One of the most enduring and endearing lines ever written by author Judy Blume can be found in her timeless novel for teenagers, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”: “We must, we must, we must increase our bust.”
On Wednesday, Blume invoked that line in a blog post announcing to readers and longtime fans that she’s recovering from surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 74.
“Like Margaret I used to think bigger was better,” Blume writes in the post, which chronicles her decision to have mastectomy and reconstruction.Video: What inspires Judy Blume? (on this page)
“Still, the idea of mastectomy wasn’t a difficult emotional decision for me,” Blume continues, stressing that her reactions and decisions are highly personal.
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She describes her first reaction to her diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma as one of 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.”Story: Risky reads! 5 books that have been banned
Blume received her diagnosis in June and underwent surgery six weeks later.
“I’m not afraid of surgery. Maybe I should be,” Blume writes in her post. “Anesthesia can be dangerous but I’d had a hysterectomy seventeen years ago (cervical cancer caused by HPV). We didn’t know it was cervical cancer before the surgery but we knew something was going on. Caught it just in time, extensive but still in situ. No other treatment necessary.”Story: Teen moms? Killer kids? 6 best young adult novels — for adults
After receiving a barrage of well wishes and supportive messages on Wednesday, Blume sent out this tweet: “Tweeps — thanks for all your messages. I’m feeling fine. Almost embarrassed to say how quickly I was out and about. (Not battling) Lucky!”
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