LADY Deborah James says her dad is her uncertain hero who has quietly supported her throughout her cancer suffering.
In an exclusive interviewThe 40-year-old writer The Sun – who receives end-of-life help – greets her father Alistair.
She issued a scathing message on the eve of Emotional Father’s Day.
Writer of the Sun.The 40-year-old says she will “drink a couple of whiskeys” with her father Alistair, whom she calls her “unsung hero.”
She said: “My dad is my unsung hero, more than ever. He’s quiet there behind the scenes, making sure I’m okay.
“He has always been very calming, loving present in my life – he copes very well with me and all my madness. His patience knows no bounds. ”
If she ever got into trouble with her father, Debs shows that she knew “ch * t was bad.”
She says: “No matter how naughty I am, he knew how to treat me.
“When I ruined the bathroom, when I dyed my hair, he took everything with ease.
“Even at 40, he was the man I called when he broke down.
“He was coming to me with a can of petrol when I ran out and he had to be rescued.
“All my life he just stood behind me, quietly holding me.”
Debs says she has never been more grateful.
When she was hospitalized for several months earlier this year, only her mother Heather was allowed to visit.
But it was Dad Alistair who drove her every day to make sure his daughter wasn’t alone.
Debs reflects, “It must have been awful that he couldn’t come to me. I am also his daughter.
“I break my heart knowing they have to watch it, I can’t imagine what it has to be.”
She added: “I haven’t always told Dad how much I love him, so take it from me, just say it. You never know when this may be your last chance. ”
I didn’t always tell my father how much I loved him, so take that from me, just tell me
Like her husband Seb and brother Ben, Dad Debs picks her up and helps her enjoy the days left.
One of her greatest sources of comfort is cooking – and, as with everything she does, Alistair is here to support her.
“I think cooking is really healing now, not something I’ve ever eaten,” Debs jokes.
“I’m very slow in everything, but Dad is just patiently helping. The other evening the cooking of fajitas took about an hour and a half, and it was supposed to take 30 minutes.
“Instead of just trying to do it for me, he handed me different ingredients and let me do my thing.
“It sounds like a trifle, but it means the whole world – and I love doing it with it.”
While we talk, Brother Debs Ben prepares egg bread for breakfast.
Debs notes: “He’s going on holiday to the US tomorrow. I told him they had to go, they had been planning a trip for centuries. I also told him that he should not return under any circumstances. “
But she tells me, “She says she’s coming home.”
She adds: “It will be awful to say goodbye to him. I can’t think about it now. “
And with the awful inevitability looming, she reveals that her greatest comfort is watching her “incredible” father husband Seb to their children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eliza.
She also admitted: “It’s too hard to think that I won’t see my son’s parents.”
“I can’t stop crying”
Reflecting on the men in her life, she says, “I can’t stop crying. I was incredibly lucky, it’s hard to put it all into words.
“For me this year we are talking about my dad and Seba, but also about the men in my life who, I hope, will one day also become parents, my son and my brother.
“I can’t understand the fact that I won’t be here to see this. It breaks me.
“The most important thing for me now, not knowing how much I have left, is that the kids will be fine.
“Seb is a wonderful father, he is incredible with both of them.
“I am absolutely not worried about what will happen to the children.
“He loves them and I know they will want in vain.
“He loves them very much, and I know that if I am no more, he will love them for me.”
That she lived Father’s Day is a surprise for Debswho left the hospital more than a month ago to get care at the end of life on her parental home in Woking, Surrey.
With only a few days – a maximum of weeks – Debs was adamant that it be credited.
The anti-cancer participant went on an overdrive, raising £ 6.7 million for his BowelBabe fund.
She released a new book, launched a fashion line and raised another £ 1 million for its fund sell T-shirts with her motto “Rebellious Hope”.
And after The Sun launched a campaign in honor of our columnist, Debs became a lady in one day – and Prince William came for tea to celebrate.
What’s more, she challenged the odds get to Royal Ascot this week, and tells me that there is more on her list if she is up to it.
It supported her, but Debs admits that surviving another prediction is difficult – ignorance is “impossible,” she says.
She explains: “I woke up at night from a panic attack. I’m exhausted.
“I thought I had only a few days left to live when I left The Royal Marsden.
“I had deadlines, but now we don’t know how much I have. This is a very difficult place.
“I keep asking my nurses,‘ How do I know when the end will come, ’but no one has an answer.
“Everyone is different. But now my body is still working, I eat and still enjoying a cocktail or two. The hardest part is how uncomfortable I am.
“My brother Ashley’s uneducated described it perfectly. It’s like sitting in the most uncomfortable seat of an airplane on the longest flight and can’t get out. I am counting on my family to move, it is also difficult for them. “
“It breaks my heart that I will not see their children”
Recently Ben asked Ashley a question after 11 years together.
The offer came shortly after Prince William visited the family to honor Debs – and apparently pushed Ben.
At the time, Debs revealed, “He finally put the ring on it. If you follow me, you’ll know the peculiarities of your brother’s joke, and even Prince William recently participated in the action.
“The question to my brother was always, ‘Why didn’t you make an offer?’
Debs says it was hard to come to terms with the fact that she didn’t see their wedding, but when the theme of their children arises, she bursts into tears again.
She says, “My brother will be the most amazing dad. I’m so glad he’s engaged, I love Ashley and they’re so happy together.
“I’ve been watching him along with my kids for years, and especially lately. He’s that incredibly hilarious uncle, he and Ashley are spoiling them rotten.
He loves them so much that I know that if I am no more, he will love them for me
“And with his godparents he is also wonderful.
“I am heartbroken that I will not see their children and I will not see what kind of dad he will be.
“But I know without a doubt it will be incredible.”
It was appropriate that with the onset of Father’s Day it was the men in her life – particularly her husband – who inspired Debs ’latest limited series on the Rebellious Hope T-shirt.
A new navy blue and white version was launched on Thursday night and in a matter of hours helped Debs and the In The Style brand reach an important milestone.
She excitedly says: “All the sales of my Rebellious Hope T-shirts have helped raise £ 1 million for my fund. It’s impressive, I’m very grateful to everyone who bought it and helped us raise such an incredible amount. “
Debs ends our chat by urging everyone to give up dads.
She says, “I don’t think dads will ever get as much credit as we moms, right?
“I didn’t always tell my father how much I love him, so take it from me, just say it.
“You never know when this might be your last chance.”
LET’S PROVIDE TALK AGAIN AND END YOU
DAME Debs used her latest appearance on television to encourage everyone to talk freely about their gut habits.
On Thursday on E4 Embarrassing Bodies she said: “I had such an image of bowel cancer as an old man’s illness that now I know it’s not. It is one of the biggest cancers among people under the age of 50.
“I started going to the poop, I must say, eight times a day. I used to be a girl once a day. ”
Debs said the feeling of fatigue, weight loss and blood in the stool made her think something was wrong.
She told Dr. Tosin Ajay-Sotubo, “Can you take this message outside for me.
“Let’s not be shy. We all poop, like our favorite celebrities, let’s break these taboos because it will save lives ”.
Debs said she has no plans to engage in television anymore.