Sad news about Elizabeth Edwards - RIP

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Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/7/2010 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   

1387D
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/7/2010 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Prayers for her family....

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/7/2010 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
What a fighter, all the way till the end, should be a great testimony to all our sisters with breast cancer.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

BobCape
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 12/7/2010 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Certainly carried herself with amazing courage and grace.

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 12/7/2010 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Amen to everything stated. Very sad end. She deserved a lot better.
 
Mel

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/7/2010 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
These are her words about being Stage 4, courtesy of CNN:

She said living with stage four cancer "is like dancing with a partner who keeps changing."

"Fortunately with the research, it looks like there may be a new drug for me down the line," she said. "My job is to stay alive until they find a cure. I don't think there's any way to live with this diagnosis than to have that kind of optimism."
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Alegar
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 12/10/2010 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Very true, David.

She is a beautiful and graceful spirit. Very courageous.
Diagnosis:
July 1, '10
PSA 3.88
Gleason 3+3=6
2 out of 12 samples positive

Solution:
DaVinci Oct 1 '10, UNC Chapel Hill
Cath/JP Drain out Oct.16, '10

Personal Statistics:
Age: 54
Weight: 184 lbs.
Height: 6 feet

AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!

Squirm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 744
   Posted 12/10/2010 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Agree, such a fighter, esp having a dirtbag husband like she had.

Mitch128
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 12/10/2010 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Elizabeth Edwards was both courageous and realistic. When it's "my time" I intend to follow her lead:
 
(CNN) -- Elizabeth Edwards died at her home after opting to stop all aggressive treatment for breast cancer that had spread to her bones and liver. The accolades for her hopeful, but realistic, fight against cancer are piling up, and they are well-deserved. But it's also worthwhile to take a minute to look at the choices she made once she learned the cancer could not be stopped and that death was inevitable. She chose to leave the hospital and go home.

That in itself is remarkable. In the modern lexicon of cancer, treatment is battle, and acceptance of death a kind of defeat. The phrase that recurs in these situations is "do everything," which means, use every possible medical intervention, no matter how invasive, painful or degrading, to stave off a death that regardless will come.

That's what death looks like in intensive care units. Patients are hooked up to ventilators and drips, with multiple IV lines and tubes inserted in every orifice, for the sole purpose of maintaining signs of life in a body that has irrevocably declined. Edwards did not want that.

 

In her Monday Facebook statement, she said, "The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered." She was known as a valiant woman, but that was perhaps the bravest statement she made, because in it she acknowledged a truth we Americans keep trying harder and harder to run away from: Everyone dies. It's not an easy fact to contemplate, but it is true. So then the question becomes, insomuch as any of us can control the details of our death: How do we want to die?

Some people do not get a choice. Accident victims, soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan or Iraq, people in car crashes, people who have sudden and massive heart attacks -- death comes to them on its own terms.

But Edwards had a choice, and her choice was to be in her home surrounded by the people she loved, and to be comfortable.

 

Dying at Home, Surrounded by Family

 

In end-of life discussions, "comfortable" can come across as a dirty euphemism for abandonment and defeat, but keeping dying cancer patients free from pain is a hard and serious business. When breast cancer spreads in the body, bone is the most common place it goes. It's hard to think of bone as living tissue, but breaking an arm or a leg hurts because our bones are very much alive. Uncontrollable, malignant growth in bone can be excruciatingly painful, especially if the cancerous growths impinge on nerves.

 

Palliative care medicine exists in part because managing this kind of intractable pain typically requires large doses of narcotics that need to be thoughtfully prescribed. The trick is to keep patients comfortable while not making them permanently somnolent, at least for as long as that tradeoff is possible.

Because I'm an oncology nurse, I have seen the pain cancer patients feel at the end of life. It is awful to behold. For family members, watching such suffering is agonizing. Even though they, and we, wish it not to be so, everyone in the room intuitively understands we are seeing the face of death.

So then we have a choice. We can say "do everything," go to the ICU and rouse the troops for one last fruitless battle against death. Or, as loving family members and as caring members of the health care profession, we can acknowledge that making someone comfortable is the only beneficial care option remaining. It's a hard call to make for our own lives, harder for someone we love, but for many of us the necessity of making that call will come.

Elizabeth Edwards and her family faced that moment and said, "Let's go home."

 
 

Casey59
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 12/10/2010 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
darn you, Mitch. Tears while at work...
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