Thursday, September 6, 2012


Judy Blume was treated for breast cancer last month.  She wrote about it on her blog.

OK.... the name is familiar, you know she is an author but the bell isn't ringing?

Blame it on the Brain.

To call her a highly accomplished author barely scratches the surface.  Her novels are primarily for children and young adults.  I'll let you do the Wiki detour.... which you really SHOULD.... Sometimes we tend to forget the depth of someone's talent.  Or how groundbreaking their work may have been because we are looking at a body of work more than forty years after it was written.

Things are quite different in 2012 than they were in 1970, for example when she wrote "Iggie's House" which is a children's novel tackling racism.  Civil rights, women's rights.... all very much in their infancy.  Roe v Wade (as a frame of reference.... NOT to make a political or a religious statement... just for TIME perspective) wasn't decided until January of 1973.

She blazed a writing trail with so many of her novels.  And she blazed another trail in June.  She was inducted into the club.  I will leave you to her words as she wrote them.  Her story is unique yet on the other hand, many of her words could have been spoken by hundreds.... indeed THOUSANDS of countless others.

She touches on everything we talk about.

How many of you relate to these words aka "What did I do to cause this?":
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.

What about this .....  The shock factor:
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.

How about THIS .... remember the agony of making difficult decisions:

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.

By then I was so tired of having to make decisions I went with whatever would make the surgery easiest on me, give a decent result, and left the rest to the plastic surgeon, who had been highly recommended and was part of my team from the beginning.  

Or this..... Getting the friendly advice and then second guessing the decision and then THE FEAR of recurrence:
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. 

This is good.... the moment you begin to put your life into perspective-rather quickly, I might add:
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? 

Or perhaps this... the moment of empowerment upon the realization that WE, the breast cancer crowd, are the most supportive, selfless and loving group of women:
My friends who've had breast cancer have been so helpful and supportive I can never thank them enough. They got me through this. They were my inspiration. If we can do it, you can do it! They were right. 
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.

And then there's a bit of serendipity..... Joining The Club.... but WHAT is up with The Pants!!!:
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).

But NOTHING says more than these words---no commentary necessary:
If only there was a vaccine to protect us from breast cancer we'd be lined up -- wouldn't we?

And now, you MUST go read her blog.  In its entirety.  Mandatory.

Yes, Judy...... SHIT Happens.


  1. Yes, Judy, if only there was a vaccine to prevent breast cancer. Thank God our friend, Dr. Susan Love, and her Army of Women are working on that one. Thanks for the post, AnneMarie. I heard the story on the news, but it's great to read her blog.

    How are you, girlfriend?


    1. Yes, Brenda....

      Very thankful for Dr. Love .... As for me? Just crazy busy and I don't really understand WHY? Stuff seems to come my way in waves.... There's a tsunami on the way....


  2. AnneMarie,

    I also read Blume's blog, saddened that one more person has joined this damn club that nobody chooses to join. Cancer never discriminates; it strikes anyone.


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