In a new blog post, author Judy Blume reveals she underwent a mastectomy in July after a breast cancer diagnosis.
“A visit to the radiologist on June 12 for a routine ultrasound (dense breast tissue) led to a core biopsy,” the 74-year-old writes.
“The biopsy report came back a few days later while I was with my GYN in her office (a long standing appointment). It was good that I wasn't alone and that she, who has been my doctor for seventeen years, could explain it to me. Very early. Very small. Well differentiated. All good news. But it was invasive ductal carcinoma,” she explains.
“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,” Blume continues.
With the help of her doctors, Blume decided a mastectomy was the best route to take. She underwent surgery on July 30. “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,” she writes.
“I’m lucky to have a loving, supportive partner in life (husband George) who has been fantastic, accompanying me to every doctor’s appointment, keeping me amused, making sure I’m well fed, and reassuring me every step of the way. I'm grateful to him and the rest of my loving family,” Blume adds. “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.”
Blume’s most well known work includes “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” “Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great” and “Blubber.”
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