Deborah James reveals heartbreak as she faces death without seeing children’s weddings in poignant final message

Deborah James in hospital and with children
Mother-of-two Deborah’s cancer treatment has now stopped (Pictures: Rex / Instagram @bowelbabe)

Deborah James has shared her biggest fear about her terminal cancer, after announcing she has moved to hospice care at home.

The You, Me & The Big C podcaster shared her final Instagram post on Monday and revealed the devastating news that she her cancer treatment has stopped and that ‘nobody knows how long I’ve got left’.

She was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016 and has fought her own battle tirelessly, while also raising awareness about the disease so that others can catch it early.

In her final column, Deborah, 40, admitted she is heartbroken that she will not get to see her two young children grow up.

The presenter shares son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, with banker husband Sebastien Bowen who she married in 2008.

‘I do not want to die – I can’t get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids’ weddings or see them grow up – that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much,’ she wrote.

The author revealed she and Sebastien have created memory boxes for their children, buying them gifts for certain key future birthdays.

Deborah added in her column for The Sun: ‘I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had.’

Elsewhere in the column, the presenter detailed how she has experienced a ‘rapid decline’ in her physical ability over the past week, leaving her unable to walk. Her husband Sebastien has instead carried her around, and she has spent much of the time sleeping.

‘I have never known tiredness like it and yet I fight daily to stay awake enough to complete a To-do list of things that I want to check off before I die,’ she wrote.

‘My body is so emaciated that I have no choice but to surrender to the inevitable.’

Deborah James and Sebastien Bowen
Deborah and Sebastien have created memory boxes for their children’s milestone birthdays (Picture: Getty Images)

Deborah James
Deborah’s strength throughout her health ordeal has been admired by thousands (Picture: @bowelbabe, Instagram)

Deborah, who is now in end of life hospice at home care, said the journey now is all about ‘symptom management’ and making sure she is as comfortable as possible and that she can ‘have the best quality death that I can’.

It comes hours after the BBC podcast host announced the devastating update her 400,000 supporters had hoped not to read.

She wrote: ‘We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball. My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them. 

‘Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.’ 

It has since emerged that Deborah has incredibly raised over £1million for her charity Bowelbabe Fund, with the money donated going towards funding clinical trials and research into personalised medicine that could result in new treatments for cancer patients, including projects in collaboration with partners such as The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden.

Macmillan cancer support

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.

You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their webchat service, or visit their site for more information.

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