THE SUN'S Deborah James broke down in tears today as she revealed she's petrified of dying.
The 40-year-old shared a heartbreaking Instagram post last night, in which she said she has stopped active cancer treatment and is now receiving end of life care at her parent's home, with her family around her.
Hours after her final Sun column went live, and speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, the inspirational mum-of-two said she was 'gutted to not have more life'.
Her voice trembling, she said: "I'm scared about what might happen but it is what it is, I've had five years to prepare but you never really prepare – you always want more.
"My health hasn't been good and I could see it coming and it's just knowing that it's going to happen."
Deborah, who has shared every step of her rollercoaster experience with stage 4 bowel cancer in her Sun column 'Things Cancer Made me Say'and the BBC You Me and the Big C podcast, said she has taken solace from those who have gone before her.
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Remembering her former podcast co-host Rachael Bland, who died of breast cancer in 2018, Deborah said: " I'm really scared. I don't know how she could deal with such a 'this is what I'm going to do' [approach], I'm petrified.
"I can't make a deal with the devil anymore unfortunately.
"I just feel gutted not to have more life, 'cos you know me, I love life so much.
"But I do hope that all of our stories and the podcast and everything we've shared over the past few years has saved lives."
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Her appearance on the radio this afternoon comes after she launched the BowelBabe Fund to support cutting edge research in the hope that others won't have to face her fate.
Deborah urged people to donate to the fundraiser – at bowelbabe.org – after smashing her initial target of £250,000,raising a staggering £1million in 16 hours.
Now, 24 hours after the launch, it's raised close to £1.5 million.
The Sun columnist said when she realised the end was drawing near, she was determined to use her platform to raise as much money as possible.
"I just knew that I wanted to ensure I could leave enough money for them to do something meaningful, that would mean that we could fund projects that I myself would have benefited from 5 years ago to give me life," Deborah said.
"Because you just never know do you, when that next breakthrough is going to come, but I know we have the skills and passion in this country to make things happen, but we just need to fund it properly."
Speaking to host Tony Livesey, Deborah said she still has a list of things that she is working through, but that right now, it's all about her being as comfortable as possible.
"I can't walk, I can't stand, I can't go to the loo – I can't do really basic stuff.
"I've been doing a lot of sleeping.
"Just spending time watching people that I love, to just know that they are ok.
"The more I tell myself that they are going to be ok, I know they are surrounded by love. I know they are surrounded by support – they will be fine."
What are the symptoms to look for? Remember “BOWEL”
- : B:Bleeding
There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom, of blood in your poo.
Bright red blood could come from swollen blood vessels, haemorrhoids or piles, in your back passage.
Dark red or black blood could come from your bowel or stomach.
Blood in your stools is one of the key signs of bowel cancer, so it's important to mention it to your doctor so they can investigate.
2. O: Obvious change in loo habits
It's important to tell your GP if you have noticed any changes in your bowel habits, that lasts three weeks or longer.
It's especially important if you have also noticed signs of blood in your poo.
You might notice you need to go to the loo more often, you might have looser stools or feel like you're not going enough or fully emptying your bowels.
Don't be embarrassed, your GP will have heard a lot worse! Speak up and get it checked.
3. W: Weight loss
This is less common than the other symptoms, but an important one to be aware of. If you've lost weight and don't really know why, it's worth mentioning to your GP.
You may not feel like eating, feel sick, bloated and not hungry.
4. E: Extreme tiredness
Bowel cancer that causes bleeding can cause a lack of iron in the body – anaemia. If you develop anaemia you're likely to feel tired and your skin might look pale.
5. L: Lump or pain
As with lots of other forms of cancer, a lump or pain can be a sign of bowel cancer.
It's most likely you'll notice a pain or lump in your stomach or back passage.
See your GP if it doesn't go away, or if it affects how you eat or sleep.
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