Countryfile’s Adam Henson and his wife Charlie have spoken out about their wedding after they rushed to get married following Charlie’s cancer diagnosis.
Charlie first thought she had a stomach bug after she fell ill over Christmas 2020, with Adam assuming she had caught something from handling one of the animals on their farm.
However, when Charlie was still feeling unwell in February 2021, they booked a GP appointment and were referred for various tests.
When the results came back she was told by doctors there was nothing to worry about but Charlie was still concerned after she ran an internet search of her symptoms, which showed they were consistent with pancreatic cancer.
Her doctor insisted it was ‘highly unlikely’ she had the disease but later tests confirmed this was not true – she did in fact have pancreatic cancer and a 4.5cm tumour was found.
Change of plans: Countryfile’s Adam Henson and his wife Charlie have spoken out about their wedding after they rushed to get married following Charlie’s cancer diagnosis (pictured in 2019)
Diagnosis: Her doctor insisted it was ‘highly unlikely’ she had the pancreatic cancer but Charlie said her symptoms matched the disease, according to an internet search, before her diagnosis (pictured in March)
Charlie described hearing the news as ‘absolute hell’, adding: ‘I couldn’t process it, it was too big to take in.’
Adam told The Telegraph: ‘It was a huge shock. By nature, I’m a pragmatist, which probably comes from being a farmer.
‘I deal in facts, and I work out what can be done, but in this situation, I was totally lost.’
He said he knew he needed to remain strong and support Charlie and their two children but admitted he didn’t know where to start, describing the situation as a ‘nightmare’.
The television presenter said he was overcome with worry and felt like he was living life on a ‘knife-edge’ while unsure if Charlie’s cancer was terminal.
Describing Charlie as his ‘soulmate’, Adam said he couldn’t imagine life without her, but it was Charlie who decided she wanted to get married.
She said: ‘I told Adam I wanted to get married.
‘We had been together for many years and had never felt we needed to marry: for me, having children with Adam was our commitment to each other.
Sick: Adam assumed Charlie had caught something from handling one of the animals on their farm when she first complained of stomach problems over Christmas 2020 (Adam pictured in 2018)
‘A wedding had never been important. Now, suddenly, it was the most important thing in the world.
‘It’s ridiculous but I really, really wanted everyone to know how much I love Adam; most importantly, I wanted him to know. It was suddenly such a big thing.’
Charlie is now in ‘ongoing recovery’ and undergoes scans every six months, while she admits she finds waiting for the results ‘absolutely terrifying’.
She has now returned to work in television as a location manager and is hoping to travel more with Adam.
WHAT IS PANCREATIC CANCER?
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal forms of the disease, and around 95 per cent of people who contract it die from it.
Joan Crawford, Patrick Swayze and Luciano Pavarotti all died of pancreatic cancer.
It is the sixth most common cause of cancer death in the UK – around 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the UK, alongside about 55,000 in the US.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
It is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas – a large gland in the digestive system.
WHO HAS THE HIGHEST RISK?
Most cases (90 per cent) are in people over the age of 55.
Around half of all new cases occur in people aged 75 or older.
One in 10 cases are attributed to genetics.
Other possible causes include age, smoking and other health conditions, including diabetes.
WHY IS IT SO LETHAL?
There is no screening method for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer typically does not show symptoms in the early stages, when it would be more manageable.
Sufferers tend to start developing the tell-tale signs – jaundice and abdominal pain – around stage 3 or 4, when it has likely already spread to other organs.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
The only effective treatment is removal of the pancreas.
This proves largely ineffective for those whose cancer has spread to other organs.
In those cases, palliative care is advised to ease their pain at the end of their life.