Angelina Jolie may not be my favourite Hollywood personality, but she is a pretty solid human being in terms of her advocacy and activism for important social justice issues and her philanthropy. Plus, she’s living proof of the fact that celebrities can have privacy and live lives out of the spotlight if they really want to – especially after she revealed the shocking news that she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy in a wonderfully frank and quite moving op-ed for The New York Times on Monday.
Jolie, whose mother died after a decade-long battle with breast cancer, discovered last year that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation which gave her a nearly 87% chance of suffering from breast cancer as well as a 50% chance of ovarian cancer. This is devastating news, but news which she refused to take lying down, instead opting for surgery to cut her risk drastically.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.
But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.
My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.
Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.
Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
There’s more to the article – Jolie discusses how the decision affected her and her children emotionally, how supportive Brad Pitt has been throughout the ordeal and also encourages other women to seek options should they find themselves in the same position. The whole thing is definitely worth a read. Kudos to Angelina Jolie for bringing attention to this very important – and increasingly common – issue.
May 14, 2013 at 6:10 am by Jennifer
Today in “problems I can relate to”, Angelina Jolie has apparently been using hers and Brad Pitt‘s private jet to fly some of Brad’s favourite English food back to Los Angeles for him. Apparently he’s been missing his favourite curry spots and other things that the UK just does better, like baked beans and sweets and shit. Having just returned from living in England (and looking forward to moving back ASAP), I can feel Brad’s pain. There’s no such thing as a 44p bottle of no sugar added lemon squash here in New York City. No, you have to pay $7 for an imported one. Boo! As for the curry, there’s just no substitute for that.
From The Sun:
She had a special consignment of lamb bhuna, chicken korma and chicken tikka picked up from Brad’s favourite curry house in Surrey.
A source said: “Brad is back in America and has been longing for a decent curry.
“He really misses their Indian takeaway nights from when they lived in Surrey last year. Angelina arranged as a surprise for a load of it to be cooked and flash-freeze packed for her to fly home.
“So while she was at the G8, she sent her bodyguard Ray and eldest son Maddox to collect it and to stock up with more treats.
“They even got a load of Kingfisher and Cobra beer for Brad to wash it all down with.”
It helps when you can pack it all in on a private jet. It would be a struggle with the Easyjet baggage allowance.
Angelina and Maddox were reunited with Brad and the rest of the brood in LA at the weekend.
It was a sweet moment.
Because as well as the curry — and cans of sausages and baked beans — they’d also stocked up on jelly babies, Galaxy Ripple bars and several six packs of Irn Bru — which isn’t sold in their posh neighbourhood of Los Feliz.
Galaxy doesn’t hold a candle to Cadbury and Irn Bru isn’t really my jam, but hey, to each his own. I can’t really speak for the beer thing as I’m more of a cider girl myself, but I guess they weren’t all that into their own wine. Ugh, now I want cider and blackcurrant. And, you know, a private jet. Damn you, Brangelina!
April 16, 2013 at 11:30 am by Jennifer
Don’t lie – y’all know Interview with the Vampire was the shit back in the day. Brad Pitt as Louis de Pointe du Lac? Yes, please! Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt? Yep (it’s okay, it was pre-Scientology). Kirsten Dunst, only 11 at the time, also got her career started in the film as Claudia, a woman trapped in a little girl’s body and turned into a vampire. She had to kiss Pitt – “a peck”, as she now describes it – and while most ladies would be creaming themselves over the very thought, Kirsten, being only a a kid then, found it pretty gross.
“I remember Brad would watch lots of Real World episodes. He had this long hair. He was just a hippie-ish, cool dude.”
“Everyone at the time was like, ‘You’re so lucky you kissed Brad Pitt,’ but I thought it was disgusting. I didn’t kiss anyone else until I was 16, I think. I was a late bloomer.”
