A Sense of Purpose

Today I am proud of myself.

I woke up in the morning not feeling so good.  Part of this, I think, was going through chemo this week and being on 100mg of prednisone – all of which can play havoc with my system.  I thought seriously about just staying in bed all day and felt I could justify this decision.  I allowed myself to go through a phase of self pity for about 30 minutes and realized that I was not being particularly constructive.   I feared that if I did not figure this out honestly, I could get into a daily vicious cycle of wanting to stay in bed longer each day.

It occured to me that what I was missing was a sense of purpose.  I missed work terribly.  I had to find something that would give me a reason to wake up in the morning, excited and ready to start the day.  A good friend of mine, Barb, had sent me some information about a cancer support group called Wellspring and suggested I check it out.   I had resisted so far, but today  felt compelled to see what it might offer.

But I still didn’t feel like getting out of bed.  So I asked for help.  Asking for help is so difficult and I know that this is something I need to learn as part of my journey.  I picked up the phone and called my sister-in-law, Anar.  She was thrilled to hear from me and cleared her calendar so she could spend the day with me.  Going to Wellspring was the best thing I ever did.  Imagine a home, an oasis, a safe place for cancer patients (and their caregivers) to come together and meet individuals who have been through the journey that you are starting.  A place with serene rooms that you can use to talk, read, blog and have tea.   There are regular drop-in sessions for Yoga and other activities.  There are classes you need to register for that are first-come, first-serve; classes like South-Asian cooking and Healthy Appetizers.  I have an appointment with a personal trainer tomorrow and am starting a customized 30-week fitness program the following week. This will help me stay healthy as I go through my 4 remaining chemo treatments.  I imagine that Wellspring will become my home away from home. It will give me the purpose and the structure I need at this time in my life.

As I sat in one of the rooms at Wellspring, I realized that I also needed other “projects” to keep me mentally alive (although taking care of myself will continue to be the area of focus).  So I made a list of what I hope to achieve in the next 3 months:  For starters.  Co-design a series of coaching workshops for women to be delivered in 2013.  Record another CD.  Get seriously better at using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media tools.  Improve my skills on my iPad and learn about cool apps.  Remove the hideous cement entrance to our home and design a different solution.  Continue to learn to cook (I am making real progress in this area!).

Today started out being a tough day and it took courage to do something empowering.  The outcome was the gift of waking up each morning with a sense of purpose.

- Munira

For more information on Wellspring Cancer Support Network, check out: http://www.wellspring.ca/

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40 Responses to “A Sense of Purpose”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Ya Ali Madad Mukhianimaa:

    I am so happy and proud of you, you are such a strong and positive person and I am confident with your positive attitude towards life, it will take you a long way. Our thoughts and prayers are
    with you at all times. Lots of love, Anis

    • Your prayers are really helping. Thanks Anis. Munira

    • Bob Boulton says:

      Tonight is the JVS Toronto Human Resources Committee of the Board meeting and Munira, your in-person voice will once again be sorely missed. You have more project plans and commitment to ‘a sense of purpose’ than people who are 100% healthy. I had two reactions. First – good grief, if you can’t pamper yourself now Munira, when can you? And, second – well, isn’t that just like her. So, while we will miss your smile, energy, and professional insights this evening, I will hand out a printed version of this blog entry so we can experience your presence. Which we want to have again for very selfish reasons. Bob.

      • Bob. I was just so touched and moved by your note. I could almost hear you say these words to me face-to-face, with a straight face. I have loved being part of your team and will look forward to rejoining JVS in 2013 if it makes sense. Thank you for finding a creative way for me to participate in the meeting this week! Sincerely, Munira

  2. Saira Nasirdin says:

    Mukhiani Ma,

    I admire you for your courage and positivity! inshallah all will work out well for you, keep the faith strong and Mowla will look after you.

