But they had no idea how, or even whether, she would come out of surgery. “So we left hospital not knowing what our life was going to look like in seven days time; whether our family would be the same or not.”
They spent some of that time together as a family, and sat with God, asking for His guidance. Someone told Wendy to “stay with the Psalms”, and in them, she saw the rollercoaster of emotions David experienced as he struggled to understand God.
“Reading through the Psalms just helped me to go ok, I’m not the only one that feels like this. And that brings a level of comfort. And through that then I was able to come to a place where I was able to surrender, and say ‘God, she’s yours. We dedicated her as a baby, you gave her to us, and she is yours’.”
One of the things Wendy has learned through this experience is understanding of the different ways her family have coped with grief and pain. While she processed her struggle internally, her husband got through by talking to his friends. One of their other children was very transparent. “What about me? Why have you left me behind? Why are you not here all the time now Mummy? What’s going on?”
But her other children responded in different ways – one, who was more introverted like Wendy, only spoke about it three years later, while another became sick herself six years after the process began. “Its been a very interesting journey, and through that, I guess we’ve seen God minister to each of those children, and help us to be better parents, in understanding the needs of each child.”
Wendy also learnt to be humble enough to accept help. At one point her friends and family arranged a roster of more than 60 people, providing food, company, and weekly babysitting, so that her and her husband could have time to themselves. “Just that practical support, as well as the emotional support, was critical,” she admitted.
Victoria is now 12 years old, and in July last year, she had her final MRI. She’s in a far better place now than doctors ever could have imagined. “The tumour is still there in her brain,” Wendy said, “but it has not grown for over five years now, and she herself is full of life.”