Gratitude

When you have cancer, it becomes easy to focus on what’s not going well in your life.  The chemotherapy treatment plays havoc with your body.  Between the fatigue, the nausea and vomiting, the weakened bones, the fevers, the mouth sores and the hair loss, cancer can be a daunting affair.  And then there is the loss of everything you knew pre-cancer:  loss of work, loss of identity, loss of purpose.

But something incredibly special happens when you choose to live in the space of gratitude.  I start each day so happy to be alive and I end each day taking stock of all the things I am thankful for.  And there are a surprising number of blessings each day – if you choose to find them.

 I am thankful that I can sit on my deck and see the birds and squirrels and chipmunks go about their lives.  I so look forward to having Japanese tea with Nagib; watching “Suits” with Shayne and Sabrina; experimenting with new dishes and new styles to redefine what a cancer patient looks like.  I love that I can continue to drive myself to hospital appointments and lunch dates.  And I relish the time I spend with my mom.

I am thankful for all the incredible people in my life:  family who are the wind beneath my wings; friends who have been with me every step of this journey;  neighbours who take good care of me; a community that encourages me and gives me the strength to fight and conquer the cancer; and new and interesting people I am meeting as part of this rollercoaster ride.

I am thankful that there is new research on Multiple Myeloma that will hopefully result in a cure of this currently incurable cancer .  Selfishly, I am praying that this will happen during my lifetime  — I have so much to live for!

The funny thing is that the more I sit in gratitude, the more things I find I have to be grateful for.  It’s like a ripple effect.  This makes sense to me as I believe that you get what you focus on.  And when you focus on saying thank you, regardless of how difficult your situation or circumstance may be, you create a space where you find blessings and opportunities abound.  It’s not always easy to be thankful, particularly when things are tough.  It takes trust.  It takes courage.  But there is an undeniable joy and a curious multiplication effect when you learn to say thank you.  Every day is a brand new slate of wonder and marvel.  Every day is an opportunity to say thank you for the privilege of living.  

-Munira

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40 thoughts on “Gratitude”

  1. You looked absolutely beautiful when I saw you in j.k. the day you wore that saree with the beautiful wig/hat. I was telling Arif, only you could pull that off and look absolutely gorgeous.
    By the way, I started reading The Magic, which is the sequel to The Secret and it talks about all that you have mentioned in your blog today. It talks about being grateful every day of your life and if you practice it religiously for 30 days, it will become a part of your life and you will see how things just turn around for the better. I have started and I have already seen some positive changes. It takes a special individual to see the gratitude in life among all that you’re going through physically, mentally and emotionally. But look at the ripple effects you have already encountered and with continued gratitude, you will find you will be surrounded with only goodness in your life. Ameen!

    With immense love from the Nathoos!!

    1. So great to get your perspective, Nathoo family! i will definitely pick up a copy of The Magic – thanks for pointing it out. I’m glad it is having an impact on you – – lets talk more about it. Love to all of you, Munira

  2. We are all so grateful to have a person like yourself in our life as blessings do come in disguise through your path… May we all get more moments to cherish & share the love together…

  3. I only recently came across your blog. I read all the touching entries in one sitting, took pause and then re-read them all over again and then had a good cry. I was blown away at the courage, strength and love that your family demonstrates. I have always been wowed by you but instead of crying tears of sadness I was/am so inspired by you. You are such a great role model, mentor and human being.
    Your entire family is so beautiful. I can\’t believe how much the kids have grown and pray that my daughter (age 2 now!) and I will one day have the incredible relationship that you and Sabrina share (you are gorgeous Sabrina, btw!-hope you remember me)
    My wish for you today is to continue on this journey of hope, gratitude and learning with your head held up high and adorned by stylish headgear. My wish for you is to pay you back a thousand fold for every time you have gazed deeply into my eyes and sweetly wished things for me and my family. May all those prayers reach you softly and swiftly. May the world continue to be inspired by Munira Premji.
    Love, Rishma & family

