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Elizabeth Edwards, "I'm still here".

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 07:57 am
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 801 • Replies: 17
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 08:44 am
Elizabeth Edwards
I fear it may be bad news.

I like Elizabeth Edwards as much or even more than her husband, John.

BBB
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 10:07 am
Sad, and not a way I'd hoped him to lose. I wish her a full recovery. Cancer sucks.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 11:07 am
Wow, they are continuing. I don't know if that is the best decision for her - the stress will kill her. The cancer has metastasized into the bone. She is a among the walking dead.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 12:11 pm
I really like Edwards and I surely admire his wife.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 12:20 pm
cjhsa wrote:
She is a among the walking dead.


She and her husband will be coming to Boston and New York this week for speaking engagements. I have to assume that Mrs. Edwards will also visit several oncologists in Boston and NY, where the top-drawer oncologists practice oncology.

It is not a hopeless situation, as there are many new drugs and procedures in place right now, and it is known that some cancer patients do re-bound from a diagnosis of breast and ovarian cancer and achieve a full recovery, and no one understands how it
occurred.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 12:24 pm
Defying Reports, Edwards Stays In
March 22, 2007 | 12:58 PM ET | Permanent Link

The announcement this afternoon from presidential candidate John Edwards that he would stay in the race despite learning of his wife’s recurring cancer put to rest rumors that he would suspend or leave the race, which could have transformed the Democratic primary into a two-way battle between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. The Edwards campaign sent reporters a vaguely worded announcement late Wednesday night that the former North Carolina senator and his wife would hold a joint press conference today at noon, giving rise to speculation about the health of Elizabeth Edwards--who was diagnosed with breast cancer the day after Election Day 2004--and whether a recurrence would prompt Edwards to withdraw from the race.

The website of The Politico reported shortly before today’s press conference that Edwards would be suspending his campaign and possibly dropping out completely. The Edwards campaign immediately denied the report.

With his high name recognition, formidable fundraising ability, and strong grass-roots organizations in early 2008 primary states, Edwards may be the only candidate in the sprawling Democratic field who has a real shot at competing with the celebrity candidacies of Clinton and Obama. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll last month, Edwards was running third in a theoretical Democratic primary, with 12 percent support, behind Clinton, who had 36 percent, and Obama, with 24 percent. Recent polls in Iowa, home to the first caucuses of 2008, have Edwards in first place.

US News and World
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 12:31 pm
I seriously doubt he will remain in the race for long.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 12:35 pm
I hope he stays in. We need him.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 07:39 pm
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 07:54 pm
What a tough son-of-a-gun he is, he's not as tough as she is, but he is still tough.

I remember watching Edwards during his campaign with John Kerry and seeing him on several occasions hold back on his commentary in deference to John. I can't wait till he lets loose, as if he already hasn't done so, on the pathetic bunch presently leading this nation.

Go Johnny go. Godspeed Elizabeth!!

Joe(any other couple would have put their own lives ahead of the needs of their nation. )Nation
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 09:01 pm
cjhsa wrote:
Wow, they are continuing. I don't know if that is the best decision for her - the stress will kill her. The cancer has metastasized into the bone. She is a among the walking dead.

Hhmm.. Apparently, thats exactly the logic that fellow cancer patients tell the Edwardses to resist - for her sake:

Quote:
Barbara Frey of Piedmont missed the Edwardses' news conference. She was undergoing chemotherapy for her own stage 4 cancer, and she is now in her third year of chemo. She thinks Edwards is absolutely making the right decision.

"It is crazy to think of dropping out now,'' she said. "It is crazy for the public to look at her as a nearly dead woman who needs tea and sympathy. What she really needs to do is go on with her life. And that ought to include the things that bring you joy. Clearly, being on the campaign trail brought her joy.'


I have my own doubts about John Edwards' decision to soldier on.

But apparently, those who know what it's like to be in Elizabeth Edwards's shoes say the couple is doing exactly the right thing - for her, in any case.

Confronting the instinctive reaction that John Edwards should bow out for his wife's sake, they sound persuasive about how continuing the campaign is actually the best solution possible for Elizabeth Edwards.

The question these articles dont deal with, obviously, is whether it would be good for the country to have a President who might well have to face the harshest possible life crisis during his term in office.

But they do help dispell any impression that it's egoistic or ruthless for Edwards to campaign on.

Two examples (the quote above is from the second article):

Quote:
My Own Battle Against Cancer

March 23, 2007

Maria Mercader is a producer at the CBS News Foreign Desk in New York.

