Near death, Elizabeth Edwards quits cancer treatment

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This is an updated version of an earlier post. See the note below.

Elizabeth Edwards, the political wife whose name was hurled into the gossip scene when it was rumored her husband had had an affair with another woman during the 2008 campaign, has only a few days to a few weeks to live, according to a friend of the family.


[Updated, 3:05 p.m. Tuesday: Elizabeth Edwards has died at age 61. The new post is here.]

In a post on her personal Facebook page, Edwards reportedly wrote, in part, ‘I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.’

Doctors have determined that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive, the family said Monday in a statement.

Estranged husband John Edwards and their three children were together with the 61-year-old at home in Chapel Hill, N.C., the friend said, along with her sister, brother, nieces, nephews and others. The friend said Elizabeth remained in good spirits and was not in pain.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and thought she had beaten it, until the couple found out in March 2007 that it had returned and spread.

The decision was made that John would continue in his campaign for the presidency; in February 2008, campaign aide Rielle Hunter gave birth to a daughter who would later be identified as the former candidate’s child. The Edwardses separated in January this year after John admitted the child was his.



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-- Christie D’Zurilla

[For the record, 3 p.m. Tuesday: An earlier version of this post said Elizabeth Edwards’ name entered gossip headlines after her husband’s paternity of a child with Rielle Hunter was revealed. The scandal started with rumors of an affair during the 2008 presidential campaign, but John Edwards did not admit paternity until January of this year.]

The Associated Press contributed to this report.