Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Til The Storm Passes By

Yesterday I survived a storm.

My day started out with extreme nausea and I was really concerned about how the chemo was going to go. By the time we got to MD Anderson for our 9:00 appointment, I was pretty green. When I got into the treatment room, Mignon from the week before, was my nurse. She always asks me my name and date of birth before she gives any meds or draws labs or any procedures. So when she said "good morning" , I said, all on one breath, "Good morning, I am Roxanne Baggott, date of birth 8/6/54 and I am really nauseous and need something in my IV before I start my chemo." She laughed aloud and said I'll call Dr. Baidas and we'll get it done. It helped somewhat, but I left after chemo still feeling pretty rough.

But the bigger storm I faced yesterday was not the physical storm but an emotional one. I was battling a storm called "fear."

I had learned the night before that three different ladies with TNBC that I knew had been told that their cancer had metastasized to other areas. It brought on the "what if" feelings. Fears of the chemo not working. Fears of the cancer spreading to other organs. How could I hold my breath for 5 years while I waited to be in remission? Fears of not getting to see my grandchildren grow up. I remember telling our Pastor when I got the abnormal mammogram results that "I was afraid of raccoons but I am terrified of cancer!" And yesterday I was terrified.

I looked at Carl and all that he has gone through, and I didn't have the heart to tell him how afraid I was. I didn't want to "bring him down". I didn't want to stir up the fears that I know he deals with also.

And so the storm inside my heart raged on. I cried out to God. "God I need someone to talk to. I am in this boat on the sea and the storm is raging. I am terrified.Where are you?? I am talking to you, but I need you to talk to me!!"

In the quietness of that moment I remembered something that my friend Ann had shared with me on Monday. She was talking of the disciple Mark's account of Peter and the disciples on the boat when a furious storm came up. Peter was a fisherman. He knew about big storms and little boats. He knew about the big waves with the white caps. He also knew about the calm blue water under the crashing wave. The scripture says, "But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. The disciples cried out to Jesus who was asleep in the stern. "Teacher, don't you care if we drown? Jesus got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the waves, "Quiet, Be Still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." (Mark 4:37-39)

I pictured myself in that little boat crying out to Jesus. "Lord, I am in the middle of a storm, don't you care if I drown?" And then I saw the wind and the waves being quieted by Him. And in my mind's eye I saw Jesus and I, in the little boat, on the calm blue water heading towards the shore.

I clung to that picture in my mind and put my ipod on to take a nap. The very first song that came on was one that I believe God had already chosen for me. It was called "Til the Storm Passes By" and I listened to these words over and over again until I fell into a peaceful sleep.

Til the storm passes over,
Til the thunder sounds no more
Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand
in the hollow of thy hand.
Keep me safe til the storm passes by.

In the dark of the midnight, how I often hid my face,
with the storm clouds above me, there's no hiding place.
Hear the crash of the thunder
Precious Lord hear my cry,
keep me safe til the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispers, there is no need to try
For there's no end of sorrow
There's no hope by and by.
But I know thou art with me and tomorrow I'll rise
where the storms never darken the skies.

Til the storm passes over,
Til the thunder sounds no more
Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand
in the hollow of thy hand.
Keep me safe, keep me Lord,
keep me safe til the storm passes by.

Today Jesus brought me through a storm. The wind is quiet and the water is still. I know that it won't be the last storm that I will go through. But God reminded me that in my storms He is in the boat with me. That the crashing waves may be over my head but he will keep me in the quiet blue water under the wave. He will hold me fast til the storm passes by.

I pray that when you are going through a storm, that He would keep you safe in the hollow of His hand til the storm passes by.

If you would like to listen to the song
"Til The Storm Passes By"
click on the link below:


  1. Beautiful post, Roxanne. Struggling with this whole mess doesn't mean you're weak, it means you're human. Your faith clearly gives you the strength to cry, catch your breath and continue with living. I'm so very thankful you know you aren't alone.


  2. Roxanne, your post was just what I needed this morning, as I, too, am in the midst of the "what if's" storm! That song is one of my all-time favorites, and I thank you for that.

    I've come to think of cancer as the "What If disease." The strangest part of it is, if you really think about it, we can say this about every aspect of life -- even getting into a car and driving to the grocery store can be a "What If" moment. But we are so immune to those "what if's" that we don't count those anymore.

