2:00 PM EST, December 7, 2010
Elizabeth Edwards is dead, losing her six-year battle with cancer just hours after it was revealed her condition was beyond hope.
She died at 10:15 am Tuesday but the news was not revealed until Tuesday night.
It was Elizabeth Edwards's last public appearance before the revelation that her cancer battle has taken a turn for the worse.
"Cancer doesn't care that you have young children who need their mother," she said at the Stand Up To Cancer telethon.
Wearing a wig because her latest round of cancer treatments had caused her hair to fall out, Elizabeth bravely addressed Americans at September's "Stand Up to Cancer" Telethon. At another event, in November, she spoke openly about her grim prognosis.
Now the nation is learning that her brave battle is over.
In her farewell message on Facebook, 61-year-old Elizabeth writes, The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.
INSIDE EDITION caught up with Katie Couric, who lost her husband and sister to cancer, at the Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles.
"It's such a heartbreaking story because I am so familiar with what's going in the Edwards household as are so many other families that have lost a loved one to cancer. And she has been so courageous and heroic and so public about her disease," Couric said.
Doctors have informed Elizabeth that further treatments would be "unproductive." Her cancer has spread to her liver, but she's reportedly, "not in pain" and "in good spirits."
"Doctors do their best to keep her comfortable and then nature takes its course," said Oncologist Daniel Fass.
Elizabeth spent her final hours at her home outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina, her three children and her beloved sister at her side. Also there, her estranged husband John Edwards. The disgraced former Presidential candidate, who had a child out of wedlock with his former mistress Rielle Hunter, has moved back home to help take care of their youngest children. He's been spotted around town, picking up takeout for the group.
The sprawling Edwards estate, which Elizabeth calls her "dream house," is a fitting place for her to spend her final days. She supervised its construction, choosing every detail herself, and gave Oprah a tour last year.
While Cate Edwards is 28 years old and works in Washington as a lawyer, Emma Claire is just 12 and Jack, 10. Elizabeth has dedicated herself to preparing her children for her death. For years, Elizabeth has even worked on what she calls her "dying letter' to her children, filled with a mother's wisdom, so the kids can benefit from her advice even after she's gone.
"It's a brilliant idea to give those words of motherly love and advice and thought that the child can refer back to when they're feeling most sad, when they're felling unsure, when they're feeling like,'what would my mom say?' " said psychiatrist Gail Saltz.
In her Facebook farewell, Elizabeth writes, I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.