Bombeck brings the good news about children with cancer: Many more than previously are surviving the disease and the treatment, and doing it with grace, humor, and joie de vivre. This columnist and author has earned her substantial reputation from finding the funny side of marriage, work, keeping house, and raising children. How does a writer find the funny side of children with cancer? Fortunately, Bombeck didn't have to--the children did it for her. Outrageous puns: ""Ooh, what's your astrological sign? ""Cancer, of course."" Outrageous pranks: A Grateful Dead logo executed in magic marker on a head made bald by chemotherapy. Sharp insights on physicians who qualify their prognostications: ""My doctor's favorite plant is the hedge."" Bombeck talked not only with the children and their therapists, but with the mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends. All deal daily with hope, frustration, anger, and, less frequently, jubilation. Most touching is the chapter on the fathers of children with cancer, isolated and exhausted by the responsibilities of finding the wherewithal to keep their families intact and pay for treating a disease that sucks up money as a black hole sucks up light. The doctors, families, friends, and patients form a team that is firmly and persistently exploring ways to lengthen lives, by a day, a week, even a decade. Not a ""how-to"" book, but a hope-filled ""what-it's-like"" one, designed to help people on the outside banish pity and horror and appreciate the courage--and wit--of these young cancer patients.