Instead of crying over her breast cancer diagnosis in June, Judy Blume took action.
The 74-year-old young adult author revealed in her blog Wednesday that she decided to get a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer.
"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," she wrote about talking to friends and finding a surgeon. "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."
After discussing with her doctors, Blume decided to have a mastectomy and reconstruction.
"I have small breasts (a la Margaret Simon). A-cups? The breast surgeon asked at our first meeting. She nailed it. I told her the exercises didn't work for me. Not sure she got my attempt at a joke," Blume explained, referencing the teen character she wrote in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, who did exercises to try and increase her bust size. "Like Margaret I used to think bigger was better. But my dense, small breasts aged well. They stayed perky while other body parts sagged. I'd become quite fond of them. Still, the idea of mastectomy wasn't a difficult emotional decision for me (again, these are very personal reactions and decisions). Maybe because my breasts have never defined my sexuality. Who knows?"
With the help of her second husband, George Cooper, whom she married in 1987, Blume is in recovery. "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," she wrote. "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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