The news that Elizabeth Edwards’s cancer had returned even made headlines in Ireland. Followed by the next day’s announcement, from both Elizabeth and John, that their campaign would go forward.

As much as I admire their fighting spirit, I have to ask: WHY?

Don’t get me wrong. I love John Edwards. I think he’s a great candidate. He’s got the best message of all the Democratic candidates. And he’d make an outstanding president.

I have also always admired Elizabeth Edwards, long before she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet the way she’s battled that disease — with so much courage and determination — has made her an inspiration to every one of us.

And, believe me, I support whatever decision John and Elizabeth make together: whether to go forward with the campaign, suspend it, or end it. It’s their call, and their call alone.

But, if I were in their shoes, my decision would be: Forget the campaign. There are higher priorities right now.

Breast cancer’s a horrible disease. I know. I’ve been there with Carol. You live in fear it could flare up again any day. And now that it has come back to Elizabeth Edwards, I believe her health should come first.

Suspending, or even ending, the campaign would not mean giving up the fight to cancer. It would mean enabling both John and Elizabeth to focus all their efforts on the fight against cancer — and saving politics for another time.

This is the time for Elizabeth. Believe it or not, there are more important things than running for president.