Deborah James recalls being told to 'spend Christmas with family'

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Deborah James told her You, Me and the Big C podcast listeners she wanted to bring new episodes of her show forward as she feared she’d not be alive in two months. Catching up with her co-stars Lauren and Steve, she revealed she had spent several weeks bedridden fighting colitis which meant her chemotherapy was put on hold.

“I have had, recently, some quite bad news. My health is deteriorating by the day,” she explained.

“I genuinely turned around and said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be alive in March if it carries on the way it’s going’.”

With this in mind, the 39-year-old said she wanted to “kick start” her new series and was praying to get to the end.

Deborah recalled how the last time her and her team recorded a show, she was “living on a knife edge” during chemotherapy.

The host was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in December 2016.

At present, the most dangerous place her cancer has been found is just outside of her liver, wrapped around her bile ducts.

Deborah told her co-stars that as well as this, she was still getting over colitis from three months ago and was struggling to eat.

“I can eat the wrong thing and it sets off an attack of colitis,” she explained.

Last month, the podcast host was told her liver stent had started to fail which required her to undergo an immediate operation.

Doctors initially believed the stent was blocked, however she was later told it had to be removed because there was too much cancer around that area.

“I thought I was being sent home to die. It was really scary,” she added after doctors told her there wasn’t much they could do at that point.

In a later scan, the presenter witnessed the cancer on different organs in her body including her pancreas, which took her by surprise.

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She then recalled the emotional moment her surgeon told her to enjoy as much quality time with loved ones as possible over Christmas.

“He said, ‘I’m really sorry, there’s nothing I can do for you’.”

The presenter has since undergone some more scans and tests, which determined an improvement in her liver.

However, she was warned that other treatment may not be possible due to fears of sepsis.

On her current situation, Deborah said: “I’m not the person people have known for the last four years where I’m running around all day.”

She went on to say her cancer was “pretty stable” at the moment, but was on her “last line” of treatment.

“All I need is stability, if I remain stable, then I’m OK,” she added.

“Knowing you’re on a last line option unless you qualify for a clinical trial, which with my body is a lot of ifs and buts, doesn’t feel that hopeful, I have to be honest with you.”

Listen to You, Me and the Big C: Putting the can in cancer on BBC Sounds.

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