Victoria Grace Living with victory through childhood cancer

Victoria Grace Living with victory through childhood cancer

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What's going to happen to our daughter? How do I tell my husband?

I desperately wanted the doctor's words to be wrong. I wanted to do a delete of the last six hours and return to our normal, slightly chaotic life as a family of six. But we don't live in a fantasy world. This was reality. I had just been told that our three year old child had a mass in her brain.

I want this all to go away. I can't believe this is happening to us. I'm frightened.

Perhaps you've had thoughts similar to these during a tough time in your life. Or you could be thinking them right now.

Fear, pain, anger and grief may be consuming you. I have felt these emotions many times during our journey of having a child with a brain tumour and its ongoing implications.

Fear of what could happen to our child and how we as a family would make it through; the pain of witnessing a child who was seemingly healthy suddenly become physically disabled, requiring hours of rehabilitation; Anger, asking why did this happen to our child? And the grief of witnessing a childhood that was no longer carefree.

But alongside these emotions there has also been perseverance, faith, hope and love. Perseverance to do all that was possible to help our child physically and emotionally; A rising faith, although wavering at times, faith to believe that there is a God in Heaven who is on our side; Increasing hope in a God who has a plan that is good; Learning to receive love, the love of family, friends, church family, school community, neighbours and the love of strangers through charities. But most importantly the love of Jesus Christ, who laid down His life for us so we could confidently declare Romans 8:37, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (NKJV).

This book chronologically covers the first three years of our journey of having a child with a brain tumour. During that time, I as the mother, have learned much including strategies to help care for the emotional and physical needs of a child on chemotherapy, and who also has hemiplegia (left side weakness); as well as strategies to overcome the mental health strain of being a primary carer; and to maintain a marriage and care for the emotional well-being of our other three children. None of this we have done perfectly, but we have by the grace of God, made it through to the other side with our family still together!

At the end of each chapter there is a reflection in which I have endeavoured to explain these strategies along with examples of how we implemented them. In the appendices I have included the practical checklists I created for our family and those who lovingly came to help in our home. These checklists enabled us to keep some sense of order in the chaos. If you've found yourself on a similar journey to us, my prayer is that the inclusion of these practical strategies and checklists will be of great benefit to you and your family.

Finally, as you read our story, I pray that you will be encouraged to persevere despite the fear, pain, anger and grief. And that you will be inspired to grow in faith and hope, and fully receive the love offered to you by other people and Jesus Christ.

"Victoria Grace" is also a very well written story of human strength and resilience - I couldn't put it down even though I knew the story. Thank you Wendy for providing so much meaningful assistance to other parents, extended family and support networks!" Linda Brown, Senior Social Worker - Redkite (Redkite, an Australian cancer charity providing essential support to children and young people (0-24 years) with cancer, and the family and support network who care for them).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 488 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 28mm | 612g
  • English
  • 0648247600
  • 9780648247609

Review quote

Linda Brown, Senior Social Worker, Redkite*

This book is a very helpful guide for parents who gather strength through their religion in times of severe challenge to assist them to maintain hope and sustain the energy needed to manage the treatment journey. It may also be helpful to those who might struggle with their faith during these times - particularly with relevant quotations from psalms.

For those parents who prefer to find other ways to assist in staying strong, this book is full of lists of practical suggestions and plans which will save time and energy - both usually very scarce for most families. Wendy also lists the support resources available to all families support their children through brain cancer both through the text and in all appendices at the end of the book based on her own lived experience (including the mention of Redkite's telegroup program which is how I came to know her). Support strategies for siblings and for the the child with cancer are there too.

"Victoria Grace" is also a very well written story of human strength and resilience - I couldn't put it down even though I knew the story. Thank you Wendy for providing so much meaningful assistance to other parents, extended family and support networks!

*Redkite is an Australian cancer charity providing essential support to children and young people (0-24 years) with cancer, and the family and support network who care for them.



Paul Sprague, Principal Orthotist, Neuromuscular-orthotics, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

This is a unique and emotional insight into the challenges and victories of a family dealing with disease and its disruption to everyday life. Helpful not only for those families facing their own medical struggles, but also for their friends, loved ones and health professionals who will benefit from this insight. An honest and uplifting record of fear and faith, highly recommended.



Harriet Ferguson, Social Worker, Paediatric Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team, Hunter New England Health, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

It has been my pleasure to have known both Wendy, Victoria and their family since 2011 when Victoria was initially referred for Paediatric Brain Injury Rehabilitation with our community based team.

Wendy has worked out some very helpful strategies that are shared within these pages. I know that her hope is for other families facing a similar journey to derive some benefit from her experience.

Although this is Victoria's story, the themes and strategies are common for families going through a similar thing. I would recommend this as a heartfelt and personal account of a very difficult time.



Lydia Quirey**

We don't get to choose all roads in life and can be confronted with uncertainty which we then need to navigate. Life can take an unexpected turn at any moment. What do you do when it is drastically interrupted? I found this book filled with hope and practical information. It inspires you to do your journey well, whatever that may be. Wendy's experiences and insights helps increase your faith to overcome adversities and challenges you or a loved one may face. This book is a valuable resource for any parent, spouse, caregiver, family or friend of a seriously ill child, teen or adult.

**Lydia is my friend who initially suggested I take Victoria to see a doctor. Five years later, her daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
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