Angelina Jolie reflects on losing her mother to cancer: ‘My mother fought cancer for nearly a decade’

Angelina Jolie (PHOTO:  Keith Mayhew. Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Angelina Jolie (PHOTO: Keith Mayhew. Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The award-winning actress recently penned a heartfelt tribute to her mother nearly a decade after her passing.

In the touching essay Angelina Jolie reflected on the toll that the decade-long battle her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, had with cancer took on her family and her own preventative measures, PEOPLE reported.

The essay which was for TIME, recalled how both her mother and grandmother had breast cancer.

"I remember once holding my mother's hand, as she was receiving chemotherapy, when she started to turn purple and I had to race to get the nurse," the actress wrote candidly of the moment she lost her mother."

Even though her mother lost her battle with cancer when she was 56 years old she still wanted her daughter to be well informed on future prevention methods for herself, ". . . her doctor told me she had promised my mother that she would make sure I was informed about my medical options."

This was what motivated the mother-of-six to take genetic tests that detected the inherited cancer gene, E! News reported.

When it was discovered that she was genetically predisposed to breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer she had a penetrative double mastectomy in 2013, two years later this was followed by the removal of her tubes and her ovaries.

"I'm often asked how my medical choices, and being public about them, have affected me. I simply feel I made choices to improve my odds of being here to see my children grow into adults, and of meeting my grandchildren," she added.

The Maleficent actress revealed that she wanted to give as many years to her children’s lives which was something her mother couldn’t do at the time.

"I have lived over a decade now without a mom. She met only a few of her grandchildren and was often too sick to play with them.

"My mother fought the disease for a decade and made it into her 50s. My grandmother died in her 40s. I'm hoping my choices allow me to live a bit longer."

The 44-year-old also revealed she had routine check-ups.

"I have a patch for hormones, and I need to get regular health checkups. I see and feel changes in my body, but I don't mind," she penned.

"People also ask how I feel about the physical scars I carry. I think our scars remind us of what we have overcome . . . the hardest scars to bear are often invisible, the scars in the mind."

Angelina stressed the importance of a need for a holistic approach globally, particularly for women’s healthcare.

"It should not take someone getting sick to realize that caring for them and not harming them is necessary."

Sources: PEOPLE, TIME, E! News

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