BBC podcast presenter Deborah James has shared an emotional post after begging doctors to release her from hospital for a few hours to see her daughter’s school play.
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 earlier this week that an aggressive new tumour near her liver had wrapped itself around her bile duct.
In a post to her 152,000 Instagram followers last night, the bowel cancer campaigner, also known as Bowel Babe, shared a beaming snap alongside her daughter Eloise, 11.
She described crying in hospital as she asked doctors if she could leave to watch her daughter’s performance, writing: ‘Not all of us have the guarantee of “next year” and whilst I spent that last 5 years avoiding most school plays, this final one of primary school meant more than anything.’
BBC podcast presenter Deborah James, 39, from London, has shared an emotional post after begging doctors to release her from hospital for a few hours to see her daughter’s school play
Sharing the snap last night, she wrote: ‘At 3pm, I was in tears in hospital, saying “but I just need to get to my daughters school production tonight”.
‘The fabulous team at the hospital, pulled it out of the bag to allow me to make it safely.
‘So I was straight from the hospital (yes I’m pretty fragile in this picture behind the smile), to the theatre (the kind I much prefer!!) and in the morning I’m heading straight back to the hospital!
‘These few days are really critical for me, so yes I’m being monitored like a robot.’
Updating fans earlier this week, the mother-of-two said that an aggressive new tumour near her liver had wrapped itself around her bile duct, adding ‘the signs have been there for a while’ that the cancer that had ‘gone to sleep’ is back again
She continued: ‘But these fleeting moments where nothing else matters beyond your daughters smile, is exactly what I need to help with the hard times.’
She added that she felt ‘grateful’ that the school was able to stay Covid-secure during the production, saying: ‘I never ever thought I’d see it. So yes there were tears. A lot of happy tears!’
The emotional post comes as Deborah continues documenting her battle with bowel cancer, which she described yesterday as ‘hairy and scary’.
Earlier this week, she had a liver stunt fitted to allow her to have chemotherapy to help fight off her cancer.
Deborah, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, told Instagram followers on Friday scan results had shown: ‘Things have moved (in the wrong direction) very quickly’
The mother-of-two told fans she had been on a ‘hideous cancer rollercoaster’, saying: ‘To cut a long story short, my drugs have stopped working and my liver is failing. But I’ve been given hope.’
She continued: ‘Today I had a stent fitted to my bile duct, in order to hope that my liver can function again and that I can then have more chemo.’
She said she would remain in hospital for observations, adding: ‘So whilst I feel like I’m back to square one and yes its a pretty scary, I’m taking it one step at a time, greatful to have hope and options. As my oncologist said, don’t write me off yet!’
Writing in her column in The Sun earlier this week, Deborah said the stent ‘should’ stop her liver from failing and might work for between three to six months.
She wrote: ‘If my liver plays ball, I can have chemo again. If that works, it might shrink the tumour enough to stop it obstructing my bile duct.’
She added: ‘The truth is it never really went away. It went to sleep for a bit, but now it’s back again and this time, my drugs aren’t working.’
Detailing the options she now has, she says her oncologist ‘wants me back on chemo’.
She added that she is already an ‘outlier’ having defied the odds that see people with the disease usually live for no more than around two-and-a-half years after diagnosis, saying: ‘There aren’t many other options, and I know, I’ve done hours of research.’
On Friday, 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.’
Deborah told fans that she was taking the weekend to ‘snuggle’ with my family – and remains hopeful of a ‘new plan’ but admitted she’d felt at ‘rock bottom’ in recent days following test results. She will begin another course of chemotherapy after she revealed ‘my drugs aren’t working’
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.’
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
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.
‘Not giving up hope’ The star, who campaigns for better awareness of bowel cancer symptons, said she’d had a ‘crazy a** scary week’ but still had a ‘glimmer of hope’ on further treatment
Deborah told her 152,000 followers on Instagram that 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’ Deborah, pictured at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Central 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)
‘I still get scared, I still overthink every possible scenario,’ she explained to Lorraine. ‘I still hate general anaesthetics and I worry every single time that I won’t wake up.’
‘I worry I might wake up too soon, I worry it will all go wrong. I worry I will freak out in the middle of the night, and I get nervous that I’ll have to sleep alone. ‘What if I die mid-operation?’
Deborah went on to say how before heading into the hospital, she makes sure everything is ‘in order at home’ – including reminding son Hugo of her password ‘just in case.’
She also added how she hugs him, Eloise and husband Seb ‘a little bit tighter.’
She continued: ‘I know that I have to take risks if I want to live, it’s a strategy that has got me this far and I’m not giving up now.’
Last month, Deborah poignantly revealed on Lorraine that ‘all she wants is a future’, as she launched a new campaign to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness month.
Speaking candidly about her future she said she’s had to accept she probably won’t see her children, aged 11 and 13, turn 18.
‘I was diagnosed at the age of 35, with stage four bowel cancer,’ she explained. ‘It was the last thing I thought would ever happen. It was caught very late and unfortunately, the chances of survival plummets.
‘It’s really hard when I look at my kids. I have a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old and I wonder if I’ll ever see them getting to 18 and I probably won’t.
‘All I want is to have a future and dream about a future. I want to make it to my 40th birthday later in the year, I want to have a huge party.
She added: ‘I want to be a 40-year-old, not Deborah with cancer, I want to be Deborah.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail