BBC's Deborah James Records Final Podcast as She Stops Cancer Treatment and Starts Hospice Care

The radio host penned a 'goodbye' to fans earlier this week, letting them know she had entered hospice care

Deborah James
Photo: S Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

Deborah James has recorded her very last podcast days after sharing that she's in hospice care during her battle with bowel cancer.

James, 40, released In Deborah's Last Dance, the title of her final episode of her BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C: Putting the Can in Cancer on Tuesday.

Chatting with friend and producer Mike Holt from her parents' garden, the U.K. radio host told Holt, "I could say I'm doing fine but I'm not. I think the last week I've processed what I knew was coming in the last five years. I feel like I've been playing with the devil. You think 'Oh no, it's caught up with me now.' I haven't really got my head around this."

"We all know I've had a really rough six months. My liver's not working. We tried absolutely everything," she added. The conversation took place just days after she was told her cancer treatments were stopping and that she would instead receive palliative care, Holt said.

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"I feel like the last four months I'm getting so weak and my body just can't do it anymore. I tried so hard for five years. I'm still trying really hard but my body just doesn't want to play ball anymore," she shared, later stating, "I can't even walk anymore. That's what's really scary about it. I've gone from somebody who used to run 5K a day to somebody who needs her husband to pick her up to walk."

RELATED VIDEO: BBC Host Deborah James Pens Emotional 'Goodbye' Message Revealing She Is Entering Hospice Care

She told Holt she had been in the same hospital from January until earlier this month "minus a few days at home." It was later determined that she needed hospice care, which she asked to receive at her parents' home.

"It's where I've always wanted to die," she said, adding, "It's amazing how I've had five years knowing that this will happen to me and it's still shocking... I know I don't have months. It could be weeks at most."

Becoming emotional, she ended the episode by thanking her team and the listeners.

"I suppose that's it for me. I can't believe it, that is it for me. Which is a very sad thing to say. But I'm pleased that I've got to the point where I can say it. We'll see each other again, somewhere, somehow, dancing. Until then, please please just enjoy life because it is so precious. I can't tell you, all I want right now is more time and more life," she said.

"Check your pee," she concluded as a warning to fans to screen for cancer. "I can't leave on any other word other than check your pee I suppose .. so maybe I should leave on that final word. Check your pee."

On Monday, James, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, wrote an emotional "goodbye" to her fans, letting them know she was entering hospice care.

"The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn't playing ball," James wrote. "My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I'm not in pain and spending time with them."

She continued in part, "Nobody knows how long I've got left but I'm not able to walk, I'm sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can't continue anymore."

Shortly after sharing her news, she raised more than £1 million (equivalent to $1,233,00 USD) in 24 hours for her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research initiative.

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"I'm absolutely mind blown," James told BBC. "I just cannot thank people enough for their generosity. It just means so much to me. It makes me feel utterly loved. But it makes me feel like we're all kind of in it at the end together and we all want to make a difference and say, 'You know what? Screw you cancer.' You know, we can do better."

Added James: "We can do better for people and we just need to show it who's boss."

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