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Daily Mirror

Deborah James breaks down in tears over 'hard conversations' with kids about death

Deborah James broke down in tears as she recalled "hard conversations" she had had with her children about her death.

The presenter, 40, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and over the years has been heavily involved in charity work to raise money for cancer research and raise awareness through ITV's No Butts campaign.

On Monday evening, Deborah revealed that she was in hospice care and that she is spending time her last days surrounded by family and friends.

She has now decided to return home to have her end of life care there.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, she said: "I've always said I don't want to leave any stone unturned - I don't think there isn't a stone we haven't tried to unturn to make my liver work again in order to get my body functioning.

"Unfortunately I'm exhausted - I'm absolutely exhausted. We've got to the point now where I can't really do anything more. "

She continued as she began to break down in tears: "I have a really loving family who I adore. Honestly, they're incredible and all I knew I wanted was to come here and be able to relax knowing that everything was OK.

"I've had some really hard conversations during the last week. You think, 'Gosh, how can anyone have those conversations?' and then you find yourself in the middle of them. And people are very nice, but you're talking about your own death and I've had five years to prepare for my death."

Deborah went on to say that she didn't have a "grudge" or "angry that [she] hasn't tried everything".

"I don't feel like we've run out of drugs but we're still not - I'm still not there yet," she said as she began to get tearful.

As she struggled to speak, the interviewer said: "I know it's not easy."

"It's hard," she replied. "It's really hard. The thing that I know, because I trust my husband - he's just the most wonderful man and so is my family and I know that my kids are going to be more than looked after and surrounded by love.

"You always want to know as a mother - are your kids going to be OK? And my kids are going to be fine. But it doesn't mean I'm not going to miss every chance I could have had with them."

So far, Deborah has raised more than £2million in just 48 hours as she asked people to "buy her a drink" to send her off by donating the money to Cancer Research UK.

"I always knew that there was one thing I wanted to do before I died," she said. "What I really want to happen is that I don't want any other Deborahs to have to go through this and I want - we know that if we catch cancer early we can cure it. We know that much more investment needs to take place for cancer.

"We know that we have the skills and the passion in the UK to do so. But I just feel that was still need that reminder and that boost and money.

"So before I died, one thing I knew I wanted to do was set up a fund that could continue working on some of the things that gave me life."

She added: "I had a figure in my mind of quarter of a million because I thought that would be enough to fund a couple of projects across charities I wanted to fund. But 24 hours to do £1million is absolutely mind-blowing and I can't thank people enough for their generosity because it just means so much to me.

"It makes me feel utterly loved, but it makes me feel like we're in it til the end together and we all want to make a difference and say, 'Screw you cancer, we can do better. We can do better for people and we just need to show it who's boss."

Opening up about how she had been surrounded by her family, she laughed: "I've been having sleepovers with my brother and sister in our 40s - never left alone, which I think is great. It's like being kids again. I can't think of a better way to go."