Dr Oz: The Little Couple’s Cancer Scare
You know Jen Arnold and Bill Klein as The Little Couple from their TLC reality series. For the first time, they spoke to Dr Oz about her personal struggle with Choriocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer.
The Little Couple has followed the duo and their family for the past several years, as they highlight the challenges of being little in a bigger world. They went through two miscarriages via a surrogate, but they eventually adopted their son Will from China. Then they added Zoey from India to their family.
However, the journey to bring Zoey home took a turn when she had unexplained bleeding. She returned home while Bill stayed behind to adopt their daughter. The diagnosis was a rare form of cancer, leading to chemotherapy and surgery. The couple came to Dr oz’s show to share the latest chapter in their story.
Dr Oz: Jen Arnold Choriocarcinoma
Dr Jen Arnold said she is now doing well, though she is still struggling with fatigue. She told Dr Oz she has finished her last round of chemotherapy and her chance of recurrence is about 10%. She jumped to the worst case scenario when she had her bleeding symptoms.
Bill Klein said it was tough to send his wife back to the United States when she was having a medical emergency. But they knew this was her best option for care, and the adoption was also important to them.
Jen’s tumor was Choriocarcinoma, a form of cancer that can happen after pregnancy. The couple had so many issues with infertility that they assumed she could not get pregnant, but they were wrong. Unfortunately, it was a miscarriage, and she had had a Molar Pregnancy.
Dr Oz: Molar Pregnancy Tumor
Their unexpected pregnancy was not common knowledge, because it occurred when their TLC TV series was not filming. They were not prepared for a pregnancy in the first place, and they were afraid about what the risks to Jen’s body and the baby might be.
“I’d already miscarried by the time I knew it was pregnant," she said. Dr Oz showed how a Molar Pregnancy can cause tissue buildup and bleeding from the uterus. This can spread throughout the body and into the lungs, which happened in Jen’s case, causing three tumors.
Dr Oz let Jen take over and show her husband and the audience some things with purple gloves. The tumor Jen had grew inside her uterus, but it was formed from placenta cells that had been nourishing her baby. Oz said it’s miraculous that this does not happen more often.
Dr Oz: Jen Arnold Chemotherapy Treatment
Jen elected to have treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital, where she practices medicine. She told Dr Oz that because of her short stature, she wanted to be in a place where the staff and equipment were prepared for a patient of her size.
She still consulted with an adult GYN oncologist. Another issue was the proper dosage of chemotherapy for her, because the dose is typically based on height and weight. At first, that was the strategy, but it was not working effectively.
Research and experimentation helped her doctor figure out how to give her an effective dose without killing her. Bill said that the experience has strengthened their relationship. He said that they have an agreement that he will pass away first, so he insisted that she had to stick around.
Dr Oz: The Little Couple New Season
Jen told Dr Oz that the ordeal has made her appreciate her family. “Life is short, no pun intended," she said. Now she and her husband have the chance to spend more time with their growing family. “They’re here and I have to stick around to be with them," she said.
You can see more about the family in an issue of People magazine. Dr Oz presented the couple with medical bags for the kids, and you can tune in for new episodes of The Little Couple, Tuesdays on TLC.