you everyday. As usual, your amazing courage and spirit has lifted you out of this latest setback. We pray for your continuing improvement and wish you all the best for the third chemo treatment on Monday.

    Hugs and kisses from us all,

    Nazmina, Karim, Samara and Zain

    • Premji Family , April 23, 2012

      Thanks Naaz. At the hospital. Long wait. Haven’t started chemo yet. Anxious to begin! Great to spend whatever time I can with you. Have a fantastic week. Munira

  • Anonymous , April 20, 2012

    Munira, this is Patti – just got caught up with your progress – and am glad you are able to make your next chemo treatment at Princess Margaret. Let me know if you need anything while you are there. Hugs.

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Hi patti. Would love to see you. That green curry chicken would be great if you don’t mind! Can’t promise that I will be able to eat it as food is a bit of a challenge still. hope you have a fantastic weekend. Munira

  • mylegacytoyou , April 20, 2012

    Dearest Munira and Nagib,

    So glad to hear that Munira is doing well and in high good old high spirits. Go Munira and the Penguins! I am cheering you all the way to the finish….

    Love you loads.

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Hello Deva!!!!!!!!!!!! So I am assuming that you will watch the game tonight? The penguins must win tonight or they face elimination. I always hear you cheer me on. And you know that I cheer you on in everything you do. Munira

  • Pascale , April 20, 2012

    Dear Munira,
    I was happy to receive recent news…I remember that when there was a lack of time between my communications it was because I was going through difficult time and so, I was worried about you. A friend of mine who faced cancer told me “During chemo, nothing is normal but everything is normal”. I kept that in mind when I felt I was in a roller coaster mode. Still, this is a temporary time of your life.
    You write (and your family too) so beautifully. There is a site called Facing Cancer Together. It is a program of the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation who is supporting also the Look Good Feel Better program. Sherry Abbott is the Executive Director. She faced cancer herself 20 years ago. She was looking for bloggers few months ago. I think, you would reach so many more people through their site. Just an idea…
    Still thinking of you…

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Always so happy to hear from you pasquale! Yes it was a tough week. And today I feel 100%. Definitely a roller coaster ride. I love your idea about the Facing Cancer Together site. Would you consider sending the blog to the executive director – I am assuming that you know her personally?

      • Pascale , April 24, 2012

        Hi Munira,
        Happy to hear you feel good. Great news!
        I wrote to Sherry (today)…I let you know.

      • Pascale , April 26, 2012

        Hi Munira….me again.
        Sherri Abbott is an inspiration for me but we never met. I received a message from her and you will be probably contacted by Chantal Richard who is part of Sherri’s team. It is also possible they will contact me. Can you provide me a personal email address or phone number for them? Please use my email address at Sanofi. Hope it will work 🙂

      • Premji Family , April 26, 2012

        Wow Chantal – – Thank you so much for following up with Sherri. I appreciate it very much. Isa has my personal email address and phone number (I will also send it to you). I hope this works out too! Love, Munira

  • Shamim , April 20, 2012

    Dear Mukhianima and Mukhisaheb,

    I’ll echo what I’ve always said: You folks are just unbelievably beautiful inside and out! We miss you a lot. Our prayers are always with you. Thanks for keeping us updated, and keep looking after each other.

    Shamim and Zul

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Welcome home shamim and Zul! I missed you while you we’re gone! Love you guys and looking forward to seeing you soon. Really appreciate you keeping us in your prayers. Munira

  • Saira Nasirdin , April 20, 2012

    Mukhiani Ma,

    You are something out of this world! you have so much strenght and courage! Mashallah! you are a real trooper! enjoy the hot choclate and the bollywood movies! inshallah this will all pass by soon enough and you will be back to normal soon Ameen! Wish you the very best for the third Chemo, our prayers are with you. You are truly blessed to have such a loving family.

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Somewhat of a trooper. Somewhat of a scaredy-cat trying to work through this. The hot chocolate was exquisite. I watched Mohabathein and loved it. Thanks for your wishes for the third chemo. Munira

  • Shehnaz , April 20, 2012

    Mowla is all the time with us. He will definately give you all the strength and courage to overcome this fight. …
    Keep it up!!!… Cheers


    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Ya Ali shehnaz! It is a fight, and I plan to win! It is certainly taking strength and courage. Thanks for following the blog. Munira

  • Rashida Kanji , April 20, 2012

    Dearest Mukhianima & Mukhisaheb,
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. |Always praying for you morning & evening. Take care.
    Mowla be with you every step of the way. Safe travels to Sabrina!.

    Love Always,


    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Thank you for your prayers and care. Munira

  • Anonymous , April 20, 2012

    You are awesome Muni and Nagib. Thanks for sharing.

    Take good care and we’ll catch up soon.

    Gros bisou,


    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Hi safiya! What does Gros bison mean? Muni

      • Anonymous , April 21, 2012

        Hi Muni,

        It means “big kiss or smooch” :))


      • Premji Family , April 23, 2012

        Big smooch right back to you!

  • Anonymous , April 20, 2012

    This too shall pass… Best wishes and prayers Gulshy Atlanta Georgia

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Wiser words were never said. Thank you anonymous! Munira

      • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

        Oops! I just realized that it is Gulshy from Atlanta. I have missed not hearing from you Gulshy from Atlanta! Nice to hear from you – I have missed you!

  • Tasnim Habib , April 20, 2012

    We are praying for you all the time. I am so thrilled to see how you take any opportunity to have fun. They must just LOVE you at the hospital. I am glad to see you home though. Keep up the fun and let Mowla take care of the rest.

    Our prayers are always there for you and your family.
    Tasnim and Nizar

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Yes, they called me their star patient, probably because I was pretty self-sufficient and they did not need to do much for me! I hope everything is going so well with you in preparation of the wedding. I have not seen a family so cool, calm and collected as yours and I marvel at the way you handle things. Thank you for your constant prayers. Munira

  • Nazir Nensi , April 19, 2012

    Mukhisaheb, Mukhianima, Our prayers are with you and we will do Mushkilassan Dua in JK and may Mawla grant you spiritual strength for speedy recovery.

    Nazir and Farida Nensi

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Nazir and Farida. – I am always so happy to hear from you. It puts a smile on my face. Thank you for your prayers. They are really helping. Munira

  • Anonymous , April 19, 2012

    thank you for keeping up this communication line, think of you daily with lots of loe and prayers.
    hang in there… He’s watching over you. God bless

    • Premji Family , April 20, 2012

      Thanks you for taking the time to read the blog! I love the idea that Mowla is watching over me! Munira

    • Anonymous , April 21, 2012

      Dear Mukhianima,
      We pray that you recover fast and as you know us from Burundi. For the moment we are mukhi of the jamat,we will always pray for your recovery. If you do not remember us, we are Aziza.s parents. For the moment we are in town and hope to see you. Kisses to you and lots of hugs. May mowla keep you healthy.

      Yasmin and Minaz Jaffer

      • Premji Family , April 23, 2012

        How wonderful to hear from you. And Mubaraki on your appointment! I have not seen Aziza in so long and would love to know how she’s doing. Thanks for the hugs and kisses. I’m having chemo today and am in hospital. Munira

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