Be a bit more Deborah……………..

Be a bit more Deborah………………..

Dame Deborah James died recently, 6yrs after her diagnosis of bowel cancer. Deborah never stopped talking about life as worth living. She did this on her @bowelbabe blog and Instagram account, as co-host of BBC Radio 5 Live’s award-winning, lively podcast about living with cancer, You, Me and the Big C, and her books. She talked in detail abouther experiences and symptoms, such as “pooing blood”, because “one of the biggest problems is that people aren’t frank enough”. Her tireless campaigning to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms will have saved countless lives.

The 3 main symptoms of bowel cancer are blood in the stools (faeces), changes in bowel habit – such as more frequent, looser stools – and abdominal (tummy) pain. However, these symptoms are very common and most people with them do not have bowel cancer.

To mark her 40th birthday she shared the 40 lessons she had learned since being diagnosed with cancer

  1. Life will not go to plan
  2. Make plans but don’t be scared to rip them up and start again
  3. You can face things you never thought you could
  4. Disney movies will always make you cry
  5. Your body can produce the most ridiculous amount of poo!
  6. Sometimes its ok if all you want to do is cry
  7. Your body is robust and can tolerate more than you think at times
  8. But your body is also fragile, look after it
  9. Be your own cheerleader – back yourself
  10. Sometimes a girl (or boy) just needs her mum (or her dad)
  11. If you don’t laugh sometimes, you will cry
  12. Sleep is good
  13. Growing older is a privilege
  14. Life can be tough and isn’t always fair
  15. Its ok to be scared
  16. Its ok to enjoy a slower pace of life
  17. Dancing fills me with joy
  18. Friends come and go, the best stay for the long ride
  19. I like myself
  20. Sometimes I really annoy myself
  21. I love my kids and family so much it hurts at times
  22. Sometimes I just want peace and quiet and to be left alone
  23. I can be really grumpy when I don’t have food
  24. I really like cocktails but can’t deal with a hangover
  25. Sometimes i feel like I’m winging it in life – because i am
  26. I still feel like my 16yr old self inside
  27. I’m really rubbish at lying
  28. Time is very short
  29. Heartbreak happens
  30. I believe in miracles
  31. Hope is the most important thing to have in life
  32. Getting up and getting dressed is sometimes the only thing you can achieve in a day – and that is awesome
  33. Celebrate everything
  34. Don’t hold grudges, life is too short
  35. Know your body, don’t ignore those niggling symptoms
  36. Ask for help – we can’t be heroes every day!
  37. Be kind to others
  38. Love hard
  39. Take risks in life
  40. Just say yes – what’s the worst that can happen?

Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.

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