I love the thought of Brad Pitt – obviously in his stoner phase at that point – sitting around between takes watching The Real World. Didn’t we all, bro? Also, shit, you think 16 makes you a late bloomer? I was 18 and then I didn’t kiss anyone else for like, 5 years. Did that make me a loser? Maybe. Did I care? Nope!
In any case, I still think Little Women was Kirsten Dunst’s best movie.
March 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Jennifer
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are apparently getting married sometime soon and everyone (especially Jennifer Aniston, LOLZ) wants to know when, but they’re not telling. The reports of a possible secret wedding during Christmas 2012 have been circulating for months, ever since Angie started wearing a wedding ring on her wifey finger, so of course every reporter she deigns to give a few precious moments of her time wants to know if they’re already married or what.
LOL, “No, it is not [a wedding ring].” Well, that’s convincing.
Personally, I couldn’t care less when (or if) these two walk down the aisle. I think they should just buy a private island and take their 8,000 kids and just be away from society as large forever. What do you think, though? Secretly married already?
March 29, 2013 at 9:30 am by Jennifer
Oh no they didn’t! Except, you know, they apparently did. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got engaged ages ago, but Mister Chanel just got their 90-day wedding license last week and they could be tying the knot this May. Hurrah! Everyone loves a wedding… except for Jennifer Aniston, whose own ceremony to fiancé Justin Theroux is supposed to be happening around the same time. Escandalo!
From The Sun:
Brad got a wedding licence at the end of last month — which stated they must marry in 90 days.
The deadline could see the big day for the pair clash with the nuptials of Brad’s ex JENNIFER ANISTON — which would spark a bitter bun-fight over celeb guests.
A source said: “Brad and Angelina left themselves short of time to sort out their wedding because of the licence deadline. A few months is nothing when you’re planning a wedding — especially one as major as theirs.
“Everything points to them getting married in May just after the Cannes Film Festival ends, because they’ve got their hearts set on tying the knot in France.”
There were also apparently some rumours that Jennifer was going to attend Brad and Angelina’s wedding as a “gesture of goodwill” – which, for the record, f-ck that – but if he’s doing all this to rain on her parade, he can forget about her turning up.
“All that goodwill would go out the window if Brad’s wedding date comes close to hers. Jennifer will see it as an attempt to upstage her and there will be a battle over Hollywood guests.
“She knows they will be judged on who had the better wedding by pulling in the biggest stars.”
Y’all know I am adamantly Team Jen and I think Brangelina are total assholes (you know, besides all that amazing charity and activism they participate in) and somehow Jen got all the stick for being cheated on, but whatevs. I’d go to both weddings, just for the free booze.
March 11, 2013 at 11:30 am by Jennifer
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt decided to put out their own wine earlier this month and it was apparently a pretty shrewd business choice, as it’s all sold out already pretty much everywhere in the first 24 hours. Note to buyers: this shit is not polyjuice potion. You will not suddenly look like Brad or Angie by drinking their shitty alcohol. At $139 for a case, it needs to have magical properties because I’m a cheapskate.
From Yahoo News:
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s first wine has gone down a storm with buyers.
The Hollywood couple have unveiled their Miraval Rose 2012, which was produced at their southern French estate of Chateau Miraval.
It’s the first Miraval vintage stamped by Brangelina, in a joint venture with established vintner Marc Perrin. The back label reads “bottled by Jolie-Pitt and Perrin”.
A Perrin family spokesman said the first 6,000 bottles put on sale online on Thursday were bought within five hours. The wine sold for 105 euro (£91, $139) for a six-bottle case.
The wine, in a bottom-heavy, champagne-like bottle, goes on sale to restaurants and wholesalers later this month.
I don’t know, I kind of don’t get the draw. I suppose Brangelina fans are going to grab it up, but do Brangelina actually have 6,000 fans? (Well, 1,000, since that’s how many cases there were.) I guess I’d try it for a laugh – so long as it was free.