Judy Blume announced on her blog yesterday that she is being treated for breast cancer.
Back in 2010, we declared that Judy Blume did not prepare us for Sparklecorn.* But the vagina owners of MamaPop are pretty much in agreement that Ms. Blume prepared us for a whole heck of a lot in life. I’m pretty sure we were all issued copies of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret just prior to puberty. I had a fairly decent relationship with my mom and doctor growing up, so I wasn’t uncomfortable discussing the basics of the impending hormonal shitstorm with them, but there were more delicate, nuanced matters that I wasn’t sure how to address. Getting that book and reading about Margaret Simon’s secretive purchase of pads, hiding in her closet and holding one of them just to see what it felt like was mind-blowing. Holy crap, here was a girl who was curious about the same kind of stuff I was! I wasn’t a weirdo!
I realized that my eagerness to get my period because I felt that I would then truly feel like a woman was pretty common, and that other girls felt conflicted about that, too. More importantly, it got me to thinking of other women as people I could talk to about our unique experiences. This is probably what is so wonderful about Blume’s books: turning you on to the Sisterhood. It’s pretty damn cool when you look around and see women and know that you can relate to each other on some level. It can make adolescence and adulthood almost bearable when they have a tendency toward the opposite.
This is something that we always keep learning about each other, though. Blume notes in her blog post that she’s found an even deeper community while she has been in treatment and hasn’t felt alone at all. I’m so glad that she has been able to find what she has shown to countless young women over the years.
Blume also notes that she has had a mastectomy and it sounds like her prognosis is pretty good. She’s starting to work again on her next book. And she hasn’t lost an ounce of wit:
“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.”
As you can see from the picture above, my copy of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is well-loved. It has traveled with me through countless moves, from my childhood bedroom to my first apartment to my first mortgage, from my anxiously single teenage years to my marriage, from my first period (finally!) to my first child. Judy Blume has always had my back and we’ll always have hers.
You got this, Judy. I just know it.
* By the way, we announced that slogan for our Sparklecorn t-shirts in July 2010 and the exact same line was used in the Emma Stone film Easy A in September 2010. Coincidence?