“I brought my daughter into the world and took her out of it.”

As I held Deborah’s hand as she took her last breath, I was both sad and relieved. My beautiful whirlwind of a girl was gone, and so was her pain.

It’s hard to be a mom to a dead child every day, but tomorrow is especially hard.

Even though one of my children has died, I’ll always be a mom of three. But today, I’m thinking about my 16-year-old and 14-year-old grandchildren, Hugo and Eloise, who have lost their wonderful mother.

It’s not okay for them to send her a card or gift or just let her hug them.

Today, like every day for the past 21 months, all I can do is love them and be there for them.

Five and a half years after being told she had bowel cancer, my oldest daughter, Dame Deborah James, died. She was 40 years old.

It’s still hard to believe that the world has gone on without her. She was such a force of nature from the time she was a little girl.

Deborah was diagnosed in December 2016, when she was 35 years old and had two kids, ages 9 and 7.

She was a healthy, active young woman who didn’t smoke or eat meat. But she was losing weight, having bloody stools, and feeling tired.

At first, it was thought to be stress or IBS, so hearing that she had bowel cancer was very upsetting.

But I thought she would have surgery and chemotherapy and then be fine again soon.

There were more tests and a few weeks passed before I was shocked to hear that the cancer was in its fourth stage.

Deborah was brave and determined, which didn’t surprise me at all; that was just how she was.

She didn’t just want to deal with her own illness; she also wanted to help other people.

She wanted to shout from the rooftops about cancer, its symptoms, and how important it is to pay attention to your body.

“She wished the world were a better place for her kids.”
She started writing a column for The Sun and started the Bowelbabe blog soon after she was told she had cancer.

After that, she co-hosted the popular podcast You, Me, and the Big C, worked with The Sun to lower the NHS screening age, encouraged people to get checked, and talked about poop whenever she could.

Her kids were the most important thing in her life. To make things better for Hugo and Eloise, she wished. She pictured a time when they wouldn’t have to worry about getting cancer.

The Bowelbabe Fund, one of her biggest and last projects, was based on that idea.

In the weeks before she died, she set it up to pay for cancer research and help find new ways to treat the disease.

She knew her time was running out, so she gave it everything she had.

That being said, Deborah’s legacy is much bigger than the work she did and the lives she saved and still saves.

The best thing she gave us all was advice on how to live.

I see this in her children: she made the most of every day and found joy in every little thing. Her passion and energy are shared by both of them.

She told them to live a good life the weekend before she died.

She said, “You never know when life will end, so enjoy every moment.” I also try to remember that mantra.

I tend to put things off and save the best things for “holidays and high days.” Deborah is going to yell at me! She was the exact opposite; she’d wear her favorite dresses for no reason.

Since she died, I’ve tried to keep that brave, positive attitude.

I dress up for no reason, I now wear sparkly earrings like she did, and I try to enjoy each moment more. It makes me feel closer to her.

“I hated that I couldn’t ease her pain.”
Deborah was told she probably wouldn’t make it through the next year when she was first told she had bowel cancer.

I had a hard time understanding it. I don’t understand how I could lose my daughter in just a few months.

Deborah beat the odds over and over again, though, thanks to treatment and her own inner strength.

She went through a lot, including having her bowel removed, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and many combinations of strong drugs. She wouldn’t give up.

In March 2022, on our last Mother’s Day together, she was very sick but still planned to come to my house for lunch.

That day is one I will always remember. I really didn’t think it would be our last together because she always got better.

In May 2022, Deborah left The Royal Marsden Hospital after being told there was nothing else doctors could do and she only had days to live. That’s when I had to face my biggest fear.

As her mom, I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I felt terrible that I couldn’t ease her pain.

As a result, she moved in with us. We spent seven weeks with her, which was a wonderful time for all of us.

She planned movie nights and threw an unplanned engagement party for her 33-year-old brother Ben and his fiancée. After Buckingham Palace announced she was a dame, Prince William even came over for tea.

It was a strange time, full of love and both sadness and happiness. I will always remember it.

Deborah and I both couldn’t sleep, so most nights we stayed up together. We were both afraid she might not wake up.

We talked for a long time. I told her she was strong and promised to be there for her kids.

It was like getting my baby back; my dying daughter used to depend on me as a child. We couldn’t be apart, and our love for each other grew stronger.

I had her hand in mine when she passed away. After everything she had been through, I’m glad her last moments were peaceful.

I was high on adrenaline for the first year after she died. I did everything I could to help Deborah’s 44-year-old husband Seb and their kids.

I kept busy to take my mind off of how bad things were, but I didn’t really deal with my grief.

When her death anniversary came around, I had terrible panic attacks that made it impossible for me to leave the house.

Everything had caught up with me, and I was both physically and mentally worn out.

Even though I didn’t want to take them at first, I was given antidepressants. But talking about Deborah and looking at pictures of her also helps me feel better.

I felt better at the beginning of this year. Last month was Sarah’s 40th birthday, and in April, my son Ben is getting married.

We miss Deborah a lot on these important days, but we know she would want us to enjoy them for her.

Deborah is no longer with us, but her spirit lives on in her family, especially her children, and in the work she did to raise awareness and funds.

By admin

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