Reprinted with permission from Guideposts Magazine.

The dream was so vivid and unusual I told my husband about it as soon as I awoke. "I was explaining to a woman with shoulder-length, golden-brown hair and a white lab coat that I felt a pain in my left breast," I said. "But I've never noticed anything like that."

"You should see your gynecologist, just in case," he said. I did and, to my shock, there was a lump in my breast. When the results of my biopsy came in, the doctor informed me I had a cancerous tumor. He wanted to perform a mastectomy.

"Couldn't you do a more conservative surgery," I asked, "take out just the lump?"

"No," he replied. "A mastectomy is the best course of treatment."

"I'd like a second opinion," I said. He referred me to another specialist. But that doctor's brusque manner left me cold.

A friend then gave me the name of her oncologist. Before my appointment, I did all the reading I could on breast cancer so I'd be able to make a more informed decision about surgery and treatment. The most important thing, though, would be finding a doctor I could trust. Lord, I asked, how will I know who's the right one for me?

My friend's oncologist put me at ease right away and I told him I wanted to avoid losing my breast, if at all possible. "I'd like you to see this surgeon I work with," he said, then set up an appointment for me.

I drove straight over. The moment I saw the surgeon, I knew that I'd finally found my doctor. Standing there in her white lab coat, her honey-colored hair falling around her shoulders, was the woman I'd seen in my dream.

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