Podcaster Deborah James has said that she’s given her husband “strict instructions” about dating after she dies.
On Monday (9 May), the You, Me And The Big C host shared the “heartbreaking” news that she was halting treatment for bowel cancer, six years after first being diagnosed, and moving to hospice-at-home care.
“We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball,” James wrote on Instagram, adding that she was “with my incredible family all around me” while focusing on “making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them”.
In a new interview, James opened up about the support of her “incredible” husband of 13 years Sebastien, with whom she shares two children, and her hopes that he finds someone else after her death.
“I don’t think I have ever seen my husband so emotional; but now he has suddenly realised the enormity of this,” she told The Times.
“ââI have given him strict instructions: I want him to move on.”
James continued: “He’s a handsome man. I’m, like, ‘Don’t be taken for a ride, don’t marry a bimbo, find someone else who can make you laugh like we did.’”
Elsewhere in the interview, James said that she had ended up in intensive care in January and was “resuscitated as a result of the huge pressure round my liver from the cancer”.
“By some miracle I got through that, but I’ve never left the hospital since,” she said. “I keep getting sepsis. Treatment is now fruitless because my body can’t tolerate anything.”
James, a former deputy headteacher, has been an avid cancer campaigner ever since her diagnosis in 201, and has often shared the trials and tribulations of her disease in newspaper columns and on social media.
The fundraiser she set up for Cancer Research UK, called the Bowelbabe Fund after her Instagram account, is currently at £3.4m, with Prince William and Kate Middleton among the donors.