Judy Blume battling breast cancer

September 06, 2012|By Dave Rosenthal

Judy Blume, the chronicler of youth angst in such books as "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," is writing now about a much more personal battle against breast cancer.

In a blog post titled !@#$% Happens, Blume writes of a summer that began with plans for a trip to Italy and soon moved on to surgery. As you might expect, she blends plenty of  self-deprecating humor into her tale. She's healing now, a month after surgery, and looking forward to writing again. For those of us who have had friends in similar battles, her story -- both the pain and the humor -- ring true. Here are some excerpts from her blog post: 

"The biopsy report was a shock. Isn't it always? What do you do? Where do you go? I'm an emotional person. I'd read Betty Rollin's book, First You Cry,long ago - but for whatever reason I didn't cry. I choked up that first day, but the tears didn’t flow. This is neither good nor bad. It just surprised me. Instead, I sprang into action. Okay, I thought -- let's gather all the info, talk with both my primary care docs in NY. Talk with friends who've been through this. Ask for recommendations. Get a list of breast surgeons. Get this done. Taking charge (or thinking I was taking charge) made me feel better. What follows are some of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. ...

"At the shop where I was sent (pre-surgery) to get a couple of mastectomy camisoles for post surgery comfort, a yenta with a sense of humor said, Honey... take them both off and get yourself a matched pair. She wasn't the only one who recommended that. And I admit, sometimes I think I should have. Not for the "matched pair" but for the worry that it will happen again in the other breast. I have friends who've gone that route. If I were younger I think I’d have made a different decision. But I was focused on having as little anesthesia as possible, and the quickest recuperation.  ...

"During those six weeks, with the docs’ blessing, we were able to go to Nantucket where we’d rented a house for two weeks. Tiger Eyes was screening at the film festival and all our kids had plans to visit. It was a great two weeks. I got in plenty of beach time, we played Pounce every night, and most importantly, we all enjoyed our time together. During one thunderstorm (I’m phobic about lightning and thunder – have been as long as I can remember) we were in the car and the kids were concerned about me. I said, Hey, I have breast cancer. What’s a little lightning and thunder? (I’d like to tell you I’m no longer phobic but I’d be lying.) ...

"Now it’s one month post surgery -- I'm still in NY and feeling stronger every day, walking a couple of miles in the park each morning and going out to early dinners with George. Have seen movies and a couple of plays, as you know if you follow me on Twitter. I’m able to read again without falling asleep. Which doesn't mean I don't need a nap every day. I'm not working on my book yet (have just been given permission to type an hour at a time with arm exercises in between) but I'm thinking about getting back to it after Labor Day, kind of like starting school. ...

"As I've told my friends who've also been treated for breast cancer, I've joined The Club - not one I wanted to join or even thought I would ever be joining - but here I am. I’m part of this Sisterhood of the Traveling Breast Cells (apologies to Ann Brashares). Medical diagnoses can leave you feeling alone and scared. When it comes to breast cancer you’re not alone, and scary though it is, there’s a network of amazing women to help you through it."



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