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Reviewed by Susan van der Walt for Readers' Favorite
Standing at Water's Edge: A Cancer Nurse, Her Four-Year-Old Son and the Shifting Tides of Leukemia describes Brennan's journey with leukemia and how it impacted his mother, Janice Post-White, and the rest of her family. Diagnosed at four and a half, it details his three years of chemotherapy and how the side effects of the powerful drugs will affect his health for the rest of his life. We see how Janice juggles her career and takes care of her younger son Tyler while prioritizing Brennan's treatment schedule. After completing his treatment, she still has to cope with Brennan constantly getting sick. It is due to a weakened immune system and the possible long-term effects of the powerful drugs.
Janice Post-White writes from a unique perspective. Not only is she a first-time cancer mom, but also a cancer nurse. Janice discovers that we still can (and should) find joy in each moment despite life's challenges. Brennan's sketches provide insight into the psyche of this young boy as he deals daily with the painful and unpleasant effects of chemotherapy. Reading this book made me feel sad that children get cancer and have to go through the pain and discomfort of chemotherapy. But I also admire the courage of young Brennan to face it every day and his mother who is trying to give him a normal life in any way possible. However, their story also gives us hope because it shows that cancer isn't a death sentence for all children diagnosed with this disease. I recommend Standing at Water's Edge for everyone who needs to learn more about cancer or knows anybody who has cancer. It shows ways to cope and provides clinical cancer information.