Posted by: Sarah | March 24, 2007

Heroes are Human, Too

Since my diagnosis, there’ve been many women who joined me as breast cancer fighters and survivors. Most are like me, but some are famous. I think it’s great that women like Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, and Kylie Minogue were open about their breast cancer diagnoses, I presume in the hopes that their openness about it would help raise awareness that breast cancer can happen to young women, too.

But my fellow fighter and survivor that I admire the most? Who is really pretty much my biggest breast cancer personal hero? That would be Elizabeth Edwards. She was diagnosed with breast cancer the day after Election Day 2004 (you know her name because she is married to the Democratic VP candidate that election). She wrote an amazing book called Saving Graces that was published last fall, and I read within days of it being released. I wish I didn’t sound like such a broken record, saying she’s amazing over and over again, but really that is the ONLY word for her, I think.

Two days ago, the Edwardses held a press conference to announce that Elizabeth Edwards’ breast cancer has returned, and has metastacized. I’m so crushed for her. I cried a whole lot. For the Edwardses (they have two small children and an older daughter), for Elizabeth, for the unfairness of it all. And because, honestly, it still scares me to hear about someone’s cancer coming back. It’s just too close for comfort, two years out from diagnosis or not.

But then I went and got out her memoir and when she talks about the day (day after Election Day 2004!) when she received the first diagnosis, she said that even though she was afraid of what the cancer would mean, etc., she was at peace with it, knowing that she had already had The Worst Day Of Her Life (when her elder son was killed in a car accident), so nothing could possibly be worse than that. I imagine she still believes that, that her worst day happened when her son died, so that could explain the positivity at the press conference, and why she’s not regarding the recurrence with fear.

She’s so amazing.

And still my hero.

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