When I came into the office yesterday morning, there was word that John Edwards would bow out of the 2008 Presidential campaign because his wife's breast cancer had come back. That made me very sad. Fighting cancer is like being in a war and it looked as if the Edwards family was losing. I WAS WRONG. John Edwards was staying in the campaign and his wife will be at his side.

I know that fighting cancer is war because I have been in battle not once, but twice. [..] I have had countless tests, invasive examinations, chemotherapy, radiation and several surgeries; I was even hospitalized for four months. Battling cancer can be a full time job. No one wants to hear those words, "you have cancer," but it is in that moment that you start the fight. When you want to live, there is no decision to be made. Fighting isn't a choice. You just do it; it becomes as natural as breathing.

When Nixon declared war declared war on cancer in 1971, cancer was an automatic death sentence. Don't get me wrong--there are many valiant efforts to win the war and sometimes the cancer wins. But Elizabeth Edwards is an example of a person living with, rather than dying from, cancer which is something I have lived with for 10 years. [..] Through treatment and recovery, I have been a hard-working TV producer, I have a social life, traveled domestically and abroad and have been an advocate for cancer issues. It hasn't always been easy to keep all the balls in the air, but what else could I do...sit around and be sick? If I did that, then cancer would be winning. So I live, and live the best life possible. Thank you, Mrs. Edwards, for showing people that we, survivors, can thrive.


Quote:
Cancer fight a campaign landmark
IN HER SHOES: Survivors back couple's decision to continue

March 23, 2007

[W]hen Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards announced in a news conference Thursday that his wife, Elizabeth, had experienced a recurrence of breast cancer and it was now "incurable,'' the news set off debates all over the country. [..] After acknowledging Elizabeth's diagnosis, John Edwards said that not only would he continue to run for president, he didn't plan on missing a single campaign event.

The reaction was immediate. [..] Internet bloggers and commentators basically accused Edwards of using his wife's illness for a political boost. Others simply thought it was his duty to give up his goals in solidarity with his wife.

"You have to look out for other people in this life,'' Guy Smith, a Chronicle reader from Alameda, told me. "If I were in his shoes, I would abandon the campaign and spend time with the woman I love.''

That was a lovely thought with all the right intentions. But according to the cancer survivors, counselors and therapists I spoke to, it has just one problem -- it is dead wrong.

"What he is doing is absolutely the most positive thing for his wife,'' said Matthew Loscalzo, director of Patient and Family Support at the Rebecca and John Moores University of San Diego Cancer Center, who has studied the relationships of men whose spouses have cancer. "If he quit, what is he going to do after he asks her every 20 minutes, 'How are you feeling, darling?' "

But surely, critics said, Edwards would be better served if he devoted his time to helping Elizabeth. People who have never spoken to Edwards or his wife had no problem telling them that he owed it to Elizabeth to focus on her. After all, they said, it was the right thing to do.

Cancer survivor Mary Lievore admitted she "got a little peeved'' at all the talk-show conversation. Lievore has metastatic, stage 4 cancer, just like Elizabeth Edwards. In the 11 years since she has been undergoing treatment, she has learned something that the Edwardses are just now finding out: When you have cancer, it gives nearly everyone else a license to offer advice.

"Oh, yeah,'' she says. "People come out of the woodwork to tell you what you should do.''

But while others can tell us they think they know how Elizabeth Edwards is feeling, Lievore has cancer in her bones. Before you get too preachy, listen to what she had to say.

"I don't know of any more devastating news in life than that there is no more hope of a cure,'' she said. "But at the same time, life goes on. You can't just sit in a corner and drop dead.''

Barbara Frey of Piedmont missed the Edwardses' news conference. She was undergoing chemotherapy for her own stage 4 cancer, and she is now in her third year of chemo. She thinks Edwards is absolutely making the right decision.

"It is crazy to think of dropping out now,'' she said. "It is crazy for the public to look at her as a nearly dead woman who needs tea and sympathy. What she really needs to do is go on with her life. And that ought to include the things that bring you joy. Clearly, being on the campaign trail brought her joy.''

The irony was that some political insiders knocked Edwards for using his wife as a political "prop.'' Those who have been through cancer say they found it more significant that he was standing next to her.

"I don't know what the percentages are, but there are plenty of men who leave women with breast cancer,'' said Connie Holmes, a therapist who leads support groups for women with metastatic cancer in El Cerrito. "It's just too much for them to deal with, and they are frightened by it."

