A disease as life-altering as leukemia affects not only the individual assigned with the diagnosis. It forces the sufferer and their loved ones to not only make life and death decisions, but it also compels them to make a choice that many take for granted. This decision is how to live.
Trouble the Water: A Young Woman on the Edge of Living and Dying is a story from a mother's point of view of being beside a daughter who has been diagnosed with what is considered a deadly disease. From her mother's eyes, it tells the story of Jada, a smart and spirited young girl whose life is changed forever by leukemia.
Jada has always experienced fevers and aches like any girl her age. She is an active child who sometimes goes home fatigued and with a couple of bruises from a day out or after ice-skating practice. Like with all families with active teens, these occurrences are not a cause for worry. For this reason, the family's life was turned upside down when one day after being admitted to the hospital after not feeling well, Jada was given the diagnosis of leukemia. With the diagnosis, routines, expectations, and family dynamics changed abruptly.
Growing up is often an awkward affair. For Jada, it is one that also involved incredible endurance that turned into astounding empowerment. From the pains, limitations, and obstacles brought about by her illness, she rose to be someone who is empowered to speak out and become a powerful representation. Even a disease as dreadful as leukemia is unable to stop Jada from becoming the woman that she is meant to be.
Trouble the Water looks into the experiences of individuals with leukemia and of the people who love them. It takes the readers into the confusion surrounding the diagnosis, the challenges of choosing and undergoing treatment, and the many decisions that have to be made about life. It is also a story of claiming and reclaiming power, rising above near-impossible obstacles, and the survival of innate strength.
Idina Santino grew up, taught, and mothered two children in Minnesota before moving with her long-time partner, to Tucson, Arizona, where she grandmothers, volunteers, and hikes the desert. As an educator, she has published professionally.