Update: From the comments: Thank you, Jane. And all the commenters here. You all inspire us. Now, back to work. — Elizabeth Edwards
I was discussing the prospects for the Edwards campaign this morning with some friends after hearing the rumor that following the press conference, Edwards still had a full schedule booked. Someone mentioned that if in fact Elizabeth's cancer had returned, it didn't mean that Edwards would necessarily drop out — he might elect to stay in the race anyway. She might want him to.
"That's what I'd do," I said.
It would be perfectly understandable if she did want him to drop out — it can't be easy watching your husband take cheap shots like this (published, in truly horrible taste, today of all days. Everyone knew as of yesterday that something like this was probably coming). All I can say was that it was really important to me to stay in the game following my surgery, to know that this "thing" hadn't beaten me and I had a life that it was not going to derail. Even though Christy, Marcy, Pach, Swopa, Jeralyn and Arianna practically had to prop me up and my brainpower was marginal when I was in DC, I was at the Libby trial. Every. Single. Day. I needed to know, for myself, that even though accomodations had to be made, I was still living my life on my terms. I fully understand why Elizabeth made the decision she did. I can't know what it's like to be in her shoes — her cancer is now incurable, but treatable, which must be really, really scary – but I like to think I would've had the courage to do the same thing. It's awfully brave.
Elizabeth has always been really supportive. She called me the day before my surgery in January to wish me luck. It meant a lot. I wish her the best of luck as well. The willingness to fight, to not back down in the face of the disease, even when the stress level must be extraordinarily toxic, is worthy of tremendous admiration and certainly bodes well for her continued well being. For me personally, and for all women who face what she is facing, she is an extraordinary role model.
And to all those who will undoubtably be callow enough to claim that Edwards is exploiting his wife's cancer for political gain? Don't turn your back, because the daggers will fly. And that's a promise.