Cancer sufferer BBC podcaster Deborah James writes heartbreaking ‘goodbye’ message


Cancer sufferer BBC podcaster Deborah James writes heartbreaking ‘goodbye’ message

BBC podcast host Deborah James, who has incurable bowel cancer, has shared a heartbreaking ‘goodbye’ message after moving to hospice care with her family.

The former deputy head teacher turned cancer campaigner, 40, from London, has been living with stage four bowel cancer since she was diagnosed in December 2016, and was told early on that she might not live beyond five years – a milestone that passed in the autumn of 2021.

At the start of the year, the mother-of-two, who shares her children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, with her husband Sebastien, announced she had ‘nearly died’ in hospital, calling it the ‘hardest’ part of her 5-year cancer battle, and was admitted as an in-patient earlier this month.

She shared an Instagram post earlier this evening saying ‘nobody knows how long she has left’, writing: ‘The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.

‘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.’

She continued: ‘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.’

‘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.

‘But I don’t think anyone can say the last 6 months has exactly been kind! It’s all heartbreaking to be going through but I’m surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will.’

She went on to share news of a ‘Bowelbabe fund’ which is being set up in her name, writing: ‘I always knew there was one thing I always wanted to do before I died.

‘I have always over the years raised as much awareness and money for the charities that are closest to me. @cr_uk @royalmarsden @bowelcanceruk.

‘As a result, the @bowelbabefund is being established and I’d love nothing more than for you to help it flourish. Please visit for all the info and to donate (link in Bio).’



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A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe)

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