Book Review: “In Her Shoes – Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer”

This week, it has been my honor to have Joanie Shawhan, author of
In Her Shoes – Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer as my guest. If you missed my two-part interview, go back to Monday and Wednesday’s blogs to get to know Joanie. Today, I’m posting my review of her book. If you’ve not already been convinced to buy a copy, I hope my review with be the thing that convinces you!

All of us have been affected by cancer. Either a friend, a co-worker or a family member has been diagnosed with the “dreaded C.” And we have watched them fight, and hopefully, prayerfully, win the battle. Or perhaps you have been the one to hear the diagnosis. Breast cancer. Ovarian cancer. Leukemia. Glioblastoma. The list goes on. You find yourself in the midst of the battle, wondering what hit you and when the next blow is coming.

Joanie Shawhan, author of “In Her Shoes – Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer” knows of what she writes. Joanie is a nurse with a background in oncology, but she was stunned when she received the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Joanie’s book is about her journey, but it is not a “woe is me” type of book. She doesn’t gloss over what she went through. Cancer is not a scenic ride through a beautiful countryside. She does, however, include moments of grace, of God’s sweet presence, of the blessings of family and friends. At the end of each chapter, she writes a simple, yet profound, prayer, seeking God’s help and thanking him for his presence.

Included in this book are the stories of eleven other women who received various cancer diagnoses. Cancer does not treat people equally, as these stories will show, but it can be beat, as Joanie’s and these eleven women’s stories also prove.

Finally, Joanie wrote “Helpful Hints”- suggestions on how to deal with the various side-effects and other aspects of the battle.

Even the cover of this book is impressive. Strappy teal, high-heeled sandals against a purple background. Teal is the color that represents ovarian cancer. And the shoes?? Dancing shoes, of course.

As a writer, I should have the words to convey to you how moved I was by this book, by the bravery of Joanie and the other women, by their faith, their courage, and their tenacity. All I can say to you is that “In Her Shoes – Dancing in Shadow of Cancer” is so inspirational that I believe everyone who has cancer or who knows someone who has cancer should have a copy of this book. Every cancer unit of every hospital in America should have a copy of this book in each of the patient’s rooms. It is that good.

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