‘If I get two years, I’ll be delighted’ – hero campaigner Vicky Phelan
HERO cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan has said she “won’t be here for two or three years” unless a drug or a cure can be found.
The Kilkenny mother-of-two spoke candidly of the difficulty she faces some days in coming to terms with the reality of her illness during an interview with the Love and Courage podcast.
She told presenter Ruairi McKiernan: “I don’t know how long the drug will work for. The reality is I’m time limited unless a drug comes to cure me.
“I might have 12 or 24 months. If I get two years, I’ll be delighted but unless something new comes down the line, I won’t be here for two or three years – that’s hard, some days it consumes me and I get upset.
“And last week we had my son’s communion and I think will I be here for his confirmation but I didn’t think I’d be here for his communion.
“You have to take one day at a time. I’m so delighted I’m this well, I could be at home in bed really sick, in pain and I’m not and I’ll live my life as long as I can, as well as I can.
“It was one of the reasons I argued for the [Pembro] drug,” she added – to give other women a “better quality of life.”
However Vicky, who is from Mooncoin but now living in Limerick with her family, admitted: “I don’t want that [to be severely ill]. I don’t want to get to that point, and if I do, I won’t linger too long, put it that way.”
“It’s about making memories, living my life, even mending bridges, not taking small stuff seriously – there’s a great freedom in that. If people embrace life more and stop worrying about the small s**t, they’d be so much happier.”
The brave activist, who has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of other women caught up in the cervical cancer scandal, said that despite her terminal diagnosis she has “lived more in the past year” than she had in the previous eight years.
Vicky added: “I’ve been through a lot with depression which debilitated me. I feel so well. It’s amazing to be faced with you’re going to die and your life is limited.”