"Men,'' says Loscalzo, "are driven to fix things. If there is something that makes them feel powerless and helpless, they give up and shut down.''

And then there is the nasty little secret that those who experience cancer understand. All that advice, all those suggestions and questions? There's a reason people feel so strongly.

"The reason they are beating up on this guy,'' says Loscalzo, "is that they are saying 'Oh, my God, she's dying right now.' And they are thinking, 'Go away, get out of the public eye, because you are making me uncomfortable.' ''

And that's the final analysis. [..] More than 10 million people are battling cancer in this country today. [..] The Edwardses [stood] on the national stage [..] announcing that they have decided to continue with their lives, regardless. Some might see that as cynical or self-absorbed. That's your call.

But I can tell you what someone who deals with stage 4 cancer every single day thinks.

"I think,'' said Frey, who will need chemotherapy for the rest of her life, "it is tremendously courageous of them.''

Who are you to disagree?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 09:37 pm
Well, to me, the nearly dead thing is beyond obnoxious.

A lot of us on a2k have had ca bouts, so the f/what, and hoo hoo, I bet others have it and don't know yet.
It's part of our lives. Do you all project cancer freeness/heart attact freeness over the next six years to all other candidates?

On the Edwards' view of stuff, I don't have a window, except to say that from the first inkling, a few years ago, they began to deal with it. She is a lucky broad in that she has a mate who cares. In any case, they've researched the progression scenario.

This won't make me for him or against him as president. He's up there for me, and my negs are for a point of view or two, not about Elizabeth.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 02:08 pm
More about the Edwards's motivation:

Quote:
Saying she hoped to be "heavily involved" in her husband's campaign, [Elizabeth Edwards] said: "My feeling is, if we gave up what we have committed to as our life's work, wouldn't I be getting ready to die? That's what I'd be doing. This cause is not just John's cause, it's my cause." [..]

When asked about the suggestion some have made that the continuing campaign is an act of supreme denial about her cancer, Mrs. Edwards looked momentarily struck. Then, with her husband looking on somewhat tensely, she hurled back: "Absolutely! I am not giving it anything. If it expects to be the boss of me it's gonna have to earn that."

She added, "I am denying it control over how I spend the rest of my life."

Although both Mr. and Mrs. Edwards professed surprise at the attention their decision has received, they said they saw a bright side: a national discussion of the ability of patients to live with cancer and of how people need to live their lives under the shroud of mortality.

"We made the choice to live," Mrs. Edwards said. "We don't want to do it surrounded by a veil of tears."

In the Hospital, Mrs. Edwards Set Campaign's Fate
0 Replies
 
happytaffy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 09:03 am
Did yall watch the 60 mins segment on them last night? Here is it if you missed it:

60 Mins Segment
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 10:08 am
The Cancer Scolds Explain It All For You
The Cancer Scolds Explain It All For You
Susan Madrak
03.26.2007

I'm not surprised, but I'm still appalled at the number of people who feel compelled to tell Elizabeth and John Edwards what their priorities "should" be. One of the most common scolds is that they have very young children, and so John Edwards should quit running and devote all his attention to his family.

Well, excuse me. I don't see anyone telling Lynn Cheney to quit her job and take care of Dick, what with his serious cardiac conditions. Come to think of it, I don't hear anyone telling Dick to quit his job so he can stay alive long enough to know his daughter Mary's baby.

We have such a strange, conflicted attitude toward death in this country. And when someone is stricken with something like cancer, we (the societal we) rush to the barricades and insist on an all-out fight - well, to the death, which seems to me is only a form of denial. How dare we have rooms in our lives for anything else?

We are a generation of control freaks, convinced we can master anything with enough effort. We can fix it, or we can wish it away. And when you get cancer, people seem to expect that it should become a full-time job.

We forget this is not a binary choice. We are not living or dying; we are living and dying. (As someone once wrote, "Life is a ship we get on, knowing it will sink." The only difference with a terminal illness is, we now have the advantage of seeing land on the horizon.)

So why is it so unthinkable that Elizabeth Edwards has decided to live while she is dying?

And who are these people who have the audacity to demand that her husband's election campaign come to a screeching halt because they're convinced it will somehow be more reassuring to the Edwards children? "Yes, Daddy was running for president but Mommy will probably be dead in a few years, so it's very important that we all stop whatever else we were doing and concentrate Only On That."

Imagine a young child who now has to spend those years waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is what far too many busybodies are now proclaiming as the right, "caring" thing for the Edwards family to do.