    1. Dearest Rishma – – How wonderful to hear from you! I cannot believe that your little one is already 2 years old. I imagine that you are a wonderful mother! I really appreciate your comments about the blog. Coming from you it is a testament that what we are doing is making a difference. Thank you! I also accept with humility your heartfelt prayers and wishes. It means the world to me. Much love, Munira

  4. Saira Says!

    Munira inshallah there will be a cure for this type of cancer in your lifetime! you have so much to live for, I am positive that you will be around to raise your grandkids! inshallah! You are looking amazing in that beautiful saree! I have never met you and yet I feel I know you so well, thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I agree with Dilshad I too have read all the three books and just completed the Magic! Life can be whatever you make of it. Be blessed always!

  5. Yes, Mukhianima. once again, “…every positive thought that leaves your mind bounces across Universes in all things positive, and comes back to serve you….”. Continue with that chin up. We all have our fingers crossed and we know Mowla is kind.

    1. Ya Ali! I have come to JK a few times and have not seen you. I really miss not seeing you. How have you been? I was struck by your wonderful metaphor about positive thoughts leaving the mind only to bounce across the universe, and coming back to serve us. Thank you for that energizing picture! Munira

  6. Munira, I love your positive strategies, they are so effective and are a great example to follow. Thanks for sharing so much, and for all the pictures – you and your wonderful family exude love and joy! It’s beautiful. Love, Patti.

    1. Hi Patti! Love back to you! The sharing is actually quite therapeutic for me. I am so glad we started the blog because i would certanly not be able to remember a lot of the journey. This keeps us remembering, centred and humbled. Munira

  7. Received your blog today through a forward message by someone and spent 2 of my working hours reading your blog. You are the luckiest one to have financial and family support, both at the same time. My husband had brain tumor, and i know how to go through all this process. Unfortunately we didn’t had sufficient funds for his treatment but still Maula helped me out and I was able to arrange it. My family was really supportive. Gudluck to you. May maula shower his blessings on you and give you good health. Ameen.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog and connecting. I agree with you completely. Family support is so critical and i am so grateful to live in a country that pays for most of my treatment. I was sorry to hear about your husband’s brain tumor. Sometimes I feel that cancer affects the family more than it does the person who is going through it. You sound like one strong individual with a lot of heart! Munira

  8. Keep up the positive energy and when you are ready I will do a tango with you.

    The Master does not clutter your path with problems without offering solutions.

    He just loves his creation too much.

    Amir Jaffer

  9. Very well written article and nice pictures, Mukhiani Saheba. As someone who is suffering from Inclusion Body Myositis, a debilitating muscular degenerative disease, and with a spouse who has Cancer, we found your blog very inspirational. We too are learning to fight and adapt to whatever challenges Allah has sought right to send our way. Attitude is the key to survival.
    Thanks once again and we pray for “Mushkil asaan” for all.
    Keep it up.

    1. hello A & Y. I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through and my prayers and healing energy are with you. I am glad you are fighting and adapting. I am also learning that hope and faith are so important when life throws you a curve ball. Don’t give up! Lots and lots of prayers for your recovery and good health. Munira

  10. Ya Ali Madad,
    I have followed your blog and you are truly a blessed soul of Mowla and the inspiration you have given to sooo many is Gods gift, some whom you know and some whom you dont even know. I think of you every Tuesday when I am there for my seva. You gave me strength and support which I shall never ever forget. You are in my prayers and thoughts always. Just to let you know Im thinking of you tonnes and miss you and the Dua you give me always. Inshallah we shall meet and catch up very soon. Love, misses and hugs Mumtaz Adatia

    1. Nahida. Thanks! My hair is starting to come back now – gray in the front and black on the sides and the back of my head. Murphy’s Law! Thanks for your love and your,prayers. Hope to see you in JK one of these days! Munira

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