Choose Breathtakingly Beautiful

February 13, 2016.

Three years ago today, I had a stem cell transplant. It wiped out the bad, brought in the good and gave me a whole new shot at life. Munira Version 2.0, as we like to say.

In the past 1,095 days post-transplant, I have experienced the highest of highs – kicking two cancers’ butts, returning to work – and the lowest of lows with my recent diagnosis of an aggressive breast cancer.

L.R Knost once said: “Life is amazing.  And then it’s awful.  And then it’s amazing again.  And in between the amazing and the awful, it’s ordinary and mundane and routine.  Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.  That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.  And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”

As I prepare to start chemotherapy for cancer #3 on March 11th, I choose breathtakingly beautiful. I choose hope. Yes, I know that it will be a tough 4 ½ months; I’ve been through chemo before.  But I will treat the chemo as healing water, there to help me live.  I will breathe in the amazing and nap during the fatigue.  And I plan to meet all kinds of wonderful people along the way.

I also choose preparation. Over the next 27 days, I’m going to prepare my body for chemo by eating well, going to the gym and giving up the enormous amounts of carbs I’ve been eating (I’m a stress eater!) I plan to go to Jamatkhana as often as I can to pray. And, Nagib and I spontaneously booked a cruise today to follow the sun before I start treatment. Woohoo!

Though I value preparation and taking destiny in my own two hands, I also choose letting go. I realize once again how important it is to take time to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling when difficulties come your way.  Equally important is to not dwell in this place forever, but find a way to focus on what you can control.  I cannot control the cancer diagnoses or the outcome of the upcoming cancer treatment; so I am focusing on treatment and getting better and on wonderful projects I have on the go.

Today, especially on Valentine’s Day, I choose love. I am grateful that I am not going through this journey alone. With God’s grace I am surrounded by the love of family, friends and community – something I value each day and try to pay forward with every person I meet.  I express my love and gratitude to you all for your support, uplifting words, flowers, smiles, hugs, messages, visits and lovely poems.  I send you, with all my heart, wishes and prayers for an extraordinary, breathtakingly beautiful life.

-Munira

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Choose Breathtakingly Beautiful”

  1. Good luck Munira! You will ace this one too! You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday! Praying that God gives you the strength to breeze through this one, recover and lead a healthy life! All the best! Time flies, I can’t believe it has been 3 years already…much love, Roma

  2. These are such beautiful thoughts, Munira. Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m praying for your strength during the tough times ahead, and for your speedy recovery. May you find moments of peace and happiness throughout.

  3. Beautiful thoughts….as always. We pray God give you the strength to overcome this difficult time. Wish you all the best and look forward to seeing your beautiful smile and big hugs!

  4. Roma. Do you remember being together in the stem cell unit? I can’t get over how time has flown. And now you are moving to Chicago. I wish for you outstanding health so that you continue to live your life fully and fearlessly. My prayers are always with you

  5. Munira, I am sorry to hear that you must go through a tough chemo treatment again, but I know you have the strength for it. Enjoy your cruise, keep in touch, and let me know what I can do to help you in your fight. Hugs, Patti

  6. Thank you for sharing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this journey to speedy recovery and good health. Enjoy your vacation. Have a safe and funfilled time. ❤️🙏

  7. Prayers are always with you!
    Footprints is my favorite poem “My precious child, I love you & would never leave you. During your times of trial & suffering, when you see only one set of footprints in the sand, it is then that I carried you” Our faith keeps us strong…

  8. Take each day, at a time, and stop worrying,it will take your energy away……
    you need more energy not less ,so kick those negative thoughts out
    its all in the thinking…..
    Mowla is closer than the hair in our body so why fear!

  9. Hello Munira….For some reason this morning I did a google search on my wife Pascale and an image of her came up and it was from your blog. Coincidence for me does not exist….I have to believe there was a reason. Knowing Pascale, she directed me here to tell you that she will be with you on this journey you are about to begin. You and Pascale were “kindred spirits”. You had a special connection, a special bond from your experiences that brought you together. Like you, she also had a term for chemo, she called it “l’eau de vie” or “water of life”. Life is what we do with it now, she would say and yes Munira you are soo very right…. life is breathtakingly beautiful.
    Let me end with a quote from one of Pascale’s posts on your blog …”You are such a beautiful person Munira, very strong and with so much to share, to say. In the journey we are facing, many beautiful moments, and a lot of love to come.”
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers…… Ron

    1. Dearest Ron – – I am in tears reading your note. You are right, there are no coincidences. I was thinking about Pascale while I was on the cruise — and coincindentally (or not!) i get this note from you at the same time. I miss Pascale. We gave each other tremendous support through difficult times and were indeed kindred spirits. And now she is speaking to me, through you, from the hereafter. This gives me strength as I start chemo this week. Thanks for writing Ron. And may God continue to keep Pascale in his heart.

  10. We wish you all the best for the next phase in your journey. We know that you will fight this with aplomb. You will be in our thoughts and prayers through this journey.

  11. Hi Munira, my husband (43 yrs old) has myeloma and recently (December/15) underwent a stem cell transplant at Princess Margaret Hospital (in the same room that you had yours in!). He was first diagnosed in 2009 (when our daughter was only 15 mos old) and relapsed in 2015 (after an initial SCT in 2010). He was diagnosed very late ie a tumor in his l2 vertebrae caused the L2 to fracture and he is now disabled. We are praying that this second SCT puts him in remission and that me and my daugther can have our husband/dad back. I have been following your blog and always think of you and your strength. You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of us. Continue being positive. Blessings Anjali

    1. Oh my goodness Anjali – – I just picked up your comment. I feel for what you are going through and am keeping you and your family in my prayers. I pray that the second SCT puts your husband in complete remission and that he enjoys a wonderful quality of life for many, many years. I just have a feeling that you will have many, many memories together, including seeing your daughter graduate and one day get married. Hold to wonderful thoughts. I would love to meet you in person. Can we make that happen?

      1. Hi Munira
        I just saw your response. Thank you for your uplifting words. I just read about your daughter Sabrina! Congratulations! You must be so proud! I hope your first round of chemo is tolerable. I was tearing up reading about your husband and daughter supporting you during your recent chemo. You are blessed to have their support. I can understand what they and you are going through. You are in my prayers. Would love to meet you when you are up for it.

  12. Dear Munira,
    You are in my thoughts often but even more so now. I treasure our times together and pray for your recovery! I miss you dearly and hope to see you soon. Enjoy the sun adventure and kick #3’s butt!!!!
    Love xoxoxo
    Sylwia

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