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Deborah James Reveals Why She Called Off Divorce Weeks Before Cancer Diagnosis

Deborah James Reveals Why She Called Off Divorce Weeks Before Cancer Diagnosis

Deborah said her husband is the glue that holds her together.

Podcaster and cancer campaigner Deborah James revealed that she and her husband called off their divorce just weeks before her bowel cancer diagnosis.

Deborah, who was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2016 announced this week that, after years of chasing down treatments, she has been moved to hospice at home care and plans to spend her remaining days with her family.

Throughout her cancer journey, Deborah had been documented the experience on her 'Bowel Babe' Instagram page as well as her BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C, and her regular magazine columns.

Deborah announced this week that she's being moved to hospice care. (

The activist previously revealed that she and her husband, banker Sebastien Bowen, had been considering a divorce just weeks before she was given her diagnosis.

Speaking to the Daily Mail back in 2020, Deborah explained that in 2015 her husband had moved out and the couple had both hired lawyers and started seeing other people, embarking on an initially ‘acrimonious’ divorce.

However, they decided to try marriage counselling to be on better terms for the sake of their kids, and gradually started going for dinner and drinks after the sessions.

This eventually led to them getting back together in November 2016.

Deborah has also explained how cancer made her realise how great her marriage was.

Writing for The Sun, she explained: "Two kids, three house moves, ten job promotions, one career switch, many fab trips, countless raging arguments, beautiful memories, family illness, one dog, and cancer - and we are still standing.

"It's taken two years of separation, nearly divorcing, hideous Tinder experiences, lots of marriage counselling, a hell of a lot of effort on both sides, and cancer to make us both realise no marriage is perfect. We've come to realise what we have really is worth fighting for."

Explaining how her cancer diagnosis affected her marriage for the better, she continued: "When cancer enters the equation everything is thrown up in the air. Two things happen.

"You ask yourself, 'is this relationship worth fighting for, because life is so short?'

"And then you have to deal with figuring out a way to navigate playing the husband, wife, dad, mum, lover, carer and patient roles all in one. Cancer does and will bring people together."

Deborah was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.(

Deborah went on to point out that Sebastien has been the perfect partner throughout her cancer journey.

"Sebastien, my husband, like other partners coping with their loved ones having a serious illness, is the only one there at 3am helping me through my fifth panic attack of the week," she wrote.

"He's the one wiping my tears, telling me it will be OK. He's the one worrying in the waiting room while I go under the knife hoping my surgeons can cut out another tumour.

"He's the one hoping, like I do, that each treatment can give me more time - US more time."

She concluded that her cancer diagnosis was a 'wake up call to realising [she has] a pretty good thing going on'.

She said: "It made me realise that not only do I actually really like my husband - and fancy him - but he is without doubt the glue that holds me together and picks us all back up."

You can donate to Deborah's Bowel Babe fund here.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@bowelbabe

Topics: Health