Podcast host Deborah James has praised her husband Sebastien for his “incredible” support as she is treated for colon cancer at the end of her life.
The 40-year-old former assistant principal said her partner has “dropped everything” and is with her 24 hours a day.
Speaking to The Times from her parents’ home in Woking, James also opened up about the impact her illness is having on her children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise.
James was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and has since kept her more than 500,000 Instagram followers up to date on her treatments.
She said: “It was awful telling my kids. We had a series of emotional conversations that escalated very quickly from supportive care to end of life care.
“My husband Sebastien was amazing, he dropped everything and is with me 24/7.
“My first thought was that I don’t want my kids to see me like that. I didn’t think I could talk to them without crying, but I’d love to cuddle with them one last time.”
James said there were moments when she was “just sobbing uncontrollably,” but added, “I can’t spend my last few days crying, it would be such a waste.
“So I’m trying to split my death, how else would I function?”
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The activist, who has raised millions for cancer charities since her diagnosis, also addressed the preparations she made for her death.
She said: “There’s quite a bit of death administration to do, mentally I’m trying to sort through all the final bits. I feel very reassured knowing that my children will be taken care of: that was the biggest thing for me, I just wanted to know that they would be fine without me.
“I don’t think they’re going to collapse when their world collapses.
“Looking back, the Covid pandemic has been a great blessing to our family. How else could we have just been together for two years with no distractions?
“I’ve watched every moment of them growing up in our little bubble and that makes up for some of the years I’ll lose.
“I am confident that they are doing really well; they are both now in secondary school where they live.
“They are so happily busy that I get messages saying, ‘Sorry I can’t call you tonight’. That’s great. You can function without me.”
James has set up the Bowelbabe Fund which has raised more than £2.5million since it was announced earlier in the week. Donations can be made online.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/bowel-cancer-campaigner-deborah-james-hails-incredible-husbands-support-41639620.html Colon cancer activist Deborah James praises her ‘incredible’ husband’s support