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Deborah James reveals she had to learn to walk again
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BBC presenter Deborah James, 40, was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in December 2016, and was told early on that she might not live beyond five years. Having reached the five-year anniversary of her diagnosis with her cancer now at stage four, recently during her lengthy battle the insanely brave campaigner has also been fighting colitis and had to learnt to walk again after spending several weeks bedridden.
After colitis, I had to relearn to walk again because I had so much fluid
Colitis is a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed, and this meant her chemotherapy was put on hold.
Chatting to her co-stars Lauren and Steve on the new episode of her podcast You, Me and the Big C, Deborah gave listeners another update on her “deteriorating heath”.
She said: “Some days I feel fine, my quality of life is OK right now, but I’m not the person people have known for the past four years where I’m running around exercising everyday.
“After colitis, I had to relearn to walk again because I had so much fluid.
“I’d been bed-bound for three weeks and just learning how to walk to the end of the drive or whatever, is just impossible essentially.”
Thankfully she’s now back on her feet, but admitted she can’t go a day without an afternoon nap.
However, Deborah went on to explain the “highly frustrating” element of her own battle, after having gone for tests in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
“Believe it or not, my cancer is still pretty stable!” she said.
“It’s just stable in a really b****y awkward place.”
The presenter revealed she had been given some options but she had been “procrastinating” about them over the holidays.
She shrugged: “There isn’t a clinical trial that I match with at the moment, and my liver function doesn’t meet the criteria.
“And even if it did, because of my colitis recently and all of these things, I just don’t really qualify.
“I’ve been given last line treatment with bowel cancer.”
It comes as Deborah had to undergo an immediate operation when her liver stent began to to fail.
Doctors initially believed the stent was blocked, however she was later told it had to be removed because there was too much cancer around that area.
“I thought I was being sent home to die. It was really scary,” she admitted, after being told her there wasn’t much they could do at that point.
In a later scan, the presenter witnessed the cancer on different organs in her body including her pancreas, which took her by surprise.
She then recalled the emotional moment her surgeon told her to enjoy as much quality time with loved ones as possible over Christmas.
“He said, ‘I’m really sorry, there’s nothing I can do for you,'” Deborah remembered somberly.
She has since undergone some more scans and tests which determined an improvement in her liver, but was warned that other treatment may not be possible due to fears of sepsis.
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