Munira Premji

Last year at this time, I was really ill.

I tried to downplay it and pretend everything was okay.  And then on December 31st, I ended up in emergency at Toronto General Hospital sporting a raging fever.  It took a lot of effort for my family to insist that I go to the hospital, and I resisted them every step of the way.  After all, who wants to spend New Year’s Eve at the hospital?  We did and made it as special as we could.

12:11 am January 1, 2013 at Toronto General Hospital - Emergency
12:11 am January 1, 2013 at     Toronto General Hospital – Emergency

Fast forward to today – – my second New Year’s Eve day with Multiple Myeloma.  365 days later and I am feeling on top of the world – energized and excited about life.  Living life to the fullest.  Living fearlessly, without compromises.  Living with impunity.  Yes, there are vestiges that cancer leaves behind; the scars from the Hickman line; the pain from the monthly bone strengthening treatment; the tiredness that can take over my body at a moment’s notice.  But these are minor inconveniences for the gift of being alive!

Cancer has the ability to make milestones feel even more important.  Milestones like New Year’s and birthdays take on a new meaning because there is the lingering feeling that, if the stats are correct, my cancer will come back in the next 18 to 24 months, and that’s two New Year’s Eves away.   I don’t worry about this much at all;  I use it to make every day — and every milestone — count.

I love the quote from Lao Tzu. “What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”   Life is a series of endings and new beginnings.   We can choose to end those things that no longer serve us well.  We can take the courage to start things that we know we must.  In the past year, I have made a lot of choices.  The one I am most proud of is that I no longer worry about what might happen, and instead make every moment count.  It took a long time to come to this place.  I had to suspend judgment, be less controlling and more accepting, and have faith that everything will work out.  Faith certainly beats worrying!

So, tonight, I will celebrate!  Happy New Year everyone.  May the new year bring peace in the world, good health to all, and joy and laughter in your lives!

I invite you to watch the segment called “Losses, Endings and New Beginnings” which is an excerpt from “Munira’s Journey”.  Please click on the link below:


  • matt , January 3, 2014

    awesome, awesome, awesome. thanks for this, you capture the emotions so nicely.

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Dear Matt – – Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I just went on your blog and am thrilled you are doing well. We are a resilient bunch of people when we join the multiple myeloma club, aren’t we?! I wish you good health and am sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

  • Debi Sheffield , January 3, 2014

    Dear Munira,
    I just know you through your blog and through our mutual partnership in multiple myeloma. Reading your words offers me strength and I would like to thank you for sharing your wisdom with everyone. May 2014 bring you continued good spirits and improved health. Continue to make every milestone count. Blessings to you. Debi Sheffield

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Hi Debi – – I am so glad to meet you virtually! I appreciate your comments and encouragement. I’m learning that we can’t always control what life brings us, but we can control how we deal with it. I wish you a 2014 that is filled with outstanding health and healing energy.

  • Dilshad , January 2, 2014

    Dearest Munira,
    What a beautiful reminder and message about losses and new beginnings.
    May 2014 bring you and your entire family abundant good health, happiness, spiritual and physical peace and many many many many New Years’ to celebrate!!! Ameen.
    With our love,
    Arif, Dilshad, Nareesa and Tahara

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      It was fantastic to spend time with you in December! You guys sure know how to light up a party! Thank you for all your good wishes. As always, we wish you everything wonderful that life has to offer. With love and in friendship, Munira

  • Renee Schachter , January 1, 2014

    You continue to be an amazing inspiration to us all Munira! We can all learn from your incredible enthusiasm for life, and positive attitude, as we enter this New Year. Sending love and wishes for a wonderful 2014! Renee

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Dear, dear Renee! Hi! I’m so glad that power was finally restored and life returned to some normalcy! Thanks for your phone call. Lets plan to get together soon. I wish you and your family incredible joy in the new year, and for all your dreams to come true!

  • Elizabeth Lorimer , January 1, 2014

    Munira, I wish you the happiest of New Years for 2014… And look forward to that lunch one of these days…. xoxo

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Hi Elizabeth – – I am so sorry we were not able to connect for lunch in December. I will look forward to getting together with you in January. Wishing you many reasons to smile in 2014! Hugs, Munira

      • Elizabeth Lorimer , January 6, 2014

        Me too! xo

  • Wendy , January 1, 2014

    This is my second New Years since I received my transplant Sept 27/12. So far I feel great. Looking for another 10 years. I am 63 years young. So glad to hear your on the road to recovery. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year. Stu.

    Stu & Wendy


    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Hello Stu and Wendy – – I am so encouraged to hear your story about how great you are feeling and your hope for the future. We are a resilient bunch aren’t we? Thanks so much for taking the time to write. Happiest 2014!

  • Lorraine McCallum , December 31, 2013

    Wow, Munira, thank you so much for sharing. I love what you have to say – you really inspire me and give me good reminders to make this, right now, count. I reached five years since diagnosis in November, and I really hope to be there with you when you reach your five years too. But even if we don’t, we will have made our time count.
    Love from Lorraine

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      You are my inspiration Lorraine! Happiest birthday to you. You are right – it is about making every moment count. I hope to make it to the 5 year club, and I am rooting for you to make it to the 20 year mark…..

  • Anonymous , December 31, 2013

    Oh Munira, what a blessing you are to all of us. I’m so grateful to you for sending this tonight. Happy and joyful new year to you and your family. Love BJ

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Hi BJ! Wishing you and your family a year filled with joy and fulfillment. Thank you for taking the time to write. I miss you!

  • David and Erika , December 31, 2013

    Beautiful message Munira!

    Warmest wishes and love to you and all your family, for the best year ever, ahead.

    Dave and Erika

    • Premji Family , January 4, 2014

      Hello Dave and Erica – – Happiest 2014 to you! Can’t wait for us to get together and spend some dedicated time with you! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014 and beyond……

      • Lorraine McCallum , January 9, 2014

        Dave and Erika too J

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