BBC cancer podcast star Deborah James, who has terminal cancer of the colon, says she had to learn to walk again after being bedridden for three weeks in December after contracting infectious colitis.
The former deputy headmistress, who turned 40 and became a cancer activist, from London, has lived with stage four colon cancer since she was diagnosed in December 2016.
In the first episode of You, Me and the Big C, Deborah, a mother of two, revealed how she was “absolutely knocked out” by a “Big Gun Chemo” during the summer and then a serious infection at the end of the year – which she did Was taken to a London hospital by her husband at 1 a.m. for treatment.
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On a new series of cancer podcasts, You, Me and the Big C, James, 40, revealed she had to learn to walk again in December after being bedridden with colitis
The cancer activist told the co-hosts of the BBC show Lauren Mahon and Steve Bland that her cancer is currently stable in a really “ugly uncomfortable place” and that she is still deciding on treatment options
James celebrated five years since her diagnosis in 2016 – a milestone she thought she couldn’t make it – in December but was hospitalized with infectious colitis
She told co-hosts Lauren Mahon and Steve Bland on the latest episode of the BBC podcast that she had to learn to walk again after being in bed for almost a month.
She said, “After colitis, I had to learn to walk again because I had so much fluids.
“I’ve been bedridden for three weeks and just learning how to go to the end of the ride or whatever is basically just impossible.”
Speaking of how difficult the past six months had been, James said, although she was really happy that the “big chemo-chemo” she had to endure slowed the growth of her cancer, which was “on the rise”, it was a busy time.
On the latest episode of Radio 5 Lives You, Me and the Big C, James told her co-hosts, Steve Bland, lower left, and Lauren Mahon, lower right, that their cancer is stable, but future treatment options remain uncertain
The former deputy headmistress celebrated her 40th birthday in October, but admitted this week that the “big gun chemo” had “flattened her” in the summer.
The social media star has documented her battle with cancer online since she was diagnosed and has campaigned for greater awareness of the colon cancer diagnosis
COLON CANCER: THE SYMPTOMS YOU DON’T IGNORE
Colon or colon cancer affects the large intestine, which is made up of the large intestine and rectum.
Such tumors usually develop from precancerous growths called polyps.
- Bleeding from below
- Blood in the stool
- A change in bowel habits that lasts for at least three weeks
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Extreme, inexplicable fatigue
- stomach pain
Most cases have no clear cause, but people are more at risk if they:
- Are over 50
- Have a family history of the condition
- Have a personal history of polyps in the bowel
- have inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease
- Lead an unhealthy lifestyle
Treatment usually includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
More than nine in ten people with stage one colon cancer survive five years or more after they are diagnosed.
This drops significantly when diagnosed in later stages.
More than 41,200 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the UK each year, according to Bowel Cancer UK figures.
According to the National Cancer Institute, it affects about 40 in 100,000 adults each year in the United States.
She explained, “I have to be honest with you, going back to chemo from targeted therapy, it was hardcore big gun chemo and it absolutely blew my mind.
“I would say my quality of life was just awful.”
She informed the audience about her current health and said: “Some days I feel good, my quality of life is okay at the moment, but I am not the person that people have known for the last four years that I have been walking around. ” exercise every day. ‘
‘It’s just stable in a really stupid place.’
The activist announced that she is unlikely to qualify for a clinical trial due to impaired liver function and colitis.
She admitted that she had “postponed” about possible treatment options over the Christmas break.
That summer, James was told that she had an aggressive new tumor that had wrapped around her bile duct – requiring a life-saving hospitalization – and that a stent had been placed to prevent her liver from failing.
The stent, which was put in place to prevent her liver from failing, “stopped working” in December.
At the time, she explained to her followers how the hope of a “quick replacement operation” had turned into a “nightmare”.
She said, “Hopefully I’m now at the mercy of a super ‘magical medicinal miracle’ – but I’ve always been, and every chance is an opportunity, right?
“All I ever say is all I want is hope and options.”
In April, James announced that her cancer, which had been kept in check by breakthrough treatments, was back and she had to undergo a 12th operation.
West London’s mother of two, an assistant director, was diagnosed “late” in 2016 with incurable colorectal cancer.
She has often said that as a vegetarian runner, she was the last person doctors expected to develop the disease.
After sharing her experience of living with the disease on social media, Deborah came to be known as “Gut Baby” and began writing a column for The Sun.
In 2018, Deborah presented the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C on Radio 5 Live with Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland.
Bland tragically died of breast cancer on September 5 of that year; Her husband Steve Bland is now hosting the show.
HOW THE DEPUTY HEAD SOCIAL MEDIA BECAME CHANGED AWARENESS OF COLON CANCER
In 2018, Deborah (left) presented the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C on Radio 5 Live together with Lauren Mahon (front) and Rachael Bland (right). Bland tragically died of breast cancer on September 5 of that year; her husband Steve Bland is now co-hosting the show
- In December 2016 the West London mother of two, an assistant director, was diagnosed with “later” incurable colon cancer
- After Deborah shared her experience of living with the disease on social media, she became known as the “Gut Baby”.
- In 2018, she became one of three presenters on Radio 5 Lives You, Me and the Big C, hosted by her late co-host Rachael Bland. was designed
- Welsh journalist and presenter Bland, diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer, died on September 5, 2018, at the age of 40
- Deborah and her co-host Lauren Mahon continue to present the show, with Steve Bland, Rachel’s husband, joining the duo
- On social media and in her column for the Sun newspaper, Deborah has documented the many chemo, radiation therapy, and surgeries she has had since then
Last week, Deborah told her followers on Instagram, “With my general lack of being here (dancing!), Things have moved very quickly (in the wrong direction) when it comes to cancer.” Pictured: Deborah James during a scan at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London
- In 2019, she had a procedure called CyberKnife, a very targeted form of radiation therapy to attack an inoperable lymph node near her liver
- The impact of the pandemic on cancer services resulted in her campaign to continue care as usual, and earlier this year she launched ITV Lorraine’s “No Butts” campaign to help raise awareness about colorectal cancer symptoms
- Since last year she has been taking new experimental drugs as part of a study after her oncology team gave them the go-ahead
- August, Deborah announced that the scans she had had in the past few days showed that her cancer was “going very quickly in the wrong direction”.
- She told her followers that she would take a break on social media over the weekend to “snuggle” with her family before further scans.
- The mother of two said a new “rapidly growing” tumor near her liver has wrapped around her intestines
- On October 1st, Deborah celebrates her 40th birthday
- By October 18, the mother of two informed her followers that her chemotherapy was working
- Days later she was admitted to the emergency room with “a peak of 40 degrees”.