Revolutionpix/INF; Lester Cohen/WireImage
08/23/2008 AT 12:00 PM EDT
Christina Applegate coped with her double-mastectomy recovery in the hospital by doing crossword puzzles and crafts – and getting an outpouring of love from friends.
"I was at the hospital holding her hand and getting her through it," longtime friend Lance Bass tells PEOPLE. "She is a very, very loved person."
Less than a week after revealing
she had the surgery, the Samantha Who?
star, 36, is "doing great," says Bass. "She's totally, fully recovering."
While in the hospital, Applegate was able to distract herself.
"She's a big crossword puzzle girl. That kept her busy," says Bass, 29. "In her hours of recovery, she's made all these roses out of lace. She has hundreds and hundreds of these amazing different roses. She doesn't know what she's going to do with them."
Sharing her story was an easy decision for her, according to Bass.
"Now she has a voice and she can use it for something good," he says. "Just opening her mouth about it is going to make thousands of women go get checked out. It will probably save many lives."