Elizabeth Edwards


What to say about Elizabeth Edwards? She tried to help others with cancer, and to raise funds for research. While her husband was running as John Kerry's running mate in 2004, she though she might have cancer, but didn't tell her husband John. She was diagnosed after the election, with stage 3. In 2007, it became stage 4, which means it appeared in other parts of her body, specifically, in her bones.
She died today at home, surrounded by family, including her ex-husband.
When she announced that her cancer had metastasized, I was annoyed with her for not speaking out about links between manmade chemicals and cancer. In fact, I wrote that I hated her. I conceded that I might have displaced my feelings about cancer itself onto her. I do wish she hadn't died and that she'd caught the tumor earlier. She reminds us that cancer is a serious, deadly disease. And that people find inspiration in those who try to do something about it.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, Sandi. She fought bravely to live but unfortunately, once BC spreads, the odds are not good. We live in fear of this daily. Susan C.

Old Fogey said...

Looked for this post yesterday. Here it is today. "What to say about Elizabeth Edwards?"

This link http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40537053/ns/today-today_people/
tells us that: a "friend said, 'Elizabeth did not want people to say she lost her battle with cancer. The battle was about living a good life and that she won.' " Yet nearly every print media / radio headline or story I saw/heard said that she "lost her battle with cancer."

Cancer Bitch said...

We all lose our battle with mortality, don't we? Edwards said that everyone's going to die; she just knew what she would die of. And she didn't know positively--she could have been fatally struck by lightning.
In the 70s, it was a big deal to go public with breast cancer: Betty Ford, Happy Rockefeller, Betty Rollin. I can't think of anyone in the public eye who went public with Stage 4 breast cancer before Edwards. Can anyone else? There were/are public figures w/ Stage 4 who "came out," but not w/ Stage 4 breast cancer: Farrah Fawcett, Michael Douglas, Christopher Hitchens, and now Aretha Franklin.

Anonymous said...

not to disagree with my beloved Old Fogey, but fyi usa today, while not my fave, did headline CANCER COULD NOT CONQUER HER SPIRIT.

just read 3 or 4 obits & they are smooshed together in my head. but some things stand out:1) SHE DID NOT HAVE REGULAR MAMOS B4 DIAGNOSIS. is this a cautionary tale or what? 2) she dosed herself with hormones to make babies at the ages of 48 & 50. "replacements" for her dear dead son & understandable but...DOES ANYONE KNOW if there is a link b tween use of those drugs & breast cancer? i too used them to try & make a baby but she must've used more as she made 2. we KNOW those drugs up the ante for..is it uterine cancer or ovarian??? but can breasts be involved as well? in any case her death is a sad & bad deal as is that of any good person & it is esp sad that she had to spend her last yr separated from the love of her life b'cause he put his erection b4 the pres election; lies & lover b 4 the good wife, etc etc. cautionary tale again? avoid the cute younger man? dunno. re ee, for sure we can say may her memory be for a blessing. b well all-rr in ic
(no ice and not too icky here yet!)

Cancer Bitch said...

I wondered about the hormones too to have a baby in her 50s. I wondered about Wendy Wasserstein too, who had a baby relatively late in life, and then died of lymphoma. I have no idea though if lymphoma can be caused by hormone intake. I condemn older women who do this. I think they are spoiled, and I know I am being unfair and I know it's because I never wanted kids so I can't imagine working so hard to have them. I am a bitch.

Cancer Bitch said...

And there are children that I love and are happy to have here on the planet. The idea of a "replacement child" is a very tricky one.

Ricky said...

Greetings all. I must admit, i've never been to this blog, and I have to apologize in advance because I know this probably isn't the proper forum, but I just need to talk to someone even if they don't hear me right away. My mom just turned 61 this week. I guess the parallels are a bit too close. She also announced that she just got diagnosed w BC, a late stage. I'm her son. I lost my gma to BC which had metastasized to her body, 3 years ago New years eve. I guess I am just asking, what do you think happens to people after they pass? Many of your comments discuss issues like mortality, and life, and things like this make me wonder if that energy goes someplace. I need to know she's going to go somewhere that shell be taken care of because she spent her entire life taking care of me and I am not going to be able to handle it if she loses the battle before I have a chance to pay her back.

Cancer Bitch said...

Ricky,
How late is her staging? There's a difference between stage 3 and stage 4, and even some women with stage 4 are living for a decade and longer. No one knows what happens after death, even people who have "died" while on an operating table and come back. That is the big mystery and that is why, in my opinion, religion has such a hold on us. If there's a belief that's centered around a notion of life after death, people will be anxious to believe. My take as a Jewish atheist is that you give her as much as you can while she's here. Listen to her and don't assume you know what she's feeling or what she wants. Ask her what she wants, and call hospice if it's clear that she's dying. I'm so sorry that you and she are going through this.
Cancer Bitch

Anonymous said...

Actress Lynn Redgrave had Stage IV cancer
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/lynn-redgrave-67-is-dead/

Maggie Daley also has metastatic breast cancer

But Elizabeth Edwards was the most visible.

Anonymous said...

Fair is fair: I don't have children. An unopposed flow of estrogen is kind of like Miracle Grow to breast cancer's tomatoes.

But no one would suggest I should have had a child or two as part of my cancer fighting strategies....

Cancer Bitch said...

Maggie Daley, of course, and being treated in Fancy Hospital right here. She's public about it when she has to be. She hasn't written a book like Elizabeth Edwards.
And yes, I was more susceptible to breast cancer because I haven't had a child. Having children can protect you somewhat.

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