CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In a new book, Elizabeth Edwards shares her secret for dealing with the pain of losing a teenage son and her battle with breast cancer.
In the final days of the 2004 presidential campaign, the wife of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, discovered a lump in her breast. She slipped into a doctor's office to be checked, but the cancer was already taking a toll, she said.
"The day I had the mammogram was the day of the Bon Jovi (campaign fund-raising) concert at Dorton Arena," Elizabeth Edwards said. "I've gone back and looked at the pictures of myself, and I look like I was wiped out."
Two years later, after successful chemotherapy, she said she feels much better.
"Today, I am cancer-free, so today I am happy about my health," she said.
Edwards said she hopes her book, "Saving Grace," will encourage people who are hurting emotionally to seek out people to listen to their pain. The only way she got through the death of her 16-year-old son, Wade, in a traffic accident several years ago was to tell others about him, she said.
"I asked people for help. I was not afraid to ask people for help," she said. "If you were in line in the drug store, I'd whip that picture out and start talking about my boy."
The response of friends and even strangers was overwhelming, she said.
"There was not a single time that anyone seemed like they wanted to get away from me," she said. "Instead, they gave me the gift of listening."