Personal Transformation Experience
A Journey of a Cancer Survivor
If it wasn't for Swami's Divine intervention, I probably wouldn't be alive and writing this article.
But Swami has given me a second chance at life. I feel so blessed that He has given me this golden opportunity to be a part of His subtle form mission and I pray that I'm able to progress spiritually to be a part of Prema Sai's mission.
My name is Remal Tappoo. This is my story. I was born into a Sai family and was brought up in Fiji. My family have been with Swami since the 1960's and my grandparents first visited Swami in the late 1960's. In the 1990's, I accompanied my parents to Puttaparthi and as a boy I had my first direct experience of Swami. Since then I have had many more trips to recharge my spiritual batteries at His Divine Lotus feet.
I had numerous experiences including multiple Darshans, listening to Swami’s discourses, as well as the glorious experience of an interview in Prashanti Nilayam. Interacting with Swami and being able to be inside His room for an hour is something which I cannot describe. It was pure bliss.
I've also had the privilege to serve in Swami’s organisation through the youth group in Fiji including being a youth leader and a regular bhajan singer.
In 2014, I had been unwell for more than eight months with unexplained fever, body aches and pains, and night sweats. After numerous examinations, blood tests and visit to multiple specialists, including multiple surgeries to gauge my condition, I was finally diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This is a rare type of cancer which affects the lymph nodes (in my case it started with the lymph nodes in my chest which had
gradually spread out to other lymph nodes in my body). The specialist immediately recommended six cycles of ABVD chemotherapy.
I was 30, married with an infant child and diagnosed with cancer!
I vividly recall the phone call from the doctor. I cried and the only thing on my mind was that death was knocking on my door and the thought of what would happen to my young wife and baby son. There was nothing else left to do but surrender.
All the years of being with Swami and learning His teachings had to be put into practice - faith, fearlessness, confidence, forbearance, and positivity. When I surrendered, miracles started to happen. It gave my family hope that Swami was taking care.
For example, we conducted a pooja before my treatment began and vibhuti manifested on Swami’s Palm on a large framed photograph which was at our home. This vibhuti lasted exactly until the end of my treatment.
The treatment consisted of multiple chemotherapy medications injected into my veins every fortnight. In most cases, there would be many side effects, however, miraculously, hardly any major side effects were experienced. Even the specialist chemotherapy nurses were surprised with my progress and lack of side effects.
After my first session of chemotherapy, virtually all my symptoms of lymphoma had stopped. Soon I started losing my hair. After every treatment session I was kept in isolation at home with my wife and baby son Ishaan since the risk of infection was high, especially within the first nine days or so after every chemotherapy session. This time however I got to spend quality time with my son who was less than one year old.
My first chemotherapy treatment in 2014
Spending quality time with my son as I started losing my hair
Those days were tough and testing. But with the support of my wife, my parents and my family, I got through it. Now I’m currently in full remission and approximately two and a half years have passed. With Swami’s Grace now I’m leading a supremely blessed and healthy life.
My wife Namrata and I have even had a second child which I never thought would have been possible a few years ago. The child was blessed by Swami even before he was born and Swami also named him - that is another amazing story for future.
My cousin brother Sumeet Tappoo re-introduced us to Swami in His subtle form in 2015. Even before my first personal experience, I believed him immediately because I saw his passion and heard his experiences and that so many senior devotees, who had dedicated their lives in serving Swami like Sri Indulal Shah and Mr. Issac Tigrett, were all a part of this.
We had the absolute divine grace of having His Darshan and multiple interviews during Swami’s first official visit to Fiji in September 2015. We experienced the same Divine Love and Incredible Energy that we had experienced in Puttaparthi.
In one of the interviews, Sumeet mentioned to Swami that I had experienced a lot of health problems. Swami instantly responded: “Health problem, what health problem? There is no health problem! Swami is taking care!” And later He said (you will have a) “Long, happy, married life!”. He even told my wife the same thing again in the family interview and added, “He was planning as if he was going to go and was worried about his son. Total madness! He is fine! Long, happy, married life!”
On the final day of His visit to Fiji, I got the opportunity to get Padnamaskar. As I was touching His feet, Swami spoke in Telugu to Sri Narasimha Murthy and then told Sumeet that I initially had brain cancer but Swami changed the brain cancer to a very treatable and lesser form of cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) and then willed it to go away after treatment. Swami said “Remal needs to do My Work and therefore I intervened". This is Swami’s Supreme Grace and Blessings, I now have another chance in life.
Final chemotherapy session
Fully recovered and now with another healthy, happy baby
I have dedicated my life in the service of Sai through service projects in Fiji. I am a part of the Executive Committee of the Sai Prema Foundation and I'm deeply involved in all projects of the Foundation including Health on Wheels (Medical camps for the poor), Gift of Life (Free paediatric cardiac surgeries for the children of Fiji), Sai Annapoorna (serving food to the poor), Be a
Hero (blood donation drives), and Children of God (looking after the needs of orphans).
I am also supremely grateful and blessed to be involved with the upcoming Sai Prema Ashram as well as the exciting new Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital Project in Fiji which my wife and I will be involved in, as we are both qualified pharmacists.
We are all supremely blessed to be given this opportunity to be with Him in His current mission. Don't waste it. It's a boon of hundreds, if not thousands of lifetimes.
Experiencing the Divine Grace and Presence of Swami again in September 2016 at the Divine Saisland Retreat along with Sri C. Sreenivas, Mr. Issac Tigrett, Sri B.N. Narsimha Murthy and Sri Madhusudhan Naidu
Region 1 Fiji