Cancer also has helped Elizabeth put her martial problems in perspective.

"Being sick meant a number of things to me. One is that my life was going to be less long, and I didn't want to spend it fighting," she says. "It also meant that I was reminded constantly of how supportive [John] had been."

Elizabeth says she doesn't know her prognosis, but doctors say she could live anywhere from one to 10 more years.

"If the walls could talk, sometimes I think about it. I think about it most when I feel a pain, and I'll think: 'Is this it? Is this the beginning of the end?'" she says. "Sometimes I get really, really down. ... You're just overwhelmed by what it is you've left undone and who it is you're going to leave behind."


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