The Baywatch star has big plans for her newly Hep C-free life
Credit: Vincent Sandoval/FilmMagic

Pamela Anderson has a new lease on life now that her longtime struggle with Hepatitis C is officially over.

“I’m going to go crazy,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively, “especially with activism.”

“It has been 20 years … and I always felt this little dark cloud hanging over me,” Anderson says while attending a party in Santa Monica Thursday for Coco Eco magazine’s “Wild at Heart” issue and the launch of Pammies, her new line of recycled-material boots.

“I think anyone struggling with a disease that they say you can live with is still – it still plays into a lot of your decisions in your life,” she says. “Twenty years ago they told me I would die in 10 years. And 10 years into that, they told me I would be able to live with it and probably die of something else, but it all was very scary stuff.”

Anderson, 48, announced on Instagram Saturday that she had been cured, and she says she hasn’t had time to fully process the news.

“I’ve been too busy, I think it really hasn’t even hit me yet, but it’s exciting because now I get 20 years back on my life,” she says. “They came up with a cure just recently, and you know Tommy was cured a year ago, I was cured just Friday.” Anderson has said she got the virus by sharing tattoo needles with ex-husband Tommy Lee.

The strict vegan and PETA advocate says she has plans to travel the world advocating for environmental protections.

“People have to understand that climate change is a real thing and it’s the most important thing. So I’m going to go nuts. I’m kicking it up a notch. That fact that I get more time on this earth – I am going to be a great shepherd of the earth.”

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Anderson also shares her hopes that everybody with Hep C will be able to experience the excitement she feels over being cured.

“They have to go to their doctor. They have to get tested. There’s different kinds of Hep C but there’s cures for every single one of them,” says Anderson, who started a new FDA-approved drug regimen over the summer. “They just have to talk to their doctors and having insurance is the best thing to have. … It’s an expensive drug. So you better have insurance.”

Reporting by ABBY STERN