Living Beyond Cancer: Jo Mann

Oct 6, 2021 | Cancer, Wellness

ON THE CANCER SUPPLEMENT COVER: Jo is wearing: Iris Setlakwe dress, $375; Nina shoes, $$, all available at Glasscock Too. Diamond drop earrings, $7,495; and diamond double halo pendant, $1,995; both at Davis Jewelers. (Blue gemstone necklace her own.) Styling: Christine Fellingham. Hair and Makeup: Kara Biery and Mariah Sanchez, J Michael’s Spa and Salon. Location: Mellwood Art Center.

For Jo Mann, a diagnosis of terminal metastatic breast cancer has fueled her interest in helping others in similar situations. She is living her life fully — enjoying each moment — and not allowing her diagnosis to consume her thoughts.

Take Control of Your Health

In 2018, Jo Mann had a lumpectomy to remove a small cancerous tumor located in the inner quadrant of her right breast. She had 21 radiation treatments and took hormone inhibitors, but her health continued to decline. Jo began losing weight, had stomach pain, fatigue and difficulty breathing. She knew something was wrong and became proactive about her health. 

A subsequent visit to the doctor in 2019 revealed that Jo’s cancer metastasized to her right lung. “I had over four liters of fluid around my lung, which caused a hernia and pushed my heart to the left…I was traumatized,” she says. For six months, Jo kept a pleural catheter inserted in her lung cavity to drain the fluid but refused to stop doing the things that made her happy. “I learned to live with it, because my girlfriends wanted to go to New York City, so we went to Manhattan and saw Tina on Broadway,” she says. For Jo, a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer has fueled her interest in helping others in similar situations. Also, she says the support of her friends, family and organizations like Twisted Pink have given her the hope she needs to start living again. “I live every day with knowing I have Stage IV terminal cancer…it took time to stop allowing this to consume my thoughts and appreciate every day as a blessing and opportunity to have fun. A deep breath outdoors in my gardens renews my spirit to continue to live life in full bloom regardless,” she says.

P.S. See our 9th annual Pink Woman photo, celebrating the sisterhood of more than 100 area breast cancer survivors in various stages of their journeys.

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