In a wide-ranging interview in the upcoming issue of People magazine, she also
reveals her cancer is spreading.
Elizabeth tells People tumors are popping up elsewhere in her body, including a particularly painful one in a hip.
People says she "shares how her cancer has gotten worse, with tumors in her legs, spine and skull."
"It's less frightening than you think; it can't migrate to your brain," People quotes her as saying.
She also says, "John's conduct through this whole thing was terrible and it makes people want him to pay for it. On a personal level, he's paid a lot."
Her estranged husband, a former presidential candidate and North Carolina governor, admits he had an affair and love child with former campaign videographer Rielle Hunter.
Elizabeth says it wasn't easy leaving her husband of 32 years in the wake of the affair. She spoke to People about having to close the door on him in order to move forward, even though she has no idea how much time she has left.
On "The Early Show" Wednesday, People Executive Editor Betsy Gleick shed light on much more of what Elizabeth had to say:
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A former aide of John Edwards, Andrew Young, has attacked Elizabeth for using "her incurable cancer to garner sympathy."
But People says she needs daily chemotherapy injected through into a breast. The treatments take long as two hours.
She tells doctors just don't know how long she has to live, but she'd be happy with eight more years, to see son Jack, 10, graduate high school and daughter Emma, 12, pick a major, and to see older daughter Cate, 28, get married to the young man she's been dating for some time. They aren't engaged but are "talking marriage," and that's a bright spot in Elizabeth's future.
Elizabeth debunks reports she wouldn't want John involved with their kids' lives after she dies and has every confidence in him as a father.
Cate volunteered to write an essay for People about her mom as a mother. It is short and sweet and the only reference in it to her father being unfaithful is when she talks about what her mom taught her about the meaning of grace: "Or how to continue your life on your own terms when somehow it becomes savaged by people you never invited into it." She says she and her father remain close.
As for whether John still sees Rielle, Elizabeth says she only knows what John tells her, which is that "under no circumstances" do they see each other," adding that she'd obviously be the last to know the truth about that.
Elizabeth says the grand jury probe of John will reveal nothing. Gleick says Elizabeth is "still very supportive of him -- she says she still believes his policies are the best" and that the investigation "is the result of people wanting to punish him."
About working again, Elizabeth says, "Nobody wants to hire the girl with cancer." As for dating, "It would surprise me even more if someone fell in love with me."
She says they are selling their $5.5 million mansion in Chapel Hill, because their "dream house" just doesn't have the same meaning anymore.
Though no divorce is planned, she'd allow John to have one if he wanted to remarry.
She and John are even going on a trip to Japan to show the children where Elizabeth grew up. She says it will be helpful to have John along, but the sleeping arrangements will be very different.