By AJ Willingham
Fans of TLC's "The Little Couple" were shocked when matriarch Jen Arnold announced she had been diagnosed with a rare cancer this month. Now, she is sharing some details about her disease and her treatment, and her outlook seems to be positive.
Arnold has choriocarcinoma, which affects parts of the reproductive system. She told People magazine the cancer began after she had a "nonviable pregnancy" this year and suffered symptoms while in India with her husband to pick up their adopted daughter, Zoey. Arnold has since had a hysterectomy and is now in chemotherapy.
During the holiday season, Arnold has been tweeting lots of hopeful messages and updates about her condition. She even posted a picture from her inpatient chemo treatment -- bald and in bed, but with bright eyes and a smile. She also shared that she had to cancel a pre-Christmas chemo treatment because of low blood counts, which gave her the opportunity to bake cookies and partake in other holiday festivities with her family.
The TLC star told The Huffington Post that despite the grueling treatments, she is lucky.
"I am very fortunate as the prognosis is good. While there is never a good time to get news like this, getting it just as we are building our new family is tough in many ways," she said. "But being surrounded by the love of my husband and our two beautiful children is actually in many ways giving me the strength to fight it even stronger."
Arnold is also a board-certified neonatologist and pediatrician, so her medical background has definitely played into her get-well strategy. Fans from around the globe have been sharing messages of support, along with pictures of children close to them who have experienced medical problems and been helped by doctors like Arnold.
Bill Klein, Arnold's husband, has also taken his wife's treatments with a bit of levity. "Did Jens injection ... Jens scared ill pass out giving the injection," he tweeted. "Funny, so am I."
The "Little Couple" stars have previously experienced tragedy in the public eye: In 2011, a joyous pregnancy announcement ended in sadness when Arnold and Klein revealed their surrogate had miscarried their unborn child.
As Arnold's cancer treatments progress, the cameras will continue to roll, the family says. And her battle with the disease will play out on their show. "Jen is a doctor and teacher, and she saw this as an opportunity to educate and possibly help, through sharing her story," a TLC representative told People.
While the road before her may be difficult, it's clear that Arnold has the support of her fans and family, and she's not giving up anytime soon.
"Thank you to everyone for your well wishes at #GetWellJen!," she tweeted at the beginning of December. "You all make me smile! To those out there battling cancer, Get Well!"
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