Women who Inspire: Jane Mobley
I won’t lie. Posting this photo of my 70-year-old self is a big stretch. I’m doing it so you know two things: a Helen Jon suit can make you feel crazy beautiful––and it’s possible to survive a long time with recurrent ovarian cancer and breast cancer as well.
Look closely (okay, not too closely, or the brown spots show up) and you will see a string bikini top over just a rib cage and skin scarred from an unreconstructed double mastectomy. No kidding, nothing else under that suit.
You rock, Helen Jon.
From the string top down see the topo map on the belly? Swells, valleys, scar trails of my journey from a Stage IIIc ovarian cancer prognosis that I would live 18 months (“maybe two years if we get lucky”) to this photo shoot 22 years later! Those years included three recurrences (liver, groin, spleen), nine surgeries, 40 months of chemotherapy and enough radiation testing scans that I don’t need highlighter to glow.
And here I am.
This bikini shot came from joking around at the end of a wonderful photo session of swimsuits on women of different sizes and ages. In the Instagram @HelenJon, I’m the white-haired one in the back, having the time of my life with women so kind – and a suit so forgiving– I felt, well, crazy beautiful!
I’m posting this for those women. And for you.
Now, maybe, if you ever have the terrifying experience of hearing your name, or the name of a woman you love, in the same breath with the words “ovarian cancer,” you can breathe a little easier. Because you will know a woman who has lived with her recurrent cancer a very long time. And is still well enough to flaunt it on a beach this summer.
Some women are treated for ovarian cancer and it doesn't return. The point of this story is that recurrent ovarian cancer is increasingly not treated because survival rates are so low. I am hoping to be the hopeful example.
This week, June 3-10, in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, Helen Jon will be donating 10% of all web sales to the Kansas City Gilda's Club. Click here to shop to support!