Per their joint press conference this morning, Elizabeth Edwards insisted that the former senator continue his campaign because she believes so strongly that he should be the next U.S. president.
Elizabeth Edwards, an accomplished attorney and a key advisor to her husband's campaign, first noted symptoms of breast cancer just before the November 2004 elections, in which Sen. Edwards ran for vice president. She underwent treatment, and by late 2006, her oncologist pronounced her cancer in remission.
Easy to Be Cynical... and Incorrect
It would be easy to be cynical about the timing of today's announcement. Edwards trails Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama in most polls, and is apparently struggling to raise the many millions needed to run for the White House. And Mrs. Edwards is an enormously popular and sympathetic public figure.
It would be easy to be cynical, but a cancer prognosis is serious business. Very serious business. And no one... not even politicians... would use family cancer to political advantage.
I should know. I had a uterine biopsy yesterday, and any hint of cancer is enough to stop the normal pace of life. I'm sure I'll be fine, and even if something onerous is detected, it would be extremely early stage, with a 95%+ cure rate.
Likewise, the Edwards' life will change as they again battle Elizabeth's illness. And a presidential campaign pales in comparision to Elizabeth's health challenges.
While both Edwards' passionately believe that their political life will continue unchanged, they may prove incorrect... Time will tell.
God bless them both, and their family.
I will address the political ramifications of today's events in a separate article.
UPDATE - This YouTube clip illustrates why I admire Elizabeth Edwards. Please take a minute to watch it.
About.com's Guide to Breast Cancer