Thursday 20 June 2019

'Realistically I shouldn't be here but I am and I'm having a great aul time' - Terminally ill mum's inspiring positive attitude

Maureen Allman is facing terminal cancer
Maureen Allman is facing terminal cancer

Sasha Brady

Maureen Allman (51) appeared on the Late Late Show in May and won over audiences with her wit and positive attitude in the face of terminal cancer.

The brave mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two and a half years ago and her condition is now terminal after developing tumours in her liver.

Maureen Allman on The Late Late Show
Maureen Allman on The Late Late Show

She spoke to Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio One on Thursday morning to tell him that she was continuing to extend her lifespan.

"My doctor tells me 'You keep coming in to me and looking so well and so strong that I've no option but to keep treating you'," she said with a laugh.

"The type of cancer I have and the way that my disease has progressed means that realistically I shouldn't be here but I am and I'm having a great aul time."

Read more: 'Maureen, a wonderfully, funny, legend of a woman' - Late Late viewers hugely inspired by terminally ill mum's wit and positive attitude

After finishing six months of chemotherapy, Maureen went on a Mediterranean cruise with her daughter Sinead, son-in-law, grandson and her cousin's family.

"There were nine of us so we had a fabulous time," she said as she recalled the memories of the trip.

"I did as little as I possibly could, we enjoyed good food and a few nice drinks and just 'chillaxed'. It was just absolutely lovely for the family to catch up and to spend some time with them."

She also revealed that daughter Sinead is pregnant with her second child and Maureen has been warned that she's "not allowed to go anywhere" until the baby arrives.

Speaking of her own mortality, the Galway mum said that she has "accepted" that she doesn't have much time.

"Every day I kind of look for acceptance... acceptance of where I am now. If they told me at this stage that I could be cured, mentally I think I would struggle with that because I've worked so hard at accepting where I am now, if that makes sense?" she asked Ryan.

While she admits that she knows it will be upsetting, she's accepting her passing as part of a much bigger experience.

"It's the circle of life," she said as she compared journeying from life to death to "going from the womb to being born".

"I visualise it as the next step," she said.

"That's how I deal with it in my own head, I just see it as stepping from one platform to another.

"The whole concept of heaven and hell alludes me," she said when Ryan asked for her opinions on the afterlife.

"I see it as this, we're all energy sources and when we die that energy is released from the body; that will be the new form and I will have so much more freedom when I'm not confined by a body.

"That's where I go with it."

Maureen appealed for people to support Galway Hospice as she joined them for their annual Coffee Morning fundraiser.

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