Presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth held a press conference Thursday to announce the re-emergence of cancer in Elizabeth, a breast cancer survivor. The cancer has moved to her bones. In a calm, uplifting, almost joyful, press conference, John Edwards reassured his supporters the campaign goes on.
First, my thoughts were of their united front to battle cancer, again, and how terrifying it must be for Elizabeth, a wife and mother of three, two children still young ones. Her upbringing as a child of a military dad shined through, the picture of serenity.
All of us, sometime in our lives, whether personally or through family, friends, dear ones, will struggle with cancer. The first recollection I have of the disease affecting my family was as a girl when my aunt was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was my father's only sibling and a single mom of two young children. Her husband divorced her rather than deal with a sick wife and two young children. I was 14 when she died and her children, my cousins, came to live with us for about a year while their dad mustered up the maturity to accept custody of them. My mother, not exactly a Carol Brady kind of mom, handled the additional two children to her own three with the mother's helpers of the day - martinis and valium. She would retire to her bedroom for a 'nap' in the afternoons after we came in from school.
My mother in law is a breast cancer survivor. It was caught very early and surgery was performed. She is still cancer-free and completely independent and active, at the age of 84. She tried retirement for a few months and didn't like it last year, so she's back working part time in real estate.
Friends have battled cancer, too. Old friends have dealt with liver cancer, requiring a transplant, lung cancer, requiring the removal of a lung. Newer friends and acquaintances have battled breast cancer. There is no escape. And, make no mistake, it is a battle requiring warrior determination.
I am struck with John Edwards' way of dealing with the challenge head-on and with determination to be there for Elizabeth. I am inspired by their desire to get on with it. The campaign continues. It will keep them very busy and focused, instead of home brooding and depressed.
Theirs doesn't appear to be one of fakery and political convienence, as is so common anymore. Refreshing. How sad, though, that now he will be on the receiving end of people, strangers, feeling compelled to let them know what they think should be done. People who know nothing of these two people will condemn him for not stepping aside and staying home with her. What they have missed in this whole story is that it is Elizabeth who is demanding life go on as planned, not him. She is the one wanting to get right back out there. She is a fighter.
Good for her.
Some things transcend politics. It is hard to tell these days, but most have rallied around the Edwards' during this time. People of all political sides realize this is not the time for nonsense. I understand campaign donations are up in light of people taking a second look at the candidate. That will be encouraging to the campaign staff and candidate alike.
I have no use for the politics of John Edwards. He is a liberal trial lawyer and sees the problems of this country in an entirely different light than me. I will not forget, however, when conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham was diagnoised with breast cancer and was treated for it last year. It was Elizabeth Edwards that went on the liberal websites and told all those moonbats gloating over Ingraham's life threatening disease to stop it. She said it was completely unacceptable for anyone to gloat over someone else's health issues.
Too bad no one on the left felt so inclined when the moonbats struck again on their sites over what a shame it was that Dick Cheney's blood clot medicine was working. This seems to be something the far left feels entitled to do with impunity, this wishing death to those they disagree with. Conservatives have been some of the most vocally supportive of Elizabeth Edwards and I am encouraged by that.
Tony Snow, press secretary for President Bush, is a colon cancer survivor. Diagnosed two years ago and treated with chemotherapy, he will be undergoing surgery Monday for removal of a small, non-cancerous growth in his lower abdomen. I wish him well. Tony said Friday that he spoke with Elizabeth and John Edwards for about 10 minutes to offer support and prayers.