Deborah James reveals anger over her terminal cancer: ‘I don’t want to die’


Deborah James poses for a photograph.

Dame Deborah James has said she is “angry” about her terminal illness and shared her “frustration” with her situation.

The bowel cancer campaigner opened up about the difficulty she faces in coming to terms with her future after doctors told her there was nothing else they could do for her.

James, 40, said she felt particularly “angry” this week and didn’t “really believe” that she was dying.

The “You, Me and the Big C” podcast host revealed in early May that she moved to hospice at home care and “nobody knows how long I’ve got left”.

She was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016, at the age of 35. Since then, James has spent her time raising awareness about getting cancer at a young age and taking her followers on her journey through treatment.


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James’s Bowelbabe fund on JustGiving has raised more than £6.6m for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, far surpassing her initial target of £250,000.

She was honoured with a damehood from the Duke of Cambridge last month.

Speaking to The Sun, James said: “Dying is really hard. I’ve been consumed by anger this week. In all honesty, I’ve been a real b****.

“I keep shouting at people and pushing them away. I’m angry at what’s happening to me. I don’t want to die.”

She added: “There’s no right or wrong way to die. I’m still doing this my way. I’m frustrated with my situation because I don’t want to die. I don’t think I will ever really accept it.

“I don’t really believe that it’s happening. It all feels like a horrible joke. Watching the demise of my body is really, really sad.”

However, the podcaster said she got joy at doing such things as helping her family cook and getting ready in the morning.

Earlier this week, she shared on Instagram a series of photographs from a “girly sleepover” with her sister Sarah, her daughter Eloise and three other young girls.

In her post, James wrote that “making memories can be very hard [when] you are dying” due to “some very grabbed hours between the sleeping and side effects”.

James shares two children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise, with her husband Sebastien Bowen.

She told the publication that she had decided to spend time only with her family, because she didn’t “want my friends to see me like this”.

“I don’t want them to remember me this way,” she added.


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