Health

the touching farewell of a presenter with terminal cancer

A podcast presenter in the UK gave a moving farewell on Instagram after six years of treatment for bowel cancer.

“My body just can’t take it anymore,” Deborah James said in a post on social media, saying she doesn’t know how much time she has left.




Deborah James is the presenter of the BBC's You, Me and the Big C podcast, which discusses the lives of people with cancer.

Deborah James is the presenter of the BBC’s You, Me and the Big C podcast, which discusses the lives of people with cancer.

Photo: BBC News Brazil

Deborah James is the host of the BBC’s You, Me and the Big C podcast, which discusses the lives of people with cancer. She said the past six months have been “heartbreaking” but that she is “surrounded by love”.

James was diagnosed in 2016 and has made several posts about her treatment to her more than 300,000 Instagram followers.

In December, she reflected on the five years that have passed since her incurable cancer diagnosis: “I’m fully aware that I shouldn’t be alive to write this today.”

But in a new Instagram post on Monday (5/10), she said she was posting “the message I never wanted to write.”

James said her cancer was no longer being fought off in treatment and instead the focus was on making sure she didn’t feel pain — allowing her to spend time with her “amazing family” who were all around her.

“Nobody knows how much time I have left, but I can’t walk, I sleep most days, and most of the things I took for granted are distant dreams,” she said.

“I know we’re looking at all possibilities. But even with all the innovative cancer treatments in the world or even if there’s a new magical breakthrough, my body just can’t go on anymore.”

She said the Bowelbabe fund — named after her Instagram account — will be created to fund research into personalized medicine for cancer patients and to support bowel cancer awareness campaigns.



“Even with all the innovative cancer treatments in the world or even if there’s a new magical breakthrough, my body just can’t go on anymore,” she said.

Photo: Getty Images / BBC News Brazil

James began hosting the You, Me and the Big C com podcast in 2018, with the show receiving praise for its frank discussion of cancer.

Rachel Bland, another presenter, died at age 40, six months after the show’s launch. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer two years earlier.

In her Instagram post, James said, “Right now, for me, the goal is to take one day at a time, step by step, and be grateful for another sunrise.”

“All my family is around me and let’s dance together, sunbathing and laughing (I’m going to cry!!) at every possible moment!”

She thanked her online followers for “playing their part in my journey”, before saying goodbye with the words: “No regrets. Enjoy life.”

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