Tracey Emin has declared she’s passed a “big milestone” in her battle with bladder cancer as her last scans gave her the “all clear”.
She went public with her health battle back in October, revealing she’d undergone treatment and the disease was in remission.
The artist, 57, has now opened up about her condition in a new interview on BBC Newsnight, explaining her last three-monthly scan last week showed she was “all clear”.
She added: “I’m not painting because I’m using my willpower to stay alive. That’s what I’m doing. I never realised how much I wanted to live until I thought I was going to die.”
Tracey – famed for her messy bed art installation – also revealed she’s undergone life-saving surgeries in a bid to beat the cancer including a full hysterectomy.
She also had her bladder and urethra, lymph nodes, part of her vagina and intestine removed.
In the Newsnight interview, she explained she now has a urostomy bag to take the place of the bladder and urinary system, calling it a “major disability”.
She had been undergoing scans every three months to keep a check on the cancer, but after being given the all clear she will now only have to be checked once a year.
When she first spoke out about her cancer last year, Tracey admitted she’d been scared she wouldn’t live to see Christmas.
She told the BBC: “To know that I could have possibly been dead by Christmas. That could have been so easily the outcome.”
During her conversation with the BBC, she explained doctors assumed she just had a UTI but did not determine it was caused by cancer until later on.
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“I kept going backwards and forwards to the doctors, different things, tests and everything, because I had something wrong with my bladder,” she explained.
Tracey added: “It was just always presumed that that was what the problem was. That I had urinary tract infections, kidney infections, which I did. But the reason why I had them is because I had full-blown cancer.”
Tracey’s interview onNewsnight airs on BBC Two on Friday 9 April at 10:45pm