Published: 20:11, 05 May 2021
| Updated: 20:45, 05 May 2021
One of the world's most famous artists has "never been so happy" - following life-altering surgery to remove an aggressive form of bladder cancer.
Margate's Tracey Emin found out she had a tumour after feeling pain her bladder when she was working on a picture of a malignant lump last year.
The 57-year-old had many of her reproductive organs removed within weeks of her diagnosis, and was subsequently given a urostomy bag in August.
And on Woman's Hour this morning, the artist best known for her pieces My Bed and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With, compared the operation she had to endure to gender reassignment.
"I had my bladder removed, my uterus removed and my fallopian tubes, urethra, part of my intestine, lymphnodes and half of my vagina removed," she told the BBC Radio 4 programme.
"There's not that many people (who've had this kind of dramatic surgery).
"It's probably the same as someone who's had a sex change.
"With this surgery, I was initially so happy to be alive and now I've got to get on with the consequences of it all."
Ms Emin previously said she feared she might not be alive this year as, prior to the surgery, medics feared the cancer would kill her if it spread to her lymph nodes.
The Kent artist added during the interview this morning that she is just "really happy to be getting my life back", after scans confirmed she is in remission.
"I had a lot of pain before (the operation) with the cancer for quite a while without knowing," Ms Emin said.
"I now have to make the most of every moment and not take it for granted. It sounds weird, but I've never been so happy.
"Some people would be very unhappy in my situation now, but I've realised how amazing my life is. I'd never realised that before."
Ms Emin is preparing for a new exhibition that will pair pieces of hers with those of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch at the Royal Academy of Arts later this month.
And, reflecting on her career, she told Emma Barnett that she was branded "a narcissist" for referencing her rape, which she suffered at the age of 13, in her work.
"A lot of people slagged me off (for depicting my pain)", she recalled.
"They said 'we don't want to hear about her rape. We don't want to hear about her abortion. We don't want to hear about her loneliness, her upbringing, her child abuse'.
"Thanks to Me Too, I have an open forum to talk about what I like without being called a moaner, a whinger, a whiner or a narcissist."
The display in London will open on May 18 and run until August 1.