Dame Deborah James has thrown a ‘last impromptu party’ as she celebrated her brother’s engagement with her loved ones.
The You, Me & The Big C presenter is currently receiving end-of-life hospice care at her parents’ home in Surrey after treatment for her bowel cancer stopped last month.
She was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016 but was recently told it had become terminal.
Over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, Dame Deborah celebrated the happy news of her brother’s engagement, sharing some sweet pictures on Instagram in which she looked ecstatic over the news, posing beside her sibling and her new sister-in-law to-be.
She captioned the post: ‘He finally put a ring on it!’ congratulating the pair.
‘If you ever followed my podcasts, brother banter features highly, and even Prince William joined in on the action recently! The question to my brother has always been why haven’t you proposed!’ she continued.
Dame Deborah added that when they facetimed her to share the happy news, her ‘mouth was still open for the rest of the day,’ and she couldn’t be ‘prouder’.
Sharing a picture of her smiling alongside her brother’s fiancée showing off the ring, and another picture of the family, including Dame Deborah’s two children, she wrote: ‘Of course I’m sad I won’t see the wedding but it gave me an excuse to throw my last impromptu party (and I even sat at the table for a bit of it!).’
She added that while she loves ‘curating table scapes and parties’, this ‘was the last one in me’.
‘A memory made without us even trying to make it a memory! Win!,’ she added, finishing the post: ‘Luckily the rain just held off and my body kept awake for a few hours! Ashley welcome officially to a slightly mad family, but we couldn’t be happier you are here.’
Earlier this week, Dame Deborah was treated to a cosy night in by her loved ones after going through a difficult few days as her health deteriorates.
On Monday night, Dame Deborah’s family threw her a pink-themed sleepover at home to lift her spirits after struggling in recent days.
In an Instagram post, the author is posing with several female members of her family, including daughter Eloise, 12, and even her brother, who were all dressed in an array of pink satin gowns, pyjamas and an eye mask. They relaxed inside teepees and treated themselves to pamper sessions with face masks.
Dame Deborah told her followers: ‘Making memories can be hard why you are dying! Oh the pressure!!. I’m now only getting some very grabbed hours between the sleeping and side effects, but this girly sleepover managed to put such a smile to my face having spent most of yesterday in tears!
‘I’m getting less and less able to leave the house, or bed really now, so was feeling pretty down about it. Or do anything for that matter! But my sister suggested a party sleepover!’
She continued: ‘I was feeling awful after a bad day, so didn’t watch the set up of anything. Actually I just cried over my leaking drains next door! But with the help of my sister and bro, managed to calm down and then they wheeled me into the room last night and yes I cried over the fairy lights! Good tears!
‘It was just perfect! I went from staying in my wheelchair to ending up everyone helping to get me into an actually Tee pee to watch Cinderella with the gang and sit their like a 5 year old with a huge Cheshire Cat smile on my face next to my daughter and sister!’
She added: ‘Today I sleep! But with another memory and a smile.’
Donate to Dame Deborah James’ Bowelbabe fund
You, Me & The Big C podcast host Dame Deborah James has admirably raised money towards cancer charities after announcing that her own bowel cancer was now terminal.
She is now receiving end-of-life hospice care at home due to her cancer treatment being stopped last month.
With the support of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), Dame Deborah and her family established the Bowelbabe Fund, with all money raised to be allocated to 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. Donations will also go towards continued support to raise awareness of cancer, such as Bowel Cancer UK’s Never Too Young campaign.
At the start of June, the fund had so far raised £6.6million to go towards clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
You can donate via the Just Giving link here.