SUN columnist Deborah James has today revealed she has found a new fire for life and wants to make the most of every day after her liver started to fail.
The 39-year-old was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016 and has shared her journey with Sun readers ever since.
Today Deborah appeared on Lorraine where she updated viewers on her current battle, admitting that the "last month hasn't been going well".
She said: "I have never been so scared in my life. About a week and a half ago my liver started to fail."
In her column, Deborah revealed that she went to hospital to have a stent fitted in her liver, to try and clear the obstruction that's causing it to fail.
This 13th operation was a success and she can now have more chemo to blast the tumour.
She said that while this was now the only option available to her, she was happy to have an option.
Speaking this morning she said: "It was really scary to see my body fail on me that quickly, it's kind of floored me to be honest."
Since Deborah was diagnosed in 2016 she has documented her journey for her social media followers and Sun readers.
She explained: "You just want hope and options… it's taking it one milestone at a time and what I found seeing up close the kind of 'what if' it was really scary.
"I've suddenly bounced back, my body is distraught it's only this weekend I've been out of hospital.
"I've spent the last 14 days in hospital and I've suddenly found this fire inside of me… it's just like the fire I had when I was first diagnosed.
"It's just a burning desire that I just want to live… and I want to make the most of these windows.
"We don't know what the future will be like so we have to make the most of today."
Whilst she was in hospital, there was one thing Deborah said she didn't want to miss – a concert her 11-year-old daughter was a part of.
While she says she would usually avoid school plays, this was one she just wanted to be at.
KNOWING BOWEL CANCER SIGNS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE
BOWEL cancer is the fourth most common form of the disease in the UK – but the second deadliest, claiming around 16,000 lives a year.
Yet it can be cured, if it’s diagnosed early enough.
Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it’s picked up at stage 4, but detected at stage 1 – before it’s spread – and more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.
There are two ways to ensure early diagnosis, screening and awareness of the symptoms.
Brits have been subjected to a postcode lottery when it comes to bowel cancer screening, with tests sent out in Scotland from 50, while people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have to wait until they are 60.
That’s why The Sun launched the No Time 2 Lose campaign, calling on the Government to lower the screening age, to save thousands of lives a year.
In the summer of 2018, Matt Hancock agreed, in a victory for The Sun and campaigners – yet three years on and screening at 50 has yet to be widely rolled out.
While screening is an important part of early diagnosis, so is knowing the symptoms and acting if you spot the signs.
The five red-flag symptoms are:
- Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
- A change in your normal toilet habits – going more or less often for example
- Pain or lump in your tummy
- Extreme tiredness for no real reason
- Unexplained weight loss
If you’re worried, don’t be embarrassed and speak to your GP – doctors see and deal with bowel problems all the time
She said: "It's my daughter's last year in primary school and I was still in hospital with an infection and I was in one of the darkest places I have been in a long time, I just said I need to see my daughter's play.
"It's that hope, tomorrow is another day and you just have to get through those 24 hours sometimes."
Deborah also talked through how her and her family have managed through her diagnoses.
When she was first diagnosed she and her son Hugo would do a "chemo dance together", to help normalise her having treatment at home.
She explained: "You were connected to a pump at home for three days and I had a seven and a nine-year-old and I didn't want them to be scared.
"It got us through the first year and a half. When my children found out I was going back to chemo they said 'yay chemo dances are coming back'."
At the time her daughter was away, so 13-year-old Hugo stepped up to the challenge.
The next morning over a million people had viewed the heartwarming video.
"That dance means so much to me, that's hope, it's what taking one step at a time can do", she added.
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