  3. Isabelle says:

    Munira, munira, munira…. what can I say… I enjoy every sentence you put on your blog. To help you with Facebook, I will send you a friend request. I miss having you as a boss… talk to you soon… Maybe in French? Another potential project if ever you get bored… isa

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Munira,
    You are so positive and inspiring. I am sure you will even help people going to the Wellspring center.
    My dolls are still looking after you!
    Read you soon…
    Chantal

    • So great to hear from you Chantal! Yes, please keep your dolls working. Wellspring is truly incredible and I go for a fitness assessment and build muscles. And all services are at no cost due to corporate donations. Take care, Munira

  5. Saira Nasirdin says:

    Munira,

    Have you read the books the Secret and the Power by Rhonda Byrne? really good books. If you can send me your email address i can forward you the site!

  6. Lynda Cavanagh says:

    Munira,
    You have not changed a bit. Which is wonderful. Getting a personal trainer – learning to cook. Before you know it you will be looking at getting your pilot ‘s license. That wellness home sound amazing. There is always sometihing to look forward to and you will find something every day,
    i am sure. Hang in there, and know that our prayers and love are with you.
    Lynda and Dave

    • Lynda. I love when you post a comment. Every time I think of you I remember how amazing it was to work with you and spend time together. I remember how we were always on the edge of trying new things and I remember the laughter! I’m liking the idea of the pilot license but think I will pass as I am seriously color blind! Munira

  7. Julie Nunes says:

    You rock Munira.
    Can’t wait to hear more about those cooking lessons!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Munira,

    If you can spare some time to give me a tutorial on Facebook and Linked-In, I would be thrilled. I can also take you out to lunch on the same day (as promised).

    Take care my friend,

    Sebastian

    • Sounds like a plan Sebastian. Right now food is a bit of a challenge. But happy to show you what I know of Facebook and Linked In! Munira.
      I’m coming to the office on Thursday afternoon. Will you be there? Munira

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you laugh, the world laughs with you, if you cry ……(not sure myself what the world does?
    take care of yourself first
    if your body says no, dont push…

    dont go too fast ,especially in the beginning, it may be too much emotionally and physically
    be around positive people..

  10. Dilshad Nathoo says:

    I wanted to send you a quote I had heard which fits beautifully with you and this blog.
    “Having a sense of purpose is having a sense of self. A course to plot is a destination to hope for”……Bryant H McGill.
    You are plotting your course very well and filling it with many pitstops before the final destination (which is completing all of the treatments). Someone who is so strong, determined and independent as yourself, I know, must be going crazy with the extra time you have in your hands. Don’t feel guilty. I tell all my patients who go through the initial phase of cancer this. There is a sense of guilt that comes with this; like you shouldn’t feel down, or self pity or have so much time on your hands, etc. But Munira, this is also a part of the growing and learning process. Allow yourself to feel tired, to have self pity, to feel overwhelmed, to feel sad….because then you feel it, own it, learn from it and move on from it. I agree with what anonymous has written above. Listen to your body! Our prayers continue to be with you and your entire family. May Allah EASE the burden of all your difficulties. Ameen.

    With our special love,
    D

    • You raise such a good point. There is something about guilt that is showing up. I need to think more about this. Hey, are you available this Thursday night for a visit? Munira

  11. Anonymous says:

    Munira, you are so generous to share your thoughts and feelings. Beautifully expressed, and so helpful. Finding a sense of purpose can be so difficult, and yet, you have created a roadmap for others to follow. Let me know if you need any help with your workshop! Hugs.

  12. Dearest Munira,

    In your words, I sense a state of peace that only comes from discovering a worthy course that could create an insatiable number of checklists and action plans to busy yourself! This is a comfy cushion to settle in for quieter days Munira. I can hear the bells of glee ring and a long list of acquisitions and achievements crowding your horizon. Simply in awe of you…
    Love you and miss you much.

    Deva

  13. Anonymous says:

    is it possible for you to let us know what kind of help you need, we can then give our names to willowdale captain or vice captain if you need help. I am sure lots of volunteers, badge or non badge will be able to give some time and help with pleasure , …..atleast if she has the names going….. there is one person you need to call ,and they can then delegate…..

    we are all one team!!! and you are a mother, friend, mukhianimaa and inspiration to all of us as well….

