Monday, April 9, 2007

Don't worry, Elizabeth, most people "get it"

Once your life has been touched (not exactly the best word choice - it's more like having the rug pulled out from under your world) by cancer, you are changed. And I think changed for the better in the long run, whether you are the one who has been diagnosed with cancer or if it is someone you love.

My uncle was just diagnosed with melanoma recently, and after reading about some of the reaction to the Edwards' decision to move forward with the campaign despite a recurrence of breast cancer for Elizabeth Edwards, I'm glad that as he sorts out his next steps to take that he is not hearing from people who have no experience of living with cancer and who do not have his best interests in mind.

This excerpt from Elizabeth Edwards' appearance with Oprah last week highlights how some people "get it" while others, mostly those without personal experience, react from their fear and make hurtful judgments.
Mrs. Edwards, 57, said she has been surprised and ''a little disappointed'' by the criticism. She added that she's received the most support from families who have battled cancer.

''What bothers me about the judgment by people who haven't faced it is [not] that they're saying these things negative about us. We're used to that. If you're in politics, you better develop a thick skin.

''But they're also saying it to the families who decide they're going to stay in their jobs, they're going to continue teaching, or continue painting, or continue whatever their life work is, the thing that helps define who they are,'' she said.

Once again Elizabeth demonstrates her concern for others.

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