‘Broke my heart’ Adele Roberts on Deborah James’ hospice care amid her own cancer battle

‘Broke my heart’ Adele Roberts on Deborah James’ hospice care amid her own cancer battle

Deborah James says her children 'will be okay' when she dies

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Adele Roberts, 43, said it “broke her heart” to learn her colleague Deborah James, 40, is now receiving end-of-life care for her bowel cancer. The BBC radio presenter has also been battling bowel cancer, announcing her diagnosis back in October.

Adele appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live today with her colleague Naga Munchetty, 47, in a pre-recorded interview about her cancer battle.

The star admitted that learning Deborah was now entering end-of-life care after battling stage four bowel cancer had “hit her hard”.

Adele spoke about how watching the podcast host fight for five years, after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 35, had “really helped her” come to terms with her illness.

This month, Deborah, who has since been made a Dame, broke the news that she would be stopping active care and moving into hospice at home care for the final part of her life.

Naga quizzed Adele about how Deborah’s news might have affected her given the radio DJ’s own bowel cancer struggles.

“It hit me hard,” Adele admitted. “And it feels a little bit selfish saying that because it’s not about me. It’s about Deborah. It broke my heart.”

After Naga reassured Adele that she had every right to be affected by the news, she continued: “Do you know what it is? It’s the heartbreaking reality of what she’s going through but then seeing her so strong and giving back to people in her time of need.

“I don’t know how she does it – she’s amazing and it is a pleasure for me to just watch that journey unfold.”

Speaking about her BBC colleague and friend, Naga also shared how she felt about Deborah’s devastating news.

“We’ve all been emotional and upset on behalf of Deborah and her family because we love her,” she said.

“And you’re allowed to do that,” the presenter added to Adele, “Don’t say sorry for that.”

On May 10, Deborah informed her 869,000 Instagram followers that she was being moved to hospice at home care and didn’t know how long she had left.

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She penned: “The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.

“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.

“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.”

The mum-of-two continued: “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.

“In over 5 years of writing about how I thought it would be my final Christmas, how I wouldn’t see my 40th birthday nor see my kids go to secondary school – I never envisaged writing the one where I would actually say goodbye.

“I think it’s been the rebellious hope in me. But I don’t think anyone can say the last 6 months has exactly been kind! It’s all heartbreaking to be going through but I’m surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will.”

She signed off her heartfelt post: “Right now for me, it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise.

“My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment!

“You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets. Enjoy life x Deborah”.

Naga Munchetty presents on BBC Radio 5Live from Monday to Wednesday at 11am.

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