Are You There God, It’s Me, Tricia – Judy Blume Has Breast Cancer
If you were a girl who was lucky enough to grow up in the Judy Blume era, you know how she helped us all navigate through the minefield of puberty with her words. Tonight, we find out that she is navigating a minefield all her own, and once again, Judy is showing us how to grow up.
I was watching the evening news when, towards the end of the newscast - it was just a quick blurb, really - the anchor said, "Judy Blume has breast cancer". I have to admit, I was a bit taken by surprise at my reaction. I teared up and was genuinely saddened by the news.
Breast cancer is no stranger to my family - my beloved maternal grandmother, a little Lebanese spitfire, was diagnosed when I was a kid, and defied the conventional wisdom of the early 70's, to live another 30 years after a radical mastectomy. My father's favorite sister, Arci, died of cancer when I was 7 years old. She left such an indelible, joyous mark on our family, that we still laugh about her diva ways! And my adored youngest sister, Laura, got her diagnosis of breast cancer this year. God is so good to my family - her cancer seems to be completely gone and she is feeling much better.
My family is generally healthy - we don't do much to excess - but they still got the scary diagnosis of breast cancer. Judy Blume also says she lives a very healthy lifestyle. She says she never drinks or smokes, and exercises every day. I know I can't say the same thing, which really gave me pause.
How many of us out there indulge in a little vino, maybe smoke a cigarrette more often than we should, and tell ourselves we are just too tired to climb on that treadmill for a half hour each day? How many of us have daughters, in my case, granddaughters, for whom we are role models, but aren't really living up to that title? I have to raise my hand, shamefully.
As mothers and grandmothers, WE are our girl-child's Judy Blumes. WE are the ones who are supposed to show them the way to survive first periods, pimples, training bras, and broken hearts. How can we do that if we are not taking care of ourselves? How can we do that if we don't get annual gynecological exams, and annual mammograms?
Last year, I had my mammogram and took pictures and blogged about it because a listener told me that she didn't want to have one because she'd heard it hurt. It doesn't. It's barely even uncomfortable.
Next month, Mike and Tricia Mornings will celebrate Pink Ribbon Week with the Komen Foundation of El Paso. We'll keep you posted about locations around town where you can get vital information about breast health as we get closer to October. But rather than wait, take the time to schedule your annual exam, get a mammogram, and don't ignore your health.
It shouldn't have taken a stranger to wake me up to the less than healthy choices I've been making. Let's all work together and do the right thing for our health! I called my doctor, Dr. Patricia Alcala, today and made my appointment for my annual exam. It's next Wednesday. Now, it's your turn!
And, thanks again, Judy Blume. We're praying for you.