The President of the Samoa Arts Council (S.A.C) and prominent choreographer, Seiuli Allan Vaai, had some fantastic news to share yesterday.
After he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastasis lung cancer and brain cancer and given three months to live, Seiuli’s latest medical assessment shows he is recovering well.
“Remarkably my Oncologist and Doctor has confirmed the worst is over, that my situation has improved by 90per cent,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“And though I still have few issues to resolve - God has given me another chance to live life and live it to the fullest for his Glory!
“Thank you God for my life and for second chances I am given to praise your name. To God be the Glory! Thank you friends and family for your prayers.”
In his post Seiuli referred to Deuteronomy 31 verse 6 which reads: “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
Seiuli said scripture attests “to my successful medical review yesterday.
“Though I was nervous after six months last year since I was first here in NZ as a newly diagnosed cancer patient ~ having gone through the tests yesterday I felt the warmth and presence of God. He really is a Living God full of mercy, grace and faithfulness.”
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan last year, Seiuli said the diagnosis came as a shock to him. He said he was active, living a healthy lifestyle and being told about such a situation was the last thing on his mind.
It happened so quickly.
“I actually got sick and it was pneumonia,” he said.
“It was from pneumonia that the doctor said they had to scan me. After the fourth day of being hospitalised, they found there was a tumour inside my right lung but they said there was nothing they could do here. It can only be done in New Zealand.”
He was evacuated to New Zealand only to find he had a condition called “metastasis lung cancer.”
“The tumour that was in my right lung had spread around my whole organs and it spread to my liver and to my lymph nodes which causes it to swell up and then to the brain. So the whole thing went around and that’s when they told me it’s stage 4 which is the final stage of cancer.”
As if being told he had cancer was not bad enough, Seiuli said he was then told that he had three months to live. This was in September 2016.
“They gave me one month to live if I wasn’t to be treated but three months if I was to start the treatment straight away,” he said.
“It was a shock in New Zealand with the doctor telling me my fate and I was like ‘okay’. I was numbed, I was in a state of shock and I couldn’t believe my life was on hold and especially when I have already had it all planned out from now until twenty years time.”
Seiuli said it was a very difficult time.
“I was told I had to go through radiotherapy but first I had to go through radiation in order to contain the brain cancer first because the tumour is already inside my brain and after that then they will treat the rest of my body.”
And being the active person he is, Seiuli said it took a while for the actuality of the situation to sink in.
Today, Seiuli said it’s important for everyone to make the most of life, live happy and stress-free.
“A lot of people when they are told that they have cancer they say they are going to die,” he said.
“I can never curl up or pull down and say “I’m gonna die” as a matter of fact when the doctor told me that I have one to three months to live, I wanted to get up and punch his face. I was thinking “who the heck do you think you are?”