Emotional Deborah James says she had ‘hard conversations’ with her kids about her death

·3-min read
Emotional Deborah James says she had ‘hard conversations’ with her kids about her death

Deborah James said she had some “really hard conversations” with her children about death amid her battle with bowel cancer.

The BBC star, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, revealed this week she is now receiving end-of-life care.

Emotional James told how she has been preparing her children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, by talking about her death.

The podcaster told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday: “I have a really loving family who I adore. Honestly, they’re incredible and all I knew I wanted was to come here and be able to relax knowing that everything was OK.

Deborah James aka the Bowel Babe

“I’ve had some really hard conversations during the last week. You think, ‘Gosh, how can anyone have those conversations?’ and then you find yourself in the middle of them. And people are very nice, but you’re talking about your own death and I’ve had five years to prepare for my death.”

She added: “It’s really hard. The thing that I know, because I trust my husband - he’s just the most wonderful man and so is my family and I know that my kids are going to be more than looked after and surrounded by love.

“You always want to know as a mother - are your kids going to be OK? And my kids are going to be fine. But it doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss every chance I could have had with them.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Me and the Big C podcast, the mum said she felt “utterly loved” after more than £2.5m was raised for her Bowelbabe research fund.

She has kept her more than 500,000 Instagram followers up to date with her battle with the disease.

On Monday, the TV star revealed on Instagram that doctors were unable to provide her with further treatment.

She added: “I can’t even walk anymore, that’s what’s really scary about it, I’ve gone from someone who used to run 5km a day to someone who needs her husband to pick her up to walk a step.”

James said she had gone to her parents’ home in Surrey because it was “where I always wanted to die”.

She said hosting the podcast had made her realise the impact she could have “making someone not feel alone”.

“Yes I would give my cancer up in a second just to have a normal life again,” she said. “But to be able to do it and feel like you’ve had an impact is kind of one of the best feelings you can have.”

She told listeners: “Please, please just enjoy life because it’s so precious. All I want right now is more time and more life.”

James wrote her last column for The Sun on Tuesday in which she said: “The last six months have arguably been the hardest of my whole cancer journey.”

The fund name echoes her social media handle Bowelbabe and is raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

The Just Giving page said it is “raising money to fund clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer”.

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