Day by Day

Friday, March 23, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards

My Heart goes out to her and the Edwards family. Mrs. Edwards has not only just been given her death sentence, but she had to receive it in front of the whole world.

I will never, ever, forget the day that Ellicia and I received our news that the cancer we thought we'd beaten was back... and it was going to kill her.

We sat in the car and openly bawled, both of us. It was the day they told us about how it'd spread, and there were all the tumors in her brain, and in her lungs. And we'd done enough research to know... that when it comes back, and it spreads like that, it's just a matter of how long, but the outcome is not going to change.

Mrs. Edwards has been told it's in her bones. That's the surest form to kill you. She has probably been given a time frame... maybe a couple of years, but... it came back, and it came back to her bones. Has it spread elsewhere - maybe somewhere not yet detected? She may not have so long.

And she's going to fight. Good for her, but I'm sure she's also learning how fighting the first time reduces your weapons to fight with the second time.

She's learned she's not going to grow old with John (Do you know his middle name?). Should he succeed in his quest for the Presidency, she'll either be too sick or no longer around. She's not going to see her children grow up. She won't see her daughters walk down the aisle, graduate, grandchildren...

It's Stage IV... metastatic... terminal.

One of the biggest challenges with that news is to have hope, still. And to balance hope with reality. To face what's coming.

I am surprised, to be sure, that Mr. Edwards has not suspended his campaign. I won't make it a politcal comment, but I will say that if it were me (wait, it was), he should spend every second with his family. Mrs. Edwards is going to get weaker. It's in her bones. Everything is going to be harder, even looking in the mirror and being reminded that it's not going to get better.

Taking care of the children.

Helping her dress.

Helping her use the bathroom.


Holding her hand.

Planning for the future and for the lack of it.



Being scared together.

Fighting together.

Hoping, praying... begging together.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwards... my Heart goes to you. There are no magic words, no super advice here. What you're facing together is the hardest thing you'll ever face, and hopefully, you're strong enough to help each other through it.

Mr. Edwards... John. Hold your wife. Love her. Leave her with no doubt of your love for her. It's ok to be scared. Terrified. Angry... hell, flat out PISSED OFF that the cancer came back! Research, ask your doctors, ask more doctors... as long as you can, don't give up hope.

Prepare for what's coming, though. Be honest with each other.

Mrs. Edwards - you're going through one of the greatest tragedies, publicly. (We know what that's like, even if our stage was just a tad bit smaller.) You're going to need and will likely have more courage than most of us can ever conjure. You'll go through each day, trying to make it a normal day, wanting to treasure each moment with your children, with John.

Each new weakness, each cough, every time something gets harder to do... it will be a slap in the face, a reminder that Death is coming. For you.

Sooner than we ever planned.

Don't give up the hope... keep fighting... Draw strength from John, and be amazed that he's drawing strength from your courage.

Write to your children. Take pictures. Do anything special you've always wanted to do. Do it now.

We always realized that one of the scariest things was to know that there was a clock counting down, the sands pouring through the glass, and we couldn't see what was left.

I'm sorry. I wish you luck. I wish you strength, courage, and Love.

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