Happy Birthday, Munira Version 3.0!

November 22, 2020 – Toronto. It was exactly one year ago today that I had my second stem cell transplant and Munira Version 3.0 was born.

I like this version.  She is feisty, resilient and courageous. She gets into trouble sometimes because she doesn’t always follow the rules. She is forging her own path, unapologetically. She is prone to asking for forgiveness, rather than permission. She is strong in living her values.

She is different from Version 2.0 that made her debut on Feb 15, 2013. Munira Version 2.0 was known for being kind and compassionate, a bit weary from the wounds. She approached life with grace and gratitude, just thankful to be alive. It took her a while to find her place and come into her own.

Alas, after 6 ½ years, Version 2.0 started to slow down, the hardware started to malfunction. Dr. Rodger Tiedemann, the technical wizard in charge, made the call that a major upgrade was sorely required. The goal of the upgrade was to keep the system functional for another 3 to 3 ½ years.

It took three to four months to create the conditions for the upgrade – x-rays, bone scans, pet scans, chemotherapy, and minor surgeries to implant the devices required to deliver the upgrade. Oh, and the usual extensive tests to make sure the heart and other important organs – even the jaw and teeth – can withstand the reset.

Once everything checked out, the date for the upgrade was finally determined – November 22, 2019. But first, a complete reboot of the system was required. So, the CTRL-ALT-DEL was performed using the chemotherapy drug, Melphalan, on November 20, 2019 at the  Princess Margaret outpatient autologous transplant unit.

Shayne arrived from Nairobi to be witness to this miracle of science. Sabrina and Afzal face-timed from Kuwait. Nagib held my hand. Stem cells extracted in 2013 from the original version of Munira were brought into the unit by Millie in a metal drum, frozen at -170°C. The installation of the stem cells was pretty routine, and I went home.

Woohoo! Munira Version 3.0 is born.

Alas, after the reboot but before the stem cells could attach, my system was vulnerable to attacks from bacteria and viruses that can invade the bloodstream. Indeed, I ended up in hospital to treat two such malicious malware. The CPU was under attack as the motherboard suffered from a double dose of melphalan and two infections. Blood levels were at a critical level – hemoglobin, white cells, platelets and neutrophils were dropping fast to zero.

In came the cavalry, in the form of Sabrina, who flew in from Nairobi, and surprised me at my bedside when I was at my lowest. With Sabrina’s encouragement, Munira Version 3.0 started to rise up and fight back. She took her time to get strong and resilient.  And she improved her functionality every day. After a few days, Version 3.0 rose up to show her character and knocked down the viruses, and was able to go home to celebrate the holidays.

Through the late winter, spring and summer, despite a global attack from a very serious, once in a one-hundred year virus, known as SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19, a deadly virus especially for immuno-compromised systems), Munira Version 3.0 continued to improve rapidly. Today, she celebrates her first birthday, safe and sound, completely comfortable in her own skin.

Thank you from Munira Version 3.0.  I honour you for keeping me alive. And, thank you to Dr. Tiedemann, Nurse Practitioners Leeping and Christina, Nurses Tasha and all the other exceptional nurses, my family, friends and all of you out there in the world wide web.

12 Comments

  • Saira Nurali , December 3, 2020

    You’re our role model, mk Munira

  • Aziz , November 27, 2020

    May Mowla always bless you,always keep you healthy and safe

  • Chantal , November 24, 2020

    Happy birthday Munira V3.0!
    You look marvelous!
    Hope to talk to you soon!
    Chantal xoxo

  • Sandra , November 23, 2020

    You are amazing Munira!! So happy you’re doing well ❤️❤️🥰❤️🥰

  • Anonymous , November 23, 2020

    Happy Brithday Munira V3.0. Happy to read all is going marvelously! Hugs and kisses xoxo

  • Wedad Keshavji , November 23, 2020

    Happy Birthday Munira. Such an awe inspiring journey! Love, Wedad.

  • Anonymous , November 23, 2020

    This is wonderful news Munira. Keep up the positive attitude and happy birthday to version 3. All the best to you and your family during the holidays and stay safe. Mary

  • Anonymous , November 23, 2020

    Brilliant! Loving Munira 3.0! Hugs, Patti

  • Anis & Naj , November 23, 2020

    Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary Munira Mukhiani. We remember this specific journey with you as we often met at PMH and have the memories captured in our hearts and minds. Wishing you continued good health and happiness, and many more birthdays/anniversaries. Love to you, Nagib Mukhi, Sabrina & Shayne.
    Anis & Naj

  • Farah Kermally , November 23, 2020

    Happy Birthday Munira version 3.0, you are an inspiration to us in any version!

  • Anonymous , November 22, 2020

    So happy to hear that 3.0 is doing so well!

  • Anny Nasser , November 22, 2020

    You continue to be my inspiration! Love you Muni!

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