Chapel Hill, NC -- Elizabeth Edwards is seriously ill and doctors say further treatment for her cancer would be unproductive.
The family issued a statement Monday that revealed her doctors' diagnosis. It said she is resting at home with family and friends.
The wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards posted on her Facebook page that she can't express the love and gratitude she feels to those who've supported and inspired her. She wrote "the days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered."
A family friend tells CNN that she was told last week that any additional cancer treatment was futile. Her prognosis was described as a matter of weeks.
Elizabeth Edwards is the wife of former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards.
The family friend said that she is being treated for symptoms and is not in pain. They said "she has prepared for this". They said that John is at the house along with their children. Elizabeth's brother and sister are also there.
Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in the closing days of the 2004 campaign. Four years later she went in for what she thought was another routine mammogram.
"They found something on the same side where I'd had the mastectomy," she said during a speech in Greensboro last October. She said that doctors also found a tiny spot on her liver.
When the cancer resurfaced, John Edwards was beginning his run from the Democratic presidential nomination in 2007. The couple decided to move forward and not let the illness derail the campaign.
The illness had then spread to her bones and doctors said it was no longer curable, but treatable.
"Metastatic breast cancer is considered incurable, but it is also considered treatable and controllable," said Lisa Carey, Elizabeth's oncologist in a 2007 interview. "We don't know what's going to happen with Mrs. Edwards, but we do know there are very effective therapies."
Statistics from the American Cancer Society indicate that women initially diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer have a 1 in 4 chance of surviving after five years.
Elizabeth and John Edwards separated in January of this year. They had been married since 1977.
FULL STATEMENT FROM ELIZABETH EDWARDS
You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces - my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined.
The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But 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.
It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.
WRAL / WFMY News 2 / USA Today