BBC podcast presenter Deborah James has revealed she has ‘beaten herself up with regrets’ about not going to a GP earlier in her battle with cancer.
The You, Me and the Big C star, 39, who has been living with stage four bowel cancer since she was diagnosed in December 2016, told her followers on Instagram last month that an aggressive new tumour near her liver had wrapped itself around her bile duct.
Appearing on BBC News today to discuss Girl’s Aloud singer Sarah Harding‘s death, she urged those at home to go to the doctor if they felt something wasn’t right.
She said: ‘It’s not putting the blame back, I’ve personally beaten myself up about regretting not getting to the GP earlier.’
BBC podcast presenter Deborah James, 39, from London, has revealed she has ‘beaten herself up with regrets’ about not going to a GP earlier in her battle with cancer
Sarah, who also modelled and had a starring role in the St Trinian’s film series, passed away on Sunday, just 13 months after confirming her terminal cancer diagnosis.
Her death was announced by her devastated family on social media
Speaking about Sarah’s death, she said it was ‘hard-hitting’, adding: ‘It’s not just breast cancer, it’s knowing our body and understanding the difference between early and late diagnosis.
‘It’s tragic it takes these kind of headlines to remind us that none of us are exempt from the one in two of us who will get cancer in our lifetime.
The You, Me and the Big C star, who has been living with stage four bowel cancer since she was diagnosed in December 2016, told her followers on Instagram last month that an aggressive new tumour near her liver had wrapped itself around her bile duct
‘It’s not about scaremongering. It’s about if you’re sat at home right now, you need to know your body and get it checked out sooner rather than later.’
She said she could relate to Sarah’s fears about being diagnosed, saying: ‘I live with incurable bowel cancer and I put off my own diagnosis with bowel cancer.
‘You assume at that age you’re too young to be diagnosed. By the time I was, I had late stage bowel cancer.’
She explained: ‘I’m very grateful to be approaching five years, but I know that I’m smashing every statistic to do that.
‘The key message is actually cancer is survivable. More people will strive 10 years after they are diagnosed with cancer then die from it, but that’s because of where we’re moving in terms of catching things early.
‘The first step in doing that is for people sat at home is to recognise it has to start with them and we have to come forward.
Sarah Harding, who also modelled and had a starring role in the St Trinian’s film series, passed away on Sunday, just 13 months after confirming her terminal cancer diagnosis. Her death was announced by her devastated family on social media
‘It’s not putting the blame back, I’ve personally beaten myself up about regretting not getting to the GP earlier.
‘But I think if you’re one of those people who is a little bit concerned, it’s knowing, it’s scarily the longer we leave it rather than getting it sorted straight away.’
Deborah has been documenting her battle with cancer online in recent months, and last month said her mother had been helping her cope while her family were away on holiday.
Posting on Twitter, she wrote: ‘[Mum] has literally been nursing me back to life for the last month through liver failure and sepsis. #stayingalive.’
Deborah has been documenting her battle with cancer online in recent months, and last week said her mother had been helping her cope while her family were away on holiday
Posting the clip, she said: ‘Chemo dancing whilst hooked up to life saving drugs is on! This cycle, kids are away, so mum has stepped up!’
Performing a brief chereographed routine to Staying Alive, she added: ‘Song couldn’t be more apt! Cancer is still happening!’
Deborah has continued to document her battle with cancer after revealing last month she had a liver stunt fitted to allow her to have further chemotherapy.
She shared a photo of herself with husband Sebastien at the Queen’s tennis tournament in West London, saying: ‘I think you all know, by my general lack of being on here (dancing!), that Things have moved (in the wrong direction) very quickly cancer wise.’
BBC podcast presenter Deborah James, 39, from London, has shared an emotional tweet in which she revealed her mother has been ‘nursing her back to life’ for the past month (pictured together)
Deborah praised her ‘superman’ husband, Sebastien Bowen, for ‘keeping the family together’ during a ‘crazy a** scary week’. She had two children with the banker, Hugo, 13, and Eloise.
The upbeat deputy head-turned-campaigner and presenter added: ‘I do have a glimmer of hope and options and am greatful to my team who are currently pulling a “next step” plan together that doesn’t including writing me off just yet!’
Revealing she’d endured many tests and scans in recent days, Deborah said she’d ‘earnt a hell of a lot of brownie points for the amount of time I’ve spent on scanners and having tests this week’.
She added that: ‘Whilst it goes without saying that I’ve felt at rock bottom, I’m not giving up hope just yet.’
The mother-of-two finished the post by saying she was ‘taking the weekend to snuggle up with my family so you won’t see me on here, and I urge you to do the same.’
Last year, Deborah began taking new experimental drugs as part of a trial after her oncology team gave her the green light to do so.
In April, James shared that her cancer, which has been kept at bay by pioneering treatment, was back again and she was forced to endure a 12th operation.
London-based Deborah, who recently launched ITV’s Lorraine’s ‘No Butts’ campaign, designed to get people talking about the illness’s main symptoms, revealed how she recently asked her oncologist whether this was the ‘beginning of the end’ following her most recent results
Deborah, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, told Instagram followers scan results had shown: ‘Things have moved (in the wrong direction) very quickly’
She praised her husband, Sebastien Bowen, for ‘keeping the family together’, posting a picture of the couple at Queen’s tennis tournament in West London
In December 2016, the West London mother-of-two, a deputy head, was diagnosed ‘late’ with incurable bowel cancer.
She has frequently said that as a vegetarian runner, she was the last person doctors expected to get the disease.
After sharing her experiences on living with the disease on social media, Deborah became known as the ‘Bowel Babe’ and began writing a column for the Sun.
Last year, after several years of surgery, chemo and radiotherapy, Deborah underwent CyberKnife and ablation.
The surgery was a success and her cancer became inactive. But while Deborah continued undergoing daily targeted drug therapy to keep the cancer at bay, she told how just as lockdown restrictions in the UK started easing, her cancer ‘wanted in on the party’ and started waking up.
Deborah, who says that as a stage 4 cancer patient all she wants is ‘hope and options,’ added that the node is inoperable and that her body is unable to cope with any more radiotherapy in that area.
However, with an oncologist confirming Deborah’s cancer is spreading to ‘limited sites’ in a ‘specific way,’ local therapies – including a mix of CyberKnife and ablation – have so far had positive outcomes.
Deborah has also undergone a new type of ablation known as NanoKnife – an ablation procedure that uses low energy electrical pulses to create defects in cell membranes, resulting in loss of homeostasis and subsequent cell death.
Campaigner, broadcaster and author Deborah James said protecting cancer care should be a priority (pictured upon leaving hospital after going through an operation to treat her stage four metastatic bowel cancer)
The mother-of-two talks about her cancer on Instagram under her moniker Bowel Babe, and shares glimpses of her treatment (pictured during a treatment session in hospital)
Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail