Beloved author Judy Blume wrote in a blog post Wednesday that she is recovering after undergoing a masectomy for breast cancer that was diagnosed in June.
The 74-year-old author, whose books inspired the "Fudge" TV series and the new film "Tiger Eyes," said she was planning to spend five weeks at an artists' colony in Italy, where she hoped to finish her latest novel. But on June 12 she underwent a biopsy that revealed cancer.
"The biopsy report came back a few days later while I was with my GYN in her office (a long standing appointment)," Blume wrote in the blog entry, entitled "!@#$% Happens."
"It was good that I wasn't alone and that she, who has been my doctor for seventeen years, could explain it to me," she said. "Very early. Very small. Well differentiated. All good news. But it was invasive ductal carcinoma."
Blume describes her treatment plan with the humor and frankness that has won her millions of fans. At one point she references Margaret Simon, the protagonist of "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret," who does exercises to increase her bust size while chanting, "I must, I must, I must increase by bust!"
Blume said she wasn't afraid of surgery after having a hysterectomy 17 years ago for cervical cancer caused by HPV. In an aside, she made the case for HPV vaccinations.
"If I had a young daughter or son I'd talk to their docs about having the vaccine to protect them from getting or giving HPV. If only there was a vaccine to protect us from breast cancer we'd be lined up — wouldn't we?" she said wryly. (Some politicians and parents oppose the vaccinations, claiming they cause mental impairment — or would encourage teenagers to have sex.)
Blume took another stand — months before her diagnosis — when the breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure decided to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.
“Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or to fear,” Blume tweeted on Feb. 1. “Too bad the foundation bearing her name did.”
Blume was able to attend a screening for "Tiger Eyes" in San Francisco in July, just before the surgery.
"Note to disappointed fans in San Francisco," she wrote. "I’m sorry I couldn't stay after the screening to sign your books.," Now you know why. I wasn't supposed to be in crowds. Could not take the chance of catching a bug before surgery."
She said she has been recovering at her home in New York City with her husband, George, at her side. But she tweeted Wednesday that she is currently on Martha's Vineyard for a "Tiger Eyes" screening and Q&A Saturday night.
"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 said. "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."