THE LIMERICK mother-of-two Vicky Phelan, who was told she had just months to live in January, has revealed that her tumours have shrunk significantly, thanks to new drug treatment.
Vicky, the 43-year-old Annacotty woman, was responsible for lifting the lid of the CervicalCheck scandal after her High Court case with a US laboratory was settled for €2.5m.
Her doctor told her that, after having three doses of an immunotherapy drug, the effects are proving to be positive.
In an interview with RTE’s Ray D’Arcy, Ms Phelan said:
“I said ‘If this is bad news, I really don’t want to know.’ He nearly cut across me, he said: ‘Absolutely not, Vicky’. He was bursting to tell me to be honest. He said ‘This is just absolutely fantastic news’. He said: ‘You’re just absolutely not going to believe it’. He said ‘there is significant shrinkage in your tumours’.
“There was mascara running down faces, the makeup being touched up, but it was worth it,” she told the RTE personality.
Vicky, who will be conferred with an honorary doctorate at University of Limerick on June 28, said the drug allows the immune system to identify the cancer cells in the tumours and, in turn, attack the disease.
She believes it may allow her to manage the disease longterm.
Vicky said she there are around 100 people in the country who are on the drug, which are all clinical trials.
“When you’re put in a situation like mine, when you’re given a terminal diagnosis and nobody gives you any hope, you know, you’ll do whatever you have to do to get the drug if you think it’s going to work,” she said.