Elizabeth Edwards: Gravely Ill, Treatment Can't Help Her

Elizabeth Edwards is losing her battle with cancer. The family is gathered around her in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and released a statement saying that doctors have said further treatment would not be productive.

Edwards' estranged husband, former presidential candidate John Edwards, and their three children were at her side at the Chapel Hill home, the friend reported. Her sister, brother, nieces, nephews, former campaign advisers and other friends were also there. The friend said Elizabeth Edwards is not in pain and in good spirits despite the seriousness of her condition.

Elizabeth posted a message on Facebook that reads like a "goodbye" note: [More...]

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.

It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.

Sources close to the family say she is receiving treatment and medication "for symptoms and side effects, but not for her cancer." They expect she has but weeks to live.

Our hearts and best wishes go out to her and her family. She fought bravely and inspired so many. May her final weeks be peaceful, pain-free and meaningful. I hope the media gives them the space and privacy they deserve.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Very nice sentiments, Jeralyn (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:20:30 PM EST
    There's not much I can add. I've always considered EE to be a class act, and a very real person. This news has hit me hard though, for various reasons.

    Peace to EE, those who love her, and all who have been inspired by her.

    This is a family that has already lost (5.00 / 9) (#2)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:00:49 PM EST
    so much it's hard to think about them losing someone who, by all accounts, has been the bedrock of the family, its heart and soul.  Add in the loss of a marriage and all that goes with that, and it's really almost too much.

    And even though they've probably been preparing in many ways for this eventuality, I can say from personal experience that however much you think you're prepared, you just aren't.  Yes, there's that sense of relief that the suffering of someone you love is finally over, and even though so much of that person is always with you, nothing quite prepares you for the loss of someone's physical presence.

    When my dad died, I think the thing that took me so by surprise was the sort of earthquake that shook up the entire family dynamic; no one knew who we were as a family without him, and it took a lot longer than I expected for it to sort itself out - and my brother and I were into our 30's at the time.

    I wish this family well as they embark on a journey that is unlike any other most of them have been on; I hope Elizabeth and John can make peace, if only to leave their children with the family anchor they are really going to need.

    If you have had a mother with such (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:03:27 AM EST
    qualities, she can enable you to easily own those same qualities.  I think about her youngest children right now as I lost my mother when I was small too.  When I got older, I often felt bereft remembering my mother's strength and how she held the whole family together...even her siblings.  A very wise person told me though when I was hurting in that fashion that I was her daughter, was it possible those things lived in me too because she taught me how to do it and be it?  Such a simple sharing changed my perspective, and still does when I sometimes have to remind myself.  Elizabeth Edwards is one of my favorite "real" people, and I have often admired her.  Our days are numbered though.  May her children thrive and be empowered to their last day by everything that she is.

    Beautiful thoughts MT (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:08:58 PM EST
    I did have a mother with such qualities. (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:00:32 PM EST
    She would be quite distressed to know the present state of the next generation of her family.  

    Self-reflection. Would I, at present, (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 11:54:54 PM EST
    be ok with ex-husband being at my bedside as I died?  Probably yes, as to now.  In the past, no.  

    What a courageous and... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 09:56:17 PM EST
    gracious person. My thoughts are with her family.

    Here's wishing Elizabeth... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 10:44:31 PM EST
    ..and her family comfort and peace.

    Peace be upon her family (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:04:52 AM EST
    May her children always know that she is with them and within them.

    I hope she and her family (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:23:50 AM EST
    have a blessed holiday season and her children carry her memory and legacy. She is a good person, and she will be missed. If there were ever a time for a miracle, this would be one.

    "And flights of angels (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:43:18 AM EST
    sing thee to thy rest."

    Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2.

    Ah, Harry (none / 0) (#20)
    by sj on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:44:54 PM EST
    You brought a tear to my eye.  Not only for EE but for those that I am missing very much this holiday season.

    Eeerily reminiscent of when (2.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 11:10:15 PM EST
    Dana Reeve passed. Elizabeth, too, has been the strength and guiding force to her children. We can hope what she has given them will see them through with gratitude for the time they had.

    Elizabeth passed away (none / 0) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:59:35 PM EST
    afew minutes ago. R.I.P.

    So sad. My condolences to her (none / 0) (#18)
    by caseyOR on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:35:23 PM EST
    family, friends and colleagues.

    NY Times Story on the death of Elizabeth Edwards (none / 0) (#17)
    by fuzzyone on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:21:54 PM EST
    The article says she (2.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:46:24 PM EST
    passed away yesterday morning at 10:15 am. Clearly she wanted her family to be given privacy at that moment.

    It says Tuesday morning (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:02:50 PM EST
    which is today, right?  (My days are running together)

    You're right (3.50 / 2) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:31:28 PM EST
    not sure what I was looking at, but my eye exam this afternoon could explain it :)

    I was struck yesterday by her (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:42:59 PM EST
    statement her faith in the power of hope and resiliency is one of the three factors which sustained her in life.  Nothing about religious belief there.