Wife of presidential candidate John Edwards diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Campaign goes on

CNN, Greenfield: When Fate steps into the political arena.
"Do you want to hear God laugh? Make a plan.

We fret over the most minute details of our lives, stressing over critical decisions (plasma or LCD for that HDTV? Italian or Asian for that weekend dinner?) while Fate's kindest or cruelest blows are utterly beyond our vision or control.

Nowhere is that more dramatically shown than in the world of politics.

Who gets to ride with the candidate from the plane to the reception; who stands behind her? What food gets served at the fundraiser? Are the pamphlets printed in a union shop on recycled paper?

And then Fate steps in -- and reminds us of one of life's most ineluctable truths.

The Edwards family has had more than its share of hammer blows, from the death of a son in a car crash, to Elizabeth's breast cancer diagnosis that came in the weeks before the election loss in 2004."

In the press reports, metastatic bone cancer has been compared to a chronic disease like diabetes, but many doctors will have doubts about that description, I think.

Kevin, M.D. links to a comprehensive MSNBC report with videos.

As it is becoming customary now, medical blogosphere provides a very good (and naturally, professional) coverage of medical conditions affecting well-known people. For example:

- Kevin commented on the initial diagnosis of Elizabeth Edwards' breast cancer in 2004.

- Respectful Insolence: Elizabeth Edwards and bone metastases from breast cancer

- The Cheerful Oncologist: What Does It Mean to Have 'Relapsed Breast Cancer?'

- Dr. Charles discussed the Vice-President Cheney's blod clot.

- Two weeks later, Dr. Wes wrote why the Vice-President's leg is still causing problems and the likely diagnosis of post-phlebitic syndrome.

- Vice President Cheney Gets Atrial Fibrillation. Dr. Wes, 11/2007.

Stage IV breast cancer is a much more serious diagnosis than an episode of DVT (without PE). I join Kevin in wishing Elizabeth Edwards and her family all the best during this difficult time.

Update 4/4/2007:
Elizabeth Edwards expresses disappointment in reports she'll die in five years, gets good news on treatment. CNN.

References:
Greenfield: When Fate steps into the political arena. CNN.
Wife's illness won’t idle Edwards ’08 campaign. MSNBC.
Edwards shows new face of cancer. CNN.

Updated: 11/26/2007

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