Just by walking into the room she changes people. They must think, "Why doesn't she just shrink into the darkness and fear, and give up? How can her husband think of going on with his life's plan? Doesn't cancer stop all that?" No. It is possible to see cancer as a light: bright, glaring and harsh.
It touches every part of life and spirit. Elizabeth Edwards and her husband John, who is running for the Democratic nomination for President, announced in March that her breast cancer had returned and metastasized. They said Elizabeth would receive treatment but the campaign would go forward. The Edwardses have built a dream. It is who they are and what they know. To stop that dream would be to let the fear of cancer win.
As someone who has battled cancer, I remember the effect it had on my wife and family. The love they had for me was thick, their grief and confusion written across their brows every step of the way. I have understood and faced the possibility of numbered days. I know I would want to spend them with my loved ones, enjoying what we have created together. We are all inspired as we watch Elizabeth, 57, walk through the fear. In defiance, she stands in front of the devious monster exactly where she wants to be: next to her husband.
Cancer is powerful. It can stop whole lives and start new ones. It is the ultimate dark drama. Cancer brings a crisp urgency to every hour: Live right, live well, live now. Take each day and create. Create good, create love. Cancer touches everyone around it and can bring wisdom and learning. Learning to love and let go. We all admire Elizabeth for her courage against these odds. We pray, we hope, we watch and wonder: Could we be so brave if we were in her position?
Etheridge, a rock singer and gay-rights activist, received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2004
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