Munira Premji

Back to Work!
Back to Work!

Throughout my battle with cancer, I kept alive the hope that I would be able to work again.  I felt like I had so much to contribute, that the thought of never working again was not something I was willing to accept.  But the reality of my situation was daunting.  With the abuse that my body has taken over the past 18 months, and its lingering effects, it was looking more and more like I would not ever work again.

Four months ago, I was not able to process information well.  Information that I was able to handle easily pre-cancer, became like a foreign language to me.  Often, when someone said something to me, it went way over my head and I had a hard time connecting the dots.  This was like a death sentence to me.  Prior to the cancer, I was able to multi-task and think faster than the average person.  During chemotherapy treatments, I found that it would take me two days to process information and figure out what was said.  Shayne and Sabrina supported me by capturing on their Blackberrys everything that my oncologist, Dr. Tiedemann, said and emailing it to me so that I could process the information at my own time.  There is something very real about “chemo brain”.  I started doing crossword puzzles and word searches every day to try and reverse the effects of what my brain was doing to me.

Slowly, very slowly, my brain has started functioning again.  I noticed it first when I would read a paragraph in a book and did not need to re-read it again because I got it the first time!  I noticed it again when I stopped asking repeated times how to do something, because I got it the first time.  I could not wait to share this information with Dr. Tiedemann, and ask his permission to work again.  Reluctantly, he agreed that I could work one or two days a week and try it out.

Almost immediately, I was contacted by my former client to work on a 3 month project that would enable me to work a couple of days a week.  I was so excited.  So nervous.  So anxious.  So ready.  To mark the occasion, my husband Nagib dropped me to work on Day 1 of my work.   I felt like a little kid being dropped to school on her first day.  I almost wanted to check if there was an apple in my briefcase!  Nagib had me stand at the front of the building and took a picture.

Remember the Seven Dwarfs who sang:  “Heigh, Ho, Heigh Ho, its home from work we go”?  Well, I now wake up on work days singing, “Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho.  It’s off to work I go”!

I am so happy to be working again!  It’s an indescribable feeling.  I feel whole and complete.  My brain is back and so is my spirit!  I am the same person, but a better version of myself.  I’ve come to understand that it is impossible to go through what I have without changing the core of who I have become.  I have become more loving and patient – – qualities that did not come naturally to me before.  Every moment matters to me now.  Every interaction is an opportunity to make a difference.  Every day is a blessing to contribute meaningfully.  I can’t control what the future will bring and whether there will be a cure for my cancer.  But I can sure as heck live fully in the moment!


  • Anonymous , August 22, 2013


    Looking forward to your trip to seattle Inshallah – please email me at whenever you come, I check my email often:) Saira Nasirdin.

  • Cindy Choleras , August 20, 2013

    SO happy for you Munira. You look amazing.

    • Premji Family , August 20, 2013

      Hi Cindy. I have a smile on my face every time I hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to write and for your friendship

  • Saira , August 16, 2013

    You look smashing! Glad to hear you’re back at work. It’s funny how that somehow defines us. I really miss it. Please pray that I get something where I feel I’m contributing to humanity, even if in a small way. I’m sure your prayers will hold more weight than mine, my dear role model.

  • Lucy , August 14, 2013

    You look fabulous. I love your last words, yes you can have every moment happiness. Love your wisdom, energy……….lots of hugs, love.

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Lots and lots of hugs back to you Lucy!

  • Begum Janmohamed , August 13, 2013

    Mukhiani Maa, very happy to hear you have started working and I’m sure your work place friends and employers are excited to see you back after the long battle. God bless you with longer life and help you at your job.


  • Rashida , August 13, 2013

    I am so proud of you….best wishes and lots of love

  • Anonymous , August 12, 2013

    slow and steady, be cautios though, listen to your body as sual, i am sure you have grasped that !:))

    Y.Kara is not keeping well ,just to keep u posted


  • yezmina jaffer , August 12, 2013

    The best news ever!!! Shukhar, take care, lots of love &  hugs


  • Ashif , August 12, 2013

    Muni Bai, this is a great idea. “But I can sure as heck live fully in the moment!”

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Hi Ashifbha – – I have learnt that every moment is so precious, so fragile. And when you take care of appreciating the little moments, the day is filled with surprising blessings…..Thanks for responding!

  • Nancy , August 12, 2013

    Congratulations Munira, So happy to hear the great news!

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Thanks Nancy! Wonderful to hear from you! How are you doing?

  • Renee Schachter , August 12, 2013

    Very simply.. wow!

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Hello, hello, hello Renee! Thanks! When can we get together? Sabrina leaves for New York this sunday. How does your week look like for next week?

  • Fatima Khemani , August 12, 2013

    Congrats Mukhranima! Have a wonderful first day back!

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Thanks Fatima! It’s been so great to be working again. Thoroughly enjoyed the first day, and continue to love every day I’m at work!

  • Anonymous , August 12, 2013

    Munira, I’m thrilled to see you are working again! Love, Patti

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Me too Patti! It’s only one or two days a week on a small project. I’m loving it!

  • Anonymous , August 12, 2013

    Munira … you have made an amzing recovery . Good wishes for continued strength and May there be smiles and rainbows always!

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Love, love your comments and good wishes!

  • Anonymous , August 12, 2013

    Little Lady in Red! you look amazing! so proud of you, Way to Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You a truly a fighter and my inspiration and role Model! You looks really HOT! make sure Nagib takes you for a date!:)
    Saira Nasirdin.

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Hi Saira!!!!! Just happy to hear from you! I am doing so well with your prayers and with Mowla’s grace. It’s time to finally get together Saira. Yes, Nagib has been taking me out on a lot of dates……!

      • Anonymous , August 20, 2013

        I am planning to come to Toronto next year inshallah will meet with you for sure. In the meantime if you decide to come to Seattle please come and visit me and stay with me no need to go to any hotel! I will treat you like Royalty lol!! Promise!! take care dearest! Saira.

      • Premji Family , August 20, 2013

        Saira I will so look forward to seeing you when you come to Toronto. You hold a special place in my heart! I hope our travels bring us to Seattle as well.

  • Ian Cook , August 12, 2013

    Welcome back to the world of gainful employment! The people in the organizations you’ve served have missed you. I love your line, “I am the same person but a better version of myself.”

    Hail to Munira 2.0!

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Hello Ian! I so look forward to your comments. You always know exactly what to say to make me feel like a million bucks. Hope you are doing exceptionally well and enjoying the summer.

  • Paula , August 12, 2013

    So glad you’re back Munira! We missed you! Wishing all the best now and always,


    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      It was really great to reconnect with you today Paula. I accept your good wishes with gratitude!

  • Julie Nunes , August 12, 2013

    Hot mama! You are awesome 🙂 Have fun at work

  • Anonymous , August 12, 2013

    Hot mama! You are awesome 🙂 Have fun at work!!

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Hey Julie! You always make me smile! I think you are pretty hot yourself!

  • Lyndsy Evenden , August 12, 2013

    Way to go Munira! So happy to see you back to work, and you look stunning!!!

    • Suzanne Sutherland , August 12, 2013

      You look amazing ! You are amazing ! Better than ever. I’m so happy for you. Big warm, hugs,

      • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

        Dearest friend Suzanne – – I so appreciated spending dedicated time with you! You are beautiful! Munira

    • Premji Family , August 15, 2013

      Thanks Lyndsy. It feels like so long since we spoke. I hope you are doing outstandingly well. Your comments mean the world to me!

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