June 30, 2010 -- For the first time since she separated from disgraced former Senator John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards is speaking out about her husband's affair and the changed man to whom she finally said goodbye.
"So when I closed the door on the John of today, I also had to say goodbye to that sweet man whom I had loved for so long," Elizabeth Edwards wrote in a new chapter of her book "Resiliance." "It was not easy as it might have seemed to anyone looking in from the outside who knew only the John of today. And I have to wonder if he is sad too, when he thinks of that young man."
After years at the center of a media firestorm surrounding her husband's scandalous affair with a former staffer, Elizabeth Edwards said she's staying focused on her personal life and family. Her cancer is getting worse, she told People magazine in an exclusive interview.
She said she hopes to live long enough to see her three children graduate from school and hopefully have a grandchild.
"Eight years," she wrote. "That's all I ask for... I want to walk them to the door of the next part of their lives."
For the first time her 28-year-old daughter, Cate Edwards, also spoke out in an essay about the strength her mother had shown throughout the tumultuous affair.
"In short, she taught me the meaning of 'grace,'" Cate Edwards wrote.
In 2004, Elizabeth Edwards announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer on the day her husband and presidential running mate of John Kerry conceded defeat. In March 2007, Edwards announced the cancer had returned and John would continue his bid for the presidency.
In January 2010, days after John Edwards admitted he had fathered a 2-year-old daughter with mistress Rielle Hunter, the couple announced they had separated and Elizabeth filed for divorce.
Elizabeth Edwards: Split Drew John and Daughter Closer
Since the couple's very public split, John Edwards and his daughter Cate have actually grown somewhat closer, People magazine's Washington Correspondent Sandra Sobieraj Westfall said.
"[Elizabeth] said they've actually grown closer because they've had to work so hard to rebuild," Westfall told "Good Morning America." "Remember, John Edwards isn't doing anything else these days."
Westfall, who conducted the exclusive interview with Elizabeth Edwards, said the former presidential candidate's wife doesn't think John is still seeing Reille Hunter but either way, she was looking for an end to the drama.
"She also would like to have a cleansing period -- where she now feels like she's said her piece, she needs to move on," Westfall said. "For the first time, this is a woman at peace."