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Dame Deborah James ‘scared to go to sleep’ as podcast host receives end-of-life care

Dame Deborah James has shared her fears over falling asleep each night because she does not know how long she has left to live.

The podcast host, who is known as Bowel Babe online after campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer, revealed two weeks ago that she was receiving end-of-life care at her family home in Surrey.

The 40-year-old was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has since then kept her more than 800,000 Instagram followers up to date with her treatment, with candid posts about her progress and diagnosis.

After keeping busy by raising nearly £7m for cancer charities, Dame Deborah has admitted she is tired at the moment because she is "scared to go to sleep".

Speaking to The Sun, she said: "I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but it’s just so unpredictable.

"I’m scared to fall asleep and that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so tired. I am scared to go to sleep."

Dame Deborah also spoke about how her family have been helping her since she began receiving care at home.

She shares two children, Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, with her husband Sebastian Bowen.

She said: "I think my family are knackered, they have all been incredible – going above and beyond to look after me and nurse me.

"What I have seen from them in the last two weeks is true love, deep love. It’s overwhelming. They have all been amazing. I know the pressure on them at the moment is huge, I can’t do anything anymore without their help.

"I feel very strongly that I don’t want my kids to see me agitated and distressed. I want to make sure they see me when I’m having a good day."

Read more: Deborah James ’embracing the feeling of rain on her face’

‘I want my kids to have nice memories’

Dame Deborah recalled seeing her grandparents unwell when she was younger, and said she does not want her children to have a similar experience.

She said: "They weren’t good memories for me.

"I don’t want that for my kids. I want them to have nice memories.

"I don’t want them to take on the burden of having to care for me, massage my legs because I can’t walk. That would break my heart."

‘The more awareness I can help raise, the better’

Dame Deborah added she is still focused on raising awareness of bowel cancer.

She was recently honoured with a damehood by the Duke of Cambridge at her home for her "tireless campaigning" efforts.

She said: "I just think the more awareness I can help raise, the better."

Dame Deborah, the presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, revealed last week that she had completed her second book, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, which will be published on 18 August.

The book has already shot to number one on the Amazon list through pre-orders.

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