Deborah James death admin: Preparing to say goodbye to children, husband

Deborah James has been given just weeks to live. She’s revealed the list of things she has to get done before she dies — or her “death admin”.

Podcaster, columnist and campaigner Deborah James has said she is fighting to stay awake to complete “death admin”.

The 40-year old this week revealed that she had stopped receiving active treatment and will spend her last days at her parents’ home in the UK.

Also known as Bowel Babe, Deborah has been living with bowel cancer since 2016 and has charted her journey through her column ‘Things Cancer Made Me Say’ and the ‘You Me and the Big C’ podcast.

Deborah had previously shared the microphone with Rachel Bland, who died in 2018 of breast cancer, and said there had been lots to do before she died.

In her final episode, mum-of-two Deborah revealed how she is now tying up loose ends.

Speaking to producer Mike Holt, she said: “I’m currently in the stage of doing death admin.

“I remember distinctively Rachel talking about it and saying ‘god when you die there is a lot of death admin to do’.”

“There’s things that I knew I wanted to do and recording one last thing with you was one of them,” Deborah continued.

In an interview yesterday, Deborah said she was petrified of dying and is trying to spend her final moments with her loved ones.

The campaigner added that she is constantly sleeping and that it’s a strange sensation.

“I’ll fall to sleep and it will feel like hours but it’s actually only been ten minutes.

“Then I’ll wake up again, before drifting off, it’s very strange.”

Deborah said she’s three quarters of the way through getting her affairs in order and that one thing that needs to be sorted out, is a book she has been writing titled ‘F*** You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life and Still Be Yourself’.

“I have ends to tie off which include whether my book will ever be published,” she said.

“I don’t know if I have months, the hospice said it could be weeks at most really.

“Nobody, not even doctors, they just don’t know.”

Speaking to The Times, she also highlighted that on her list, is leaving her children letters that they can open when she has died.

“It’s hard to work out what to do: you don’t want to rip off the Band-Aid every birthday and ruin it for them.

“But at the same time I want them to have letters at milestones, and funny messages. Here’s my advice on your wedding day, what to do on a first date.”

Another legacy that Deborah will leave is her Bowel Babe fund.

Donations can be made at bowelbabe.org, and close to $5 million has now been raised.

She asked supporters to buy her a drink to “see me out this world” by donating the cost of a gin and tonic to the fund.

The Sun columnist said it would raise money for further lifesaving cancer research “to give more Deborah’s more time”.

The money will be donated between Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden.

She added that she had always wanted to use her platform in a good way.

“I want to raise a pocket of money to go across the three charities which have supported me,” she said.

“My cancer didn’t define me but it never went away, we knew it was going to catch me in the end I had to navigate life with it.”

This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission

Originally published as ‘My horrifying last days doing death admin as I prepare to farewell my kids forever’