Nodding his head he flipped through my chart. "There is one problem. We have found Stage 4, precancerous cells on your cervix. It's very serious. Stage 5 is cancer."
"What exactly does that mean?" I gasped.
"In simple terms it means that you and your husband have some difficult decisions to make. In pregnancy, cancer cells have a way of going crazy, because of the hormonal changes, and they can spread quite rapidly. In my professional opinion I recommend that you terminate the pregnancy as soon as possible."
I sat stunned. "You mean you want me to have an abortion?" I choked.
"Now don't you go getting emotional? If you were to see your fetus right now, you wouldn't even recognize it as a baby. It's just a blob of tissue. Besides you already have three children you want to see grow up. If you don't end this pregnancy, those three children might not have a mother. You wouldn't want them to have to watch their mother die with cancer when it could be prevented, now would you?" he scolded.
"Well, no, but I."
"You go home and visit with your husband about my recommendations. I'll call you tomorrow morning and set up the surgical arrangements. You must trust me on this, Mrs. Phillips. I'm the professional here. Do you understand?"
Scalding tears stung my eyes as I answered. "Yes, I understand."
Dazed I drove home. The doctor's words haunted me. For the past ten years I had been an advocate for the Right to Life. Now, here I was facing the most difficult decision of my entire existence. I pulled into our driveway, turned off the key and whispered a prayer. I walked in the house and after greeting our three children sent them outside to play. My husband and I sat in on our sofa as I tried to explain all the grim news that I had learned that day.
My husband listened intently and then just started praying, "Lord, You are the Giver of life and we thank You for this little life that my wife is carrying. Please show us what to do."
After praying, we sat in silence for a few minutes.
I buried my wet face on my husband's shoulder. "What are we going to do?" I whimpered.
"Don't you worry, honey. I think the Lord has given me some direction. First, I think we need to find a gynecologist, who will fight your life and the life of the baby." My husband said as he squeezed my hand.
The next morning, just as the doctor promised, he called. He didn't budge an inch. It was his way or the highway. We tried to explain that we wanted a second opinion. He yelled at us over the phone and told us we would be sorry. Then, he hung up on us. We tried to dismiss his harsh words from our thoughts, as we began our search for a new specialist. The Lord was so faithful and led us to a doctor that realized the seriousness of my condition, but was also sympathetic to our convictions. Someone gave us the name of a gynecologist about forty-five minutes from us. We gave his office a call, explained the situation and his nurse got us in the next day.
When we went for our first visit, he sat down with us and explained that we were taking a risk, but he promised to keep a close eye on me and the baby. We told him that we couldn't ask for more than that.
For the past twenty-six years, I have been a faithful member of our ladies' prayer group, which meets every Friday morning. During this difficult time in my life was no exception. When I was almost five months along I attended one of our ladies' prayer meetings. As we went around the room sharing our requests, one woman shared a testimony about a missionary. At that very moment, my baby gave me a little kick. It was the first time I felt life. I didn't say anything to anyone, but I did ponder it in my heart and when I returned home I shared it with my husband.
"Do you think that I could be carrying a missionary?"
My husband smiled and replied. "Anything is possible. All I know is that God is keeping you both safe and whatever He wants is fine with me."
When I was seven months along, our physician came in with a somber look. He spoke with a serious tone. "Mrs. Phillips, I have to tell you something."
"What is it?" I inquired.
"Well, I have another patient that is in your same situation. Her biopsies came back and she has cancer. We are scheduling a caesarean section. We think everything will be okay, but I just want you to know how serious this is."
I couldn't stop thinking about this other woman, and all she was going through. I would lie on my bed at night and pray for her and her family.
Just to be on the safe side, my doctor performed three biopsies throughout my nine months of pregnancy. We were thankful that each test showed no cancer.
The long wait was finally over and on November 18, 1988, God gave us a beautiful baby girl, Elizabeth "Libby" Lois. She weighed exactly 7 pounds.
Libby graduated from Lighthouse Academy, a Christian school in our church, in May of 2007. She is now attending North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is majoring in Intercultural Studies in World Missions. She will take her first missions' trip this spring of 2008.
After Libby's birth the doctor performed surgery and the pre-cancerous cells have never returned.
Dixie is a pastor's wife, ghostwriter, mother of four grown children, and grandmother of five "perfect" grandchildren. You can find out more about the ministry she and her husband are involved in at www.floydslighthouse.com. Guardian Angel Publishing has published 10 of Dixie's children's books.