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Wednesday, 05 September 2012

Author Judy Blume Blogs About Her Breast Cancer

Written by  Barbara Chai, Associated Press
Author Judy Blume Blogs About Her Breast Cancer

Author Judy Blume Blogs About Her Breast Cancer. Beloved children's and young-adult author Judy Blume broke her usual blog silence yesterday to provide fans with an inside look at her diagnosis and fight with breast cancer over the summer. Written with the style and frankness that characterizes her fiction, the account is both revealing and encouraging to those who may be facing a similar situation. You can read her blog post (charmingly and accurately titled "!@#$% Happens") directly by following this link, or read on for a fine summary.

Judy Blume Blogs About Her Breast Cancer

Barbara Chai, Associated Press

Author Judy Blume announced on her blog Wednesday that she was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer, and that she underwent a mastectomy with reconstruction.

On June 12, Blume, the author of classic books such as “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” and “Tiger Eyes,” went for a routine ultrasound with the radiologist that led to a biopsy, which revealed invasive ductal carcinoma. Blume writes of her shock:
“Wait – me? There’s no breast cancer in my family (recent extensive genetic testing shows no genetic connection). I haven’t eaten red meat in more than 30 years. I’ve never smoked, I exercise every day, forget alcohol – it’s bad for my reflux – I’ve been the same weight my whole adult life. How is this possible? Well, guess what – it’s possible.”

The author — who also survived cervical cancer — says she didn’t cry. “This is neither good nor bad. It just surprised me. Instead, I sprang into action.” She was faced with a difficult decision: lumpectomy followed by radiation, or mastectomy with or without reconstruction. She went with the latter, and also decided to reconstruct with a silicone implant.

In a touching note to her fans who turned out in San Francisco for a screening of “Tiger Eyes,” based on her book, she apologizes for not staying afterward to sign their books. “Now you know why. I wasn’t supposed to be in crowds. Could not take the chance of catchign a bug before surgery.”
Her surgery on July 30 went well, she writes, with one night in the hospital and very little pain. Read Judy Blume’s full account here.

Blume’s decision to write such a personal account on her blog is not only surprising because of the news of her breast cancer. It’s also because she rarely writes on her blog — her last post was in September 2011. Deciding to write a lengthy account of the diagnosis and treatment allowed Blume to announce her personal news on her own terms, in her own words that couldn’t be misconstrued or cut into sound bites. Supporters on Twitter thanked Blume for sharing her experience.

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