Thursday, March 22, 2007


Nothing official has been announced as I write this, but I feel profoundly sad to read that Elizabeth and John Edwards have a new conference scheduled today, a day after she had a "presumably routine" follow-up appointment for her breast cancer. Obviously, you don't throw a press-party every time you get a clean scan after chemo, although you might want to.

I'm too familiar with the post-cancer roller coaster after watching my mom ride it for almost five years. Every bit of good news feels important but also temporary; there is always another scheduled scan that will cause a new bout of anxiety. In our family's case, there was a persistent, and correct, unspoken feeling that one day the follow-up tests wouldn't be reassuring. I've been thinking a lot about that period of my life recently, as the tenth anniversary of Mom's death is coming up in April. I'll likely post more about that as the day comes closer.

Meanwhile, though, I'm hoping for the best for the Edwards family, and for all families who deal with frightening news, or people who come face to face with mortality and their own need to be brave. I hope it helps us all keep perspective. Disagree with Edwards' politics (or his bizarre allegiance to UNC when there is a better option just eight miles down the road), but always remember that he is also a person. He's likely incredibly scared and sad right now, and wishes he could just make the world a different place for his wife and kids, let alone for the rest of humanity.

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