Dame Deborah James has confessed she is afraid to fall asleep as she receives end of life care.
The 40-year-old cancer campaigner and mother-of-two — who has just been presented with a Damehood by Prince William for her 'tireless campaigning' to promote bowel cancer awareness — admitted she is feeling exhausted, but she doesn't want to sleep.
Dame Deborah told The Sun: "The truth is, I don’t know how long I’ve got left. I don’t feel like I’m on my deathbed. I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but it’s just so unpredictable.
“I’m scared to fall asleep and that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so tired. I am scared to go to sleep.”
Dame Deborah — who is mother to son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, with her husband Sebastien Bowen — revealed she is anxious for her children to have positive memories of their last days together.
She said: “I feel very strongly that I don’t want my kids to see me agitated and distressed. I want to make sure they see me when I’m having a good day.”
Dame Deborah said she has sad memories of seeing her grandparents unwell at the end of their life and she doesn't want her children to remember her that way.
Watch: Dame Deborah James was presented with her damehood by Prince William at her home
She added: “I don’t want them to take on the burden of having to care for me, massage my legs because I can’t walk. That would break my heart.”
Dam Deborah was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer in 2016.
She recently set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, which will support Cancer Research UK, The Institute of Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden hospital and promoting cancer awareness among younger people. It has now raised over £6.5million.
Prince William visited her family home to present her with her Damehood.
And she has just been presented with her very own Lego model of herself, wearing her 'Rebellious Hope' charity t-shirt.
Dame Deborah launched the BBC Radio 5 podcast You, Me & The Big C in 2018 with fellow cancer patients Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland.