You, Me & The Big C host Deborah James has announced that her cancer treatment has stopped and that ‘nobody knows how long I’ve got left’ as she moves to hospice care.
The BBC broadcaster, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, shared an emotional Instagram post on Monday, writing as if it were to be her last.
In the lengthy message, Deborah explained that it was one she ‘never wanted to write’, and revealed how the focus was now on making her comfortable.
‘We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball,’ she began. ‘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.’
The 40-year-old author continued: ‘In over 5 years of writing about how I thought it would be my final Christmas, how I wouldn’t see my 40th birthday nor see my kids go to secondary school – I never envisaged writing the one where I would actually say goodbye.
‘I think it’s been the rebellious hope in me.’
The presenter explained that the last six months haven’t ‘exacty been kind’, and that while it is ‘heartbreaking’ news, she is ‘surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will’.
Deborah went on to list the charities that have helped her since her diagnosis, including Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Hospital. She is also setting up her own Bowelbabe Fund which she hopes will ‘flourish’ with donations, and ‘give more Deborah’s more time’.
The post concluded: ‘Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise. My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment!
‘You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets. Enjoy life x Deborah.’
The campaigner was bombarded with support from her followers and celebrity friends, including Katie Piper who commented: ‘You changed so many peoples lives, you’ve spread so much joy and kindness. An ever lasting impact.’
Candice Brown wrote: ‘I will raise a glass to you. Sending my love and all I can to you and your loves.’
Jess Wright said: ‘Sending you so much love.’
Andrea McLean added: ‘Oh Deborah… I’m sending you and your family all my love.’
Deborah has spent much of the year in hospital after experiencing a serious bleed and infections. She was visited by Lorraine Kelly in April, and admitted: ‘I don’t really know how I’m alive.’
The broadcaster is married to Sebastien Bowen and they share two children.
Macmillan cancer support