The truth behind Jen Arnold’s cancer diagnosis is even more tragic than we realized.
“The one time I get pregnant, I get cancer,” said Jen for a People feature story.
The resilient Little Couple star explained her first sign something was wrong came when she began bleeding heavily while she and husband Bill Klein were in India to finalize the adoption of baby Zoey.
“My initial thoughts were all about Zoey,” Jen, 39, said. “But then the bleeding got worse and I was feeling light-headed. It was a hard decision, but I had to go home.”
While Bill, son Will and their nanny stayed in India, Jen took her OBG-YN’s advice and returned to Houston. She was then diagnosed with stage 3 choriocarcinoma, a rare cancer that began with a non-viable pregnancy (the embryo had no heartbeat) she suffered in September. According to the Mayo Clinic, choriocarcinoma is usually successfully treated with multiple cancer drugs, chemotherapy and/or a hysterectomy.
In Jen’s case, the uterine tumor didn’t respond to chemotherapy so doctors opted to perform a hysterectomy.
“We wanted to avoid surgery in her case because of her shortened airway and the difficulties she has had in the past with surgeries,” said Dr. Concepcion R. Diaz-Arrastia, director of gynecology oncology at Baylor College of Medicine, who is treating Arnold. “But we felt we had no choice. The disease was not responding to chemotherapy. We had to do this in order to save her life.”
For now, Jen is drawing on support from her husband and two children. She also plans to share her battle with viewers of The Little Couple.
“There are moments I feel just terrible,” the new mom explained. “I can’t believe it is happening. Other times, I feel like this is just a bump in the road.”