Molly Ivins's breast cancer returned twice, and this last time took her. No one would have blamed this enormously talented and charismatic writer if she decided to lay off the keyboard in favor of acting as if she was already dead and buried - but by God, Miss Molly would have scorched the ears off of anyone who dared to suggest she should, and we're all the better for it.

Cancer time lines have averages. Some people have less time than average, some have more. Despite advanced pancreatic cancer and his age, my dad lasted far longer with his than anyone expected. I was grateful for that additional time, but I also knew he was dying. It was not all that taxing to hold those two thoughts at the same time.

I visited my ex-husband the day before he died. He wasn't taking it well; he said he'd done everything the doctors told him to do, including an exhausting stem cell transplant, but he put up with it because they told him he could expect two more years as a result. He'd been in denial almost to the last day of his life, and now he was very, very angry.

Life was funny that way, I said. No one really knows how long they have; I might leave the hospital that night and get hit by a bus, crossing the street on the way to the parking garage. "You can spend whatever time you have left resenting the fact that you don't have more time, or you can just live," I said. "You have a life ahead of you, whether it's a few hours, a few days or a couple of weeks. It's up to you what you want to do with it."

He nodded. The next morning, he died peacefully while they were doing a liver scan.

My point is, I guess, is that whatever Elizabeth Edwards and her husband decide to do with what time she has left is nobody's else's damned business.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 11:04 am
Quote:
...with what time she has left...


The funny thing with life is no one knows how much time they hae left, no matter their age, or their health.

Think about that as you jog along the path of life.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2007 09:11 am
Elizabeth Edwards for President
Elizabeth Edwards for President
By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 01 April 2007

Elizabeth Edwards's choice to stay in the political arena despite a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis didn't tell us anything we didn't already know about Elizabeth Edwards. People admired her before she was ill for the same reasons they admire her now. She comes across as honest, smart and unpretentious - as well as both devoted to and independent of her husband. But we have learned a great deal about the political arena from the hubbub that greeted her decision. For all the lip service Washington pays to valuing political players who are authentic and truthful, it turns out that real, honest-to-God straight talk about matters of life, death and, yes, political ambition, drives "some people" (to use Katie Couric's locution) nuts.

If you caught Elizabeth and John Edwards in the Couric interview on "60 Minutes" or at their joint news conference in Chapel Hill, you saw a couple speaking as couples chasing the presidency rarely do. When Ms. Couric gratuitously reminded Mrs. Edwards that she was "staring at possible death," Mrs. Edwards countered: "Aren't we all, though?" It's been a steady refrain of her public comments that "we're all going to die" and that she has the right to make her own choice to fight for her husband's candidacy even as she fights for her life. There are no euphemisms or equivocations in her language. There's no apologizing by either Edwards for the raw political calculus of their campaign plans. There's no sentimental public hand-wringing about the possible effect her choice might have on her children. The unpatronizing Mrs. Edwards sounds like an adult speaking to adults.

Americans understood. A CBS News poll found that by more than two to one, both women and men support the decision to move forward. So do prominent cancer survivors in the media establishment, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum: Tony Snow (before his own rehospitalization), Laura Ingraham, Cokie Roberts and Barbara Ehrenreich all cheered on Mrs. Edwards. But others who muse on politics for a living responded with bafflement and implicit moral condemnation - and I don't mean just Rush Limbaugh, who ridiculed the Edwardses for dedicating themselves to their campaign instead of, as he would have it, "to God."

No less ludicrous were those pundits who presumed to bestow their own wisdom upon the Edwards household as it confronted terminal illness. A Washington correspondent for Time (a man) fretted that "Edwards's supporters, and surely many average Americans" will be wondering when his "duties as a husband and a father" will "trump his duty to his country and the cause of winning the White House." (Oh those benighted "average" Americans!) A former Los Angeles Times reporter (a woman) who covered the 2004 Edwards campaign suggested to USA Today that "this is a time when they would want to be home together savoring every moment that they've got." A Washington Post columnist, identifying herself as a fellow mother, faulted Mrs. Edwards for not being sufficiently protective of her children.

As Mrs. Edwards moves forward both to manage her cancer and to campaign for her husband, she'll roil more of the Beltway crowd. In a political culture where nearly every act by every candidate and spouse is packaged to a fare-thee-well for the voters' consumption, the Edwardses' story by definition will play out unpredictably in real time, with a spontaneity that is beyond any consultant's or media guru's control. Here is one continuing familial crisis that cannot be scored with soothing music to serve as a Hallmark homily in an inspirational infomercial at the next election-year convention. The Edwardses' unscripted human drama will be a novelty by the standards of our excessively stage-managed political theater and baffling to many in its permanent repertory company.

