Jeni’s Story

Jeni is a Temecula, California native who moved to Edmond, OK in 2012 for graduate school and love after meeting her now husband, Adam, in Mexico. Adam is from Pawnee, Oklahoma and was attending Oklahoma State University while Jeni attended the University of Arizona in Tucson~ Jeni declares it was an easy move from Arizona to Oklahoma after meeting such kind people and seeing how much opportunity was in OKC.

Adam and Jeni just had their first baby girl, Bentley, on February 2, 2016 and have a seven year old son, Boston, who shares his time between two homes in Edmond and Pawnee, a golden retriever, and two orange kitties. Jeni’s family (parents, four siblings, 2 siblings by beautiful marriages, 2 nephews, 1 niece) (in law parents and grandparents, four Bruns brothers, four amazing sisters by beautiful marriages, 4 nieces and nephews) mean the world to her.

After a healthy pregnancy and delivery, Jeni started having symptoms of a numb right leg and severe pain in her lower back and hip bones when Bentley was about 7 weeks old. Doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors thought the agitations were normal post baby symptoms and nothing of immediate concern. After returning to work 12 weeks post baby, Jeni’s speech began to slur so she saw a new primary care doctor who recommended having MRIs of the brain. Before the referral for MRIs were scheduled, her speech became increasingly worse so she went in to the Integris Edmond Emergency Room on May 9, 2016 to ensure she wasn’t having mini seizures or strokes.

After same day CT scans and MRIs, it was confirmed that Jeni had 18 masses in her brain. She was transferred to OKC’s Mercy Hospital’s Neuro Unit where they did further abdominal region scans finding more masses throughout her liver, ribs, and hip bones. After a liver biopsy and a long couple of days filled with MANY-medical-scenario discussions, Jeni was diagnosed with Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma cancer originating in the lung on May 12, 2016. PET Scans showed this glandular cancer had spread through the blood from the lung to her liver, bones, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and brain.

After receiving the diagnosis and recommended plan from the Mercy Hospital oncology team, Jeni and her family sought a second opinion at the OU Stephenson Cancer Center. Because Jeni had visited the facility in graduate school on a field trip in 2013 and has worked and volunteered with their Community Outreach Liaison, she was familiar with the center’s cancer specialists and got in for a second opinion on May 13, 2016.

Since then, Jeni has been gifted with an incredible team of doctors at OKC’s OU Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She has completed two separate bouts of radiation totaling over 30 days treating the cancerous spots on her whole brain and various spots on her spine and hip and is on a targeted therapy (Tarceva) oral treatment that aims to manage the cancer growth. Because progression has been found in recent scans (February 2017) Jeni had underwent more testing, procedures, and lab work to land on a new 18+ week treatment plan: between March and July, 2017 Jeni will be receiving chemotherapy for the first time. This chemotherapy is a combination of Carboplatin  and Avastin and as the medical team explained, this route is to attack this second clone of cancer that is not responding to Tarceva like the first clone. She will continue taking the oral Tarceva 100mg tablet daily since the first clone of cancer is still responding well with no evidence of growth from last scans. We all stand confident in this new plan, and look up to the one and only Healer praying for a miracle! 

Clinical Trials: Jeni is not currently a part of any clinical trials but her oncologist always has potentials on the radar. Jeni originally qualified for a clinical trial out of Yale University that involved the systemic treatment for the EGFR Econ 19 mutation plus a new infusion drug being tested, but she was taken out of the opportunity because of new medical complications with low platelet counts (46k when normal is 140k-500K) and found two blood clots in veins in her lower legs. These two medical conditions were found by a new doctor who was placed in Jeni’s path on June 9, 2016 who was supposed to execute another liver biopsy for the clinical trial to have more cells for pathology reports. Had this doctor not followed policies and procedures like he did and taken interest in Jeni’s swollen legs/ankles and pain, a simple liver biopsy could have resulted in a dangerous outcome. For Jeni’s health and safety, a new plan was made with her whole team of doctors and on June 10, 2016 she underwent surgery where she received an IVC filter below her lungs and heart to prevent blood clot complications (like a pulmonary embolism) as she was not a candidate for a platelet transfusion, and normal blood thinners with a such a low platelet count wasn’t an option. The IVC filter was taken out two months later and she now has to inject a blood thinner into her belly every day.

Jeni’s doctors confirm that there is no known cure for her type of cancer but they maintain that there is much hope in containing the cancer through the targeted therapy. Her and her family stand strong in their Christian faith that there is a bigger plan than what they can see in the moment and are in constant awe of all the love, support, and continual prayers that have come their way.