When Jen faces the camera to calmly explain her cancer diagnosis, it's almost as if the tiny doctor is speaking reassuringly to one of her own patients. Yes, it's stage 3, and it will require chemotherapy, and it's best for her to start treatment right away — despite the fact she and Bill have a new arrival, Zoey, in the house.
I bet she's a great doctor, because she's so calm and collected as she delivers this dose of horrible news. It's easy to believe that everything is going to be fine (and, according to Jen, it is now). But I bet being a doctor who knows full well what stage 3 of a fast-growing cancer can be, she was more rattled than we ever knew.
The diagnosis hangs over the couple's plans for Zoey and Will's first Christmas, and watching Jen (wearing a wig or a cap through much of the episode) do her best to make sure her children have an abundance of ornaments on the tree and an adorable first Christmas photo is wrenching. She should be able to enjoy the moment she and Bill have worked so hard to achieve — getting Will and Zoey through the adoption process as well as the transition into family life has not been easy. While I'm sure she did, I suspect there was a lot of worry (and chemo side effects) she didn't want to show.
It's tempting to remember “The Little Couple” Christmas episodes past. They didn't have the pitter patter of (even smaller) little feet (not unless you count the dogs'), but they didn't have chemo sessions and wig shopping, either. That this episode in many ways seems just as merry and hopeful about the future is a testament to Bill and Jen's optimistic natures.
It's not that the pair are sugar coating their situation, mind you. Jen admits that she lays in bed thinking, “what the hell” late at night, while Bill says he can't stop worrying about his wife. Because they did not want cameras (or anyone, really) around while Zoey transitioned into their home, I'm sure we missed other honest confessions, but I'm glad they had an excuse to keep the cameras at bay as they went through what had to have been a difficult time.
Maybe that means a lot of drama and relatable angst will never make it to air. That's just fine by me. While I hope people suffering from illness can find inspiration or comfort in this season of “The Little Couple,” I also find something inspiring about any reality TV couple that is able to close the door and send away the cameras, whether it's for the benefit of a child or to create a space for healing. Given how rare privacy has become in our world, it's nice to see there's still some left for “The Little Couple.”
Did you shed a tear while watching this episode? Were you surprised by how collected and calm Jen appears to be? What did you think of the Christmas photo?