That's one reason it will be good for the country if Mr. Edwards can stay in this race for the duration, whether you believe he merits being president or not. (For me, the jury on that question is out.) The more Elizabeth Edwards is in the spotlight, the more everyone else in the arena will have to be judged against her. Next to her stark humanity, the slick playacting that passes for being "human" and "folksy" in a campaign is tinny. Though much has been said about how she is a model to others battling cancer, she is also a model (or should be) of personal transparency to everyone else in the presidential race.

This is especially true in a campaign where the presumptive (or at least once-presumptive) front-runners in both parties have made candor their calling card: John McCain is once again riding his Straight Talk Express and Hillary Clinton is staking her image on the rubric "Let the Conversation Begin!" They want us to believe that they are speaking in a direct, unfiltered manner, but so far their straight talking, even without Elizabeth Edwards as a yardstick, seems no more natural than Cheez Whiz.

Senator McCain's bus has skidded once more into a ditch since the Edwards news conference. He's so desperate to find the light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq that last week he told the radio jock Bill Bennett that "there are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk." Yes, if they've signed a suicide pact. Even as the senator spoke, daily attacks were increasing in the safest of Baghdad neighborhoods, the fortified Green Zone, one of them killing two Americans. No one can safely "walk the streets of Baghdad, nor Mosul, nor Kirkuk, nor Basra, nor Tikrit, nor Najaf, nor Ramadi, without heavily armed protection," according to the retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who delivered an Iraq briefing (pdf) to the White House last week.

Mrs. Clinton's campaign "conversations" with the public have not stooped to the level of Mr. McCain's fictions. But they have been laced with the cautious constructions that make her stabs at spontaneity seem as contrived as her rigidly controlled Web "chats." This explains why a 74-second parody ad placed on YouTube by a Barack Obama supporter had enough resonance to earn (so far) nearly three million views. Reworking a famous Apple Macintosh commercial from 1984, the spot recasts Mrs. Clinton as an Orwellian Big Brother by making her seemingly innocuous campaign catchphrases ("I intend to keep telling you exactly where I stand on all the issues" and "We all need to be part of the discussion") sound like the hollow pronouncements of the Wizard of Oz rather than the invitations to honest interchange the words imply.

Since the Edwards storm broke, there have been unintended consequences for other campaigns, too. In an accident of timing, Judith Nathan picked the same day as the Edwards news conference to explain that she was only now, after six years in public life, correcting the inaccurate published record of the number of her pre-Giuliani marriages (two, not one). Juxtaposed with the Edwards headlines, the dishonesty unmasked by this confession looked even worse than it might have otherwise. In a less vulgar vein, the first major Democratic campaign event after the Edwards announcement, a forum on health care, prompted more than the usual sniping about Mr. Obama's substance when his policy prescription lacked the specifics in Mr. Edwards's plan.

The power of Elizabeth Edwards's persona is such that the husband at her side will be challenged to measure up to her, too, perhaps even more so than his opponents. No one may be labeling him "the Breck girl" anymore (the subject of another popular Web video parodying his coiffure maintenance), but should his campaign prove blow-dried when he moves beyond health care, he'll pay his own hefty political price for the inauthenticity.

Whatever Mr. Edwards's flaws as a candidate turn out to be, he is not guilty of the most persistent charge leveled since his wife's diagnosis. As Ms. Couric phrased it, "Even those who may be very empathetic to what you all are facing might question your ability to run the country at the same time you're dealing with a major health crisis in your family."

Would it be better if he instead ran the country at the same time he was clearing brush on a ranch? Polio informed rather than crippled the leadership of F.D.R.; Lincoln endured the sickness and death of a beloved 11-year-old son during the Civil War. In the wake of our congenitally insulated incumbent, who has given our troops neither proper armor nor medical care and tried to hide their coffins off camera, surely it can only be a blessing to have a president, whether Mr. Edwards or someone else, who knows intimately what it means to cope daily with the threat of mortality. It's hard to imagine such a president smiting stem-cell research or skipping the funerals of the fallen.

Indeed, of all the reasons to applaud Elizabeth Edwards's decision to stay in politics, the most important may be her insistence, by her very action, that we not compartmentalize the harsh reality of death and the imperatives of public policy, both at home and at war. Let the real conversation begin.
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