    I want you to remember something: Chemo seems to make ALL your senses more acute --- that's why taste is off, we get nausea, things seem to smell stronger or different, etc. But so is
    our thinking pattern more acute --- our fears, frustrations, disappointments, anger levels, etc., seem right there on the surface. Good in a way as you have to deal with them instead of cloak them, disguise them, or bury them. I know I sure learned that I had a lot more fears than I thought!!!!! The Lord will see you through the storms, will walk with you on the water, will hold you up when you are sinking, and hold you when you can no longer walk! I'm praying for you, Roxanne! You are NOT alone in all of this! -- Cora

    I have been a member of tnbc foundation for a while and I get on there to read about others from time to time. For some reason..being a big believer in the Lord..he whispered to me cut copy and paste that to your web was your blog spot!~ I have been very touched by your refreshing to see! Don't really get to see that on the tnbc website, although a very useful tool to find out what remedies may be out there.
    I must tell you my story and I will try to keep it short and simple...
    I am an only child and my momma..who is my only parent living now has stage2b tnbc. We are as close as two people can be..we know everything about each other..shared alot over the 37 years I have been alive and I thank GOD for her everyday he allows her to stay with me on this earth. I am deep in my faith and I believe that God will heal her either here on earth or in heaven..I do ask him for time to time which will it be..hummm as you can imagine, he isn't ready to tell me that just yet! ha!
    She (Rose.. my moms name) has had the hardest time with all this. My mom use to be the strongest person in the world and could get over a mountain with a giant leap and has always been there for others in the mist of their storms..but now, she is as weak as water. I have tried to mentor and speak to her about all the things you profess in your blog and I am going to get my mom to read it all when I see her this weekend.
    I know that she knows the Lord..she had me in church, but during this storm she has not gone to church period and she has told me that she watches church on tv and prays..but her attitude (not rude or ugly)is different..seems like she is rolling over to the other side of the bed to greet satan and letting him take her spirit vs the other side with Jesus who would speak softly and warmly with reassurance he will heal her. She is scared and she is has just finished with everything including the Radidation and that made her sicker than the chemo. She is tearful all the time..I try to make her laugh and sometimes I will get a laugh. Her 4 boys are her lifeline and the will for her to get through it along with me at her side. Anyway--I just wanted to say..that this blog is a beautiful and spritual way to cope with this moment in your life and I hope that when I do share this with my mom..who seems to be alone in this storm will see it is all for the glory of GOD and we have to find that somewhere in all this mess! THANKS AND I PRAY FOR SO MANY BLESSING TO YOU AND YOUR WEBSITE AND I KNOW GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN AND WILL NEVER FORSAKE THEM!


  4. How beautiful, prayers to all of you going through this.

  5. Dear Chelle. I was so touched by your post on my blog. I am also thankful to God that it brought you some encouragement. I am forever amazed at how God speaks to us and arranges people in our lives to help us through hard times. I can feel your burden and your incredible love for your mother through the words on the screen. And I know that when 2 or 3 are gathered to lift someone up in prayer, He will be there to answer. I am praying for you, for your mother, for your boys. I know for me, my grandchildren also keep me going on down days. But I know more than grandchildren, it is the constant prayers lifted in my behalf that help me get through and my prayers are with you.
    I didn't know how to e-mail you and couldn't find you on TNBC but please e-mail me anytime if you would like. I would love to keep in touch as I pray for your mom. Until then, I will pray that God would bless her and keep her and help her to climb that mountain.

    Love, Roxanne

  6. Roxanne--
    I would love to keep in contact with you...I am drawn to you and your words. I think my momma could use a friend like you to talk to and encourage her when I can' two share in the same war that I cannot even begin to understand or feel. I will leave you my email address
    You are so sweet to offer yourself up to someone else in the mist of this storm and I thank you and BLESS you for that gift! I am going to see her tonight..I live in Nashville and she is in Dalton, Ga. so our time together is PRECIOUS TO ME. I hope that someday..maybe we even get to hug and embrace a victory that you two women may win..this battle of cancer! God bless you Roxanne--you are precious and I am so grateful to God to have listned to that small whisper to check this blog and God is so good to help us find one another and to share these experiences.

    P.S. My cousin..who is like my sister..we grew up toegther as close as our mothers have as sisters..her name is Jayda too and is spelled the exact same way. I thought that is so unique..not many Jayda's!

    Many hugs and prayers..etc!

    Chelle Miller

  7. Thanks for sharing some insights from your very personal journey. And thanks for posting the words of Mosie Lister's fine gospel song. May the Lord bless you, and give you peace in the storm today.


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