Vicky Phelan's memoir, Overcoming, is out now
CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan says she’s not ready to die yet and enjoys the simple things in life.
The adopted Limerick woman (pictured below with footballer Michael Owen), who came to national prominence last year made her comments during an appearance on the Late Late Show to mark the publication of her memoir, Overcoming.
Since she went public in April 2018, it has emerged that more than 220 women with cervical cancer had initially been given the all-clear based on smear tests carried out by the CervicalCheck screening programme.
The Kilkenny native, who received a Special Achievement Award at this year’s Limerick Person of the Year Awards, is a founding member of the 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group.
Speaking on Friday’s Late Late Show, Vicky described how her diagnosis has put her life in perspective.
“I’m living my life and it has taken me this long, and all what I have gone through I suppose, to get to the point where you have to enjoy life no matter what’s going on. I’ve been in a situation where you think the world is on top of you and things are never going to get better but they can get better but you have to make it (happen) as well yourself,” she told Ryan Tubridy.
“The small things – that’s what I enjoy most is being able to do the small things. I think we spend too much time thinking I’ll be happy when….. I’ll be happy when I’m two stone lighter – I’ve never been as heavy as I am now and I don't give a s*** do you no what I mean – at the end of the day who really cares? I’m here, I’m alive and that's the main thing,” she added.
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During the interview, she revealed that she and other women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government buildings for several hours this week and that she is hopeful a formal apology will be forthcoming in the near future.
“It’s heading the right direction,” she said.
Vicky also spoke about her family and marriage and the death of her then boyfriend in car crash in France when she aged 19.
When asked about her health now, the mother-of-two says while things have been difficult she plans to be around for a while.
“I think some people think that I’m the Superwoman and I’m not. One of the things definitely that has this smile on my face is that I’m sitting here today with you (Ryan). I’m able to get out of bed every day; I’m not in hospital; I’m not on any huge amount of pain medication and I’m not in a hospice and I’m not ready to go yet - I’m not anywhere near that,” she said.
“For me it’s a simple thing of waking up everyday and just being delighted to be here and to be well,” she added.
Published by Hachette Books Ireland and Ghost written by Naomi Linehan, Overcoming is available to buy now. It will be offically launched in Limerick next week.
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