Deborah James Says It's 'Still Shocking' as She Reflects on Battle with Bowel Cancer

·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Deborah James attends The Best Heroes Awards 2019 at The Bloomsbury Hotel on October 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Deborah James attends The Best Heroes Awards 2019 at The Bloomsbury Hotel on October 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Dave Benett/Getty

Deborah James said it's "still shocking" that she's in her final days after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

In the final episode of her BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C: Putting the Can in Cancer, James, 40, told producer and friend Mike Holt that she's experiencing "numbness."

"You know, you kid yourself and you think, 'I'm not gonna die. I'm not gonna die.' And then you realize your legs are swollen, you can't move. You realize how much your body is breaking down," she said.

She later added, "I know I definitely don't have months ... It depends what my body does. It could be weeks at most."

Reflecting on her journey, James, who revealed on Monday that she is in hospice after ending cancer treatments, said, "I think the hardest thing so far, I could see it coming, the classic falling off a cliff. I could see my demise the last six months ... I thought I hit rock bottom and it just kept on getting worse and worse and worse. I don't think it's going to come as a surprise to anybody."

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"It's amazing how I've had five years knowing this would happen to me, and it's still shocking," she continued.

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The final podcast episode, titled Deborah James' Last Dance, the star, who was recently awarded Damehood, shared the place she's "always wanted to die."

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She told Holt that "minus a few days at home," she had been in the hospital from January until earlier this month when it was determined she would need hospice care.

"I decided that I want to be at my parents' because as much as I love London, I can't even get up the steps to pee. It's kind of not practical. My parents live in a bungalow so I can see greenery and my whole family can come here," she explained.

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"It's kind of where I've always wanted to die," the mom of two added. "I kind of always had that in my mind."

Continued James: "I think I always knew I didn't want to be at my London home. I think mainly, it doesn't feel right to me. There's nothing that I can describe that feels relaxing in that capacity. Don't get me wrong it's a lovely place, but I also think it's not where I can be. But it means the kids can go back there and they don't have this medical equipment, gauze, placed everywhere. It can continue to be their home without those memories, which might possibly be a good thing."

James shares son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, with her husband Sebastian Bowen.

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