After being diagnosed with bowel cancer, Deborah James has used her platform to educate others about the ups and downs of her health journey.
James, 40, who shares son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, with husband Sebastien Bowen, previously revealed that she was cancer free following a three-year battle with the life-threatening stage 4 diagnosis.
“It’s a bit bonkers (and I haven’t honestly processed this for a few reasons), but right now, I have no evidence of cancer in my body!!. Which seems bonkers considering at one stage I had 15 tumours!” she wrote via Instagram in 2020.
As the cancer returned, the BBC podcast host used social media to highlight her happiest moments alongside updates about her health. “I very much ‘live with’ cancer. I hope I’m a lot more than just my diagnosis – this isn’t an account ‘just’ about cancer. It’s about Celebrating the moments between,” James, who started “You, Me and the Big C” in 2018, wrote via Instagram in January 2022. “I like to celebrate life. It’s all about taking it a day at a time! Step by step and being grateful for another sunrise.”
Following a nearly six-year battle, James revealed that she was entering hospice care after continuous visits to the hospital. “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 noted in May 2022. “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.”
At the time, James admitted that she was “absolutely mind blown” by the love that she received online. “I just cannot thank people enough for their generosity. It just means so much to me,” James told BBC that same month, noting that her fundraising reached new highs. “It makes me feel utterly loved. But it makes me feel like we’re all kind of in it at the end together and we all want to make a difference and say, ‘You know what? Screw you cancer.’ You know, we can do better.”
James noted that she hoped her honesty on social media inspired more people to support cancer research. “We can do better for people and we just need to show it who’s boss,” she continued. “Over the last five years I’ve campaigned, I’ve spoken about awareness, I’ve shared my story for a reason — the laughs, the giggles, sharing that you can live with cancer, unveiling what cancer can look like. But ultimately what I really want to happen is I don’t want any other Deborahs to have to go through this. We know that when we catch cancer early, we can cure it.”
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Scroll down for James’ inspiring quotes about her health and approach to life: