Munira Premji

February 4, 2018.

Today is World Cancer Day.

It was exactly 6 years ago yesterday that I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  I remember the day vividly.  I was at Toronto General Hospital with Nagib.  We were watching a movie on my laptop, expecting that at any minute the doctor would release me.  Instead, Dr. Robert Wu, the doctor on call, sat beside me with the news that would change our world forever, “You’ve got multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood.”  Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and a month later, nearly lost my life to Acute Hyper Hemolitic Anemia.  And then, in December 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.

The ensuing tests and treatments, on and off, over the past 6 years – chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, stem cell transplant, bone marrow aspirations, blood transplants, MRIs, CT and PET scans, mammograms – consumed a big part of my life.  The impact on my family was horrendous.  Some days it felt like we were carrying a boulder up the mountain and the sheer weight of it was too much to bear.

I look at my life today 6 years later and I am amazed at how thrillingly well I am doing; most days its a toss-up between feeling great and feeling awesome!  I take things one or two at a time.  I continue to work but I’m not a workaholic anymore.  I no longer define myself by what I do or accomplish.  I am much less concerned about what people think of me, instead I focus on what’s important.   I have become gentler and more compassionate.  I accept, I forgive and I have learnt to let go of what I can’t control.  Most importantly, I have re-connected to my soul in a powerful way.  My relationship with my husband and children is joyful.  I have wonderful friends, a strong community and a very fulfilling life.  I feel complete.  This is the grace of God.

This monster called “cancer” is a reminder that life is fragile and so you must treat life as a gift from God.  It is a reminder that there is a last day for everyone – we just don’t know when it will happen.  How sad would it be to face that last day with regrets that you did not live your life fully and completely?

Today I feel strong.

I don’t think of myself as a person who has survived three cancers.

I don’t fear recurrence except when I go for my regular check-ups every three to four months to confirm that the cancers are contained and do not reappear.

I cannot stand to waste time.  I love to dance, to learn, to sing, to blog, to connect, to cook, to create, to visualize, to have fun, to give back, to make a difference.

And while I plan to live a long and fascinating life, I have come to terms with the fact that when it is my last day, I will succumb happily, with no regrets.   That has been the gift that cancer has given to me; the ability to live my life in service, in balance, in joy, in prayer and in doing my small part to make the world a better place.



  • Cindy Choleras , February 7, 2018

    I love reading your posts Munira – always so inspiring and uplifting!! They make me want to be a better person. Miss you ❤️

    • Anonymous , February 7, 2018

      Dearest dearest Cindy. How are you? How have you been? What’s happening? Thanks so much for keeping in touch. I miss you and your recipes!

  • Deva De Silva , February 6, 2018

    You are truly a divine gift to the hearts that you touch. Love you dearest Munira. Stay shining always.

    • Anonymous , February 6, 2018

      Your friendship is a gift to me!

      • Munira Premji , February 6, 2018

        …and to me…….!

    • Munira Premji , February 6, 2018

      You are my shining star Deva!

  • Shamim Hirji , February 5, 2018

    Munira, I have followed your journey and its very inspiring. God bless you and keep you healthy and happy. Amen.

    • Munira Premji , February 6, 2018

      Thanks Shamim for your encouragement and prayers

  • Renee , February 5, 2018

    Munira…you inspire us to pause, to reflect and to live our best lives everyday. I am forever grateful.

  • zuby , February 4, 2018

    wonderfull very brave

    • Anonymous , February 4, 2018


      • Munira Premji , February 6, 2018

        Hearts, right back at you!

    • Munira Premji , February 5, 2018


  • Billie Jo Hance , February 4, 2018

    Munira, Thank you for sharing your joyfulness and zest. Much love, BJ

    • Munira Premji , February 6, 2018

      Hi BJ! How joyful to hear from you, my coaching sister!

  • Lorraine McCallum , February 4, 2018

    Love you Munira. Thank you. xoxo Lorraine

    • Munira Premji , February 5, 2018

      Love you more Lorraine!

  • Anonymous , February 4, 2018

    MukhianiMaa Munira, you have given a lot of knowledge to people who are fighting with different kind of cancers. Thank you, God bless you long and better life. You have a smile all the time we meet

    • Munira Premji , February 6, 2018

      I heard somewhere that a smile is a gift from Allah!!!! Thanks for taking the time to connect…..

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