Elizabeth Edwards diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer; Campaign Continues


 BRAVEST BATTLE photo | Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards has announced her diagnosis with stage IV breast cancer.   Senator Edwards has elected to continue campaigning and remains “optimistic” about the diagnosis.   Mrs. Edwards fervent belief that she can continue doing the things she does now while undergoing treatment has given me great pause.   Senator Edwards has said that her cancer is not curable.  I am not sure how I feel about this yet because, quite frankly, I am stunned.   Mrs. Edwards reported wrenching her back moving a box and later hearing something pop after she received a hug from her husband.  She went to the doctor to see about it and they found a malignancy in the bone that was localized in one place.   All anyone can do is pray, but I can’t help feeling frustrated and anxious for them.    


23 thoughts on “Elizabeth Edwards diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer; Campaign Continues

  1. Mom of 3 boys

    This is such terrible news. She seems like such a sweet woman. Regardless of politics (I am a Republican), I would not wish this on anyone, particuarly one with small children. I think there has been a glossing over it by the media and Edwards. Metastatic breast cancer to the bone has a 5 year survival rate of less than 20%. Most people live a few months up to two years or so. Beyond that is rare, but not impossible. I hope treatment goes well for her and she falls in that 20% . . .

  2. dblhelix

    Skeptical Brotha —

    I was stunned as well … but it took me only a few moments to recover. The key was the statement that it’s not curable.

    I’ve had this in my family twice. Life can’t and shouldn’t come to an immediate stop. If you let that happen, you are already in mourning and grieving. It actually does the patient no good — just adds stress and guilt.

    Ongoing treatment can really hit some serious low points, but it doesn’t necessarily happen right away. I imagine that if (when) she falls ill, then perhaps the campaign is off for good. But right now, I’m guessing they don’t want to sit around alone letting the prognosis beat them down.

    B/t you and me (and anyone reading this blog), I doubt the campaign will go the full run. But I can’t blame them for carrying on at present (they have no other choice until the cancer makes it impossible).

    I hope this makes some sort of sense.

  3. Mom of 3 boys,

    This is the scariest prognosis I’ve heard, I’ve been scouring the web trying to find information. Thanks. Given what you’ve said, I really am left scratching my head. Continuing on this campaign and putting on a brave face is crazy.

  4. dblhelix,

    I am still in shock and really baffled. Given the uphill climb he has anyway, I really don’t understand why they are doing this. I’m trying to understand, but I haven’t made it. I probably never will get it. In the back of my mind, I knew his effort was doomed.

  5. dblhelix

    I really don’t understand why they are doing this

    I hate to speculate about people I don’t know, but it’s a public issue now.

    Part of it may be denial. Campaign also keeps your mind on other things until you are forced to deal head on.

    The three boys still have to live their lives — going to school, etc — and at the same time they have to be prepared. But the campaign is part of their lives, too — and shutting it down just like that is not any way to ease the youngsters into what is to come.

    Make no mistake — I don’t think this campaign has long to go.

  6. Mom, dblhelix,

    Surfing the internet I found this information,”The average survival after the diagnosis of a breast cancer metastasis to bone has dramatically improved to about 24 – 36 months.” This floored me, and I’m on the verge of tears now. I don’t understand the point of continuing with a campaign.

  7. Denise

    I had the pleasure of chatting with the Senator once, prior to his first campaign. He was at a McDonald’s with his two young children. I actually had no idea who he was until my Dad informed me after the exchange.

    He seemed like a nice, grounded guy who connected with us far more than necessary.

    His family has had it’s share of personal tragedy. I wish them strength and comfort in the difficult days ahead.

  8. dblhelix

    The average survival after the diagnosis of a breast cancer metastasis to bone has dramatically improved to about 24 – 36 months

    OK, you said it out loud. I have all kinds of respect for you for being a thinking person. Very few people on the blogs seem to understand what was really said (my impression).

    Sometimes when you’re handed a death sentence, your first instinct is to want to live — which means continuing the campaign right now. There’s a comfort in maintaining your routines.

    For her, all she might be thinking right now is that she wants her husband to realize his dreams — she can handle what comes in that case.

    Priority is coping and maintaining normalcy.

    This whole thing has many phases to it. Kubla-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, despair, acceptance.

