Friday, March 30, 2007

Cancer and the Edwards' Decision

The Anchoress has an essay up about reactions, from the Left and from the Right, about her entry concerning the Edwards' announcement about Mrs. Edwards' cancer and Mr. Edwards' decision to continue his campaign for the Presidency. That the Anchoress expressed compassion seemed to amaze some of her readers.

When I first read that Elizabeth Edward's cancer had recurred and has metastasized to her bones my first thought was, "Damn it!" I had hoped that she had licked the Big C, would be one of the positive statistics, live long enough to dance at her children's wedding, spoil her grandchildren rotten.

An acquaintance of mine--our kids went to the parish school--also had breast cancer which spread to her bones. She was a fighter, a woman who wanted nothing more than to be the best wife and mother she could be. A mutual friend, who was with her at the end, told me that it was, finally, the pain that made her want to die. I can only imagine how horrific that pain must have been for her to finally decide that maybe dying wasn't a bad choice.

I hope Elizabeth Edwards doesn't have the same experience.

I understand why she wants her husband to continue his quest for the Presidency. She wants life to go on as normally as possible. She doesn't want to give into the disease because then the Cancer would win. Her decision is kind of like the decisions we made as a country after 9/11--they have bloodied us, but they haven't won.

But a small voice inside me asks, "What about the kids?" Dad will be on the road campaigning and Mom will be ill from treatments--who will the kids turn to? Who will reassure them, help them understand what is going on, comfort them when all this gets to be too much?

Cancer is such an ugly beast.

God bless and keep the Edwards family close to His heart.