Local/State

Elizabeth Edwards' health deteriorating

Monday, December 06, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards' cancer has spread to her liver and her health is deteriorating. The 61-year-old wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards is at home with her family.

A spokesperson said doctors are recommending against additional treatment. Edwards posted the following message to friends on her Facebook page:

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 say she was told last week by doctors that additional treatment was futile and her prognosis was described as a matter of weeks. They say she is now getting treatment and taking medication for symptoms and side effects, but not for her cancer.

Sources also say she is resting at home in Chapel Hill with John Edwards, their children, her brother and sister, along with friends.

Edwards's fight against the disease has been an inspiration to many. It began in 2004 while campaigning with John as he sought the White House with John Kerry.

Eleven days before the election, Elizabeth found a lump in her breast as she was getting ready for a campaign speech in Wisconsin.

The day after John Kerry conceded the race, the Edwards announced Elizabeth had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She disappeared from public view to deal with her illness and worked hard to make everything seem normal for her young children.

"I don't want to look sick to them," she said then.

For a while, it looked as if Edwards would be one of the many women who beat breast cancer, but then on March 22, 2007, Elizabeth and John held a news conference and announced the cancer was back and it was incurable.

Still, Edwards didn't let the prognosis slow her down, she has continued to campaign for health care reform and written books about life and battle with adversities.

She has even begun a new business. In the summer of 2009, she opened a furniture store called "The Red Window" on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

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