  9. Just, DAMN. This is a nice lady, a brave lady, a loving wife and mother who just wants her husband to realize his dream. I will be praying for her and Senator Edwards…and a pox on the house of any ReThug or Democrat running for POTUS who dares try to take advantage.

  10. dblhelix,

    Having worked in health care and cared for the dying, I carry with me each experience in watching someone die. You never forget them. I have cared for more than a half-dozen cancer patients who passed away. I have even assisted in chemo. It’s gut wrenching and you do your best to ease the suffering. Two of my patients suffered so intensely that it brought me to tears to even go in the room. One patient who suffered from pancretic cancer suffered very intensely. When my uncle shared his same diagnosis with me, I lost it for weeks.

    Right now, I’d say they are in denial and I have no options at this point but to send up a prayer for them and their family. Thinking of their little ones makes me physically ill. How do you tell a child that Momma’s very sick and will not recover.

  11. dblhelix

    I have no options at this point but to send up a prayer for them and their family.


    Pancreatic cancer is absolutely one of the worst — I am sorry to hear that.

  12. Anyone who has read her book, witnessed her campaign (both with and without her husband) or heard her speak about the campaign in interviews would know that Elizabeth edwards would absolutely not allow her husband to quit this campaign, their campaign, until such time as to continue it would be impossible. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  13. When you asked me a few months ago last year who I liked in Presidential Hopefuls and I told you Governor Swietzer of Montana and John Edwards, I never thought I would have witness the news yesterday to see one of my favorites in visible, emotional pain. When on camera, you learn how to hide this stuff but this…this here…it is inescapable. I am saddened. I was not prepared for yesterday. I had hoped he would have only presidential drama to fight if he got into this race.

    For the past few months watching the hoopla surrounding the drama between Obama and Clinton overtake the spectrum of the idea of only possible likables in the candidacy, I knew Edwards was special although he was not thrusting himself in view (yet) as I saw him and his possibilities of executive leadership. I saw him as the underdog needing some attention. I saw that he was out-of-style yet too authentic to be taken seriously because of a lack of it 4 years ago. I didn’t want to see him suffer for missteps 4 years ago. I wanted America to see what I thought I was seeing. Will we ever get that chance?

    Will we ever know? I wanted to see him brace the chance. I did find my interest married to idea of him and his wife in this race because what she offered in passion for family and the younger generations is what I wanted to hear and see most. None of the other candidates cared the way I wanted them to but him in allowing his wife to obviously influence their nurturing sensibility. I think that is what the country needs desperately (and our people). I knew he was influenced by her. I guess I wanted her elected when I said I was interested in Sweitzer and him. I believe she is who is John Edwards.

  14. rikyrah


    I don’t think it’s denial. I think this is his final gift to the woman that I believe is his second heartbeat.

    SHE believes in him.
    SHE loves him. Can’t you see it in every fiber of her being?

    SHE is not going to go away and wilt away like some flower.
    SHE wants to finish this with him.

  15. Bob

    To all: On June 26th a day before my 26th wedding anniversary, my love of my life was diagnosed with
    Stage 4 breast cancer metastasis. After 7 months of chem and radiation the cancer had metastasized to her spine and her lung. Her doctor has started her on Arimidex and Zometa for 2 months to try to slow down the cancer. My wife will then take a course of Aromasin to try and stop it. Those of you who think Mr.& Mrs. Edwards are in denial do not understand what each of us when faced with this situation have to do. I myself will do everything in my power to help my wife. Keeping things as normal as possible is what Mr. Edwards is doing for his wife not for himself. I guarantee you, that every waking moment he has is think of her not the campaign. I wish him luck as I wish for all other families who are facing the same situation. Live life for today because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

  16. cancer options

    Obviously no one has been reading the fact that the best oncologists in the world are in Germany or Tijuana Mexico. Many of these doctors are from the US and work with TOP open minded Mexican doctors. And I saw 1 oncologist there from the US being treated.

    Perhaps you should take a trip to see what they are doing and hear the patient’s tell you their stories for themselves. Thousands of terminal people that are alive and healthy after over 10 yrs and leading normal lives.

    Go drive there or go on a tour at the cancer care society and you will be a changed person. Tijuana may not be the best city, but it proximity to San Diego, 15 minutes , makes it the place that all this cutting edge treatment is going on

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