"Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive. She is resting at home with family and friends," the Edwards family says in a statement to PEOPLE.
On Monday, Edwards, 61, posted a Facebook message to her friends.
"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," she writes. "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."
Edwards, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004, was briefly hospitalized last week after not feeling well over Thanksgiving. Doctors said her cancer had metastasized to the liver.
With the sudden turn, family members – including daughter Cate, a Washington lawyer, and her brother and sister, Jay and Nancy Anania – hastened to Chapel Hill, N.C., to be with her.
"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," Edwards wrote on Facebook. "To you I simply say: you know. With love, Elizabeth."