Earlier this week, Angelina Jolie revealed that she’d had a preventive double mastectomy, and her doctor credits the actress’s positive attitude and strength for her quick recovery.
“To a large extent, I believe recovery reflects expectation,” Dr. Kristi Funk writes in an essay on the Pink Lotus Breast Center’s website. “Angelina expected to feel well, to be active.”
In the essay, Funk details Jolie’s treatment, including her initial BRCA gene diagnosis, surgeries and recovery.
“On day four after her mastectomies, I was pleased to find her not only in good spirits with bountiful energy, but with two walls of her house covered with freshly assembled storyboards for the next project she is directing,” Funk reveals.
Funk also credits Brad Pitt for standing by Jolie’s side throughout the three-month ordeal. After Jolie’s first operation, which took place at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, an outpatient facility in Beverly Hills, Calif., Funk says Pitt “was on hand to greet her as soon as she came around from the anesthetic, as he was during each of the operations.”
Funk also details which medications she prescribed to Jolie, as well as a rundown of the actress’s medical history. She writes that Jolie’s mother, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007, also battled breast cancer, and that Jolie’s grandmother had ovarian cancer as well. As a result, Jolie will ultimately have her ovaries removed too, according to People magazine.
“Many women, unfortunately, do not know that BRCA gene mutations exist and could affect them,” Funk writes. ”Like Angelina, I urge women who feel they may have a reason to be at risk for a BRCA gene mutation — perhaps because of a strong family history of cancer — to seek medical advice and to take control of their futures.”