    • Oh my goodness! I am fine and have everything I need. You know, I feel very fortunate that my mom lives with us and she is an incredible support. And i have family that come to visit and help. Munira

  14. Rashida Kanji says:

    Dearest Mukhianima,

    I enjoy every sentence in your blog! You are so positve and still full of life! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. Praying for you every day morning & evening!. Be good to yourself. Don’t overdo it! listen to your body. When is the best time to visit you? Take care,
    Love you always,

    Sending special prayers & warm hugs your way!
    God Bless you!

    Rashida

    • Ya Ali Rashida – – Thanks for being part of the journey. I’ve had a rough week and was admitted to the hospital for high fever. So lets plan for a visit in a couple of weeks. Thanks, Munira

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mukhianimaa,
    you will go through roller coaster emotions, feelings, try to buckle up, and with doctors help, medicine, counselling, prayers, meditations obtaining help and letting time heal
    you have worked so hard , rest for one year and let your body/system relax, loosen up
    you can exercise at home with a motivator, or restorative therapist come home? you dont need to build muscles right away if you are not up to it ….

  16. Munira,

    I was saddened to hear the news of your cancer, but am so encouraged and inspired by your courage and strength. You are a reminder to us all that every day is a precious gift to be lived to its fullest. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Diane

    • A voice from the past! How wonderful to hear from you Diane. Are you on Facebook so we can get connected and I can find out what’s going on with you over the years? You’ve captured beautifully what I am trying to do, which is to live life to its fullest every day. Because life is a precious gift. And it is fragile. Munira

  17. Al Janmohamed says:

    My Dearest Muni,
    You are again an incredible inspiration and role model for me. You are facing this challenge with vigour, passion, and an incredible strength. A couple of years ago when I felt like my walls were crumbing down you suggested I write a letter to Mowla Bapa, which I did every day in my prayers. Please know that I am continuing to pray him everyday – praying for your health and strength for you entire family as well as all families who had or are facing cancer. I cannot wait to see your smiling face again in JK. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and your family. Please let Nagib and your kids know that I can make a mean chocolate chip cookie if they interested. I can drop them off when ever it is convenient for them. My love and prayers are with you all the time.
    Love,
    Tamizan Janmohamed

    • I am so happy to hear from you Tamizan. And even happier that things seem to be going well for you and you have found peace and contentment in how you are handling what’s going on in your life. I am proud of you. Really appreciate your keeping me in your prayers. We would love to taste your chocolate chip cookies and invite you to drop it off anytime at your convenience! Munira

  18. yasmin F. Dhanji says:

    Munira Mukhiani,

    Firoz and have been thinking about you and your family at this time. We are praying that Mowla ease the burden of your difficulties.
    Your positive attitude is great!!!

    Lots of love,
    Yasmin Dhanji

    Sharmeen Jaffer asked me to let you know that she has been praying for your good health and mushkil asan. You have been a great support for many of us with your compassion and prayers.
    Love ALWAYS,
    Sharmeen.

    • Always great to hear from you Yasmin and Firoz. I feel your love and support.
      And thank you Sharmeen for praying for me. I owe you a phone call and will try and connect with you this weekend. Much hugs, Munira

  19. 94red says:

    Dear Munira,

    you are as always an inspiration. I only joined the group of your followers today (after Roel sent me the link), but i will be now definitely checking on your progress daily. You and Sabrina are amazing writers. It is so easy to read your stories and to relate. Thank you.

    I wanted to ask you a question about your plan to ‘Co-design a series of coaching workshops for women’. In my new job at TD Commercial Banking (I left TDFS in September 2011 after my department was found to be redundant), I have joined a community called ‘WIL’, Women in Leadership, and I have discussed my experience with the Insights course taught by you with my fellow group members. Following one of the ‘gifts’ that you taught me last year, here is my open-ended question: How could I find out more about the afore-mentioned series?

    Thank you and please, please take care of yourself. My thoughts are with you. Always.
    Anna

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  1. […] her entries, not once did I feel sorry for her. Instead, I felt joy at her successes and hope at her prospects. Every step of the way, I wanted to be her cheerleader, to call her go Munira! But the more I read, […]



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