Posted in End-Of-Life Care

A Final Goodbye

It came as quite a surprise when I heard about the death of Elizabeth Edwards.  I had followed her story from her primary diagnosis and was always amazed at how she dealt with her illness.  I must admit I thought she said a horrible example at the start when she knew she had a lump, but waited till after the election to go to the doctor.  We all know that time is of the essence when cancer is the diagnosis.

When we learned that her cancer had returned and was metastatic; her ability to be positive, hopeful, and purposeful was truly inspiring.  Her concern for her children was admirable.  Even the news reports about how she was a “mother to the end” when she left the children a letter was very touching.

What can we learn from Elizabeth Edwards?  First and foremost was that when horribly stressful events/toxic events enter your life extricate them from your life.  This was the case when the news broke of John Edwards affair and child.  Elizabeth Edwards knew that this type of negative energy would not benefit her body’s ability to heal.  She removed that stress to the greatest extent possible.

I’m still a bit confused about the final news stories about her decline.  Day one we hear she stopped all treatment at the recommendation of her doctors and the next day she was dead.  I wrote a post about hospice in November and here’s a case where hospice would have been helpful and that would have been a wonderful example to set for others facing end-of-life decisions.

I want to thank Elizabeth Edwards for sharing her story.  I want to thank Elizabeth Edwards for her courage.  I want to thank Elizabeth Edwards for living a full life with metastatic disease.  I hope if you’re diagnosed with a life-altering illness that you follow the lead set by Elizabeth Edwards and live life fully while you can.

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