Saturday, October 15, 2011

A much better day.

It is amazing how different the world can appear after a good nights rest. It certainly doesn't hurt that we started the day in the temple. Almost any day begun at the temple will be better than most. As we were leaving the temple JoLynne mentioned that she had put the names of the surgeons who will be operating on me on the prayer role of the temple. Why don't I think of things like that? Cute JoLynne just smiled and said, "Those surgeons are going to have the best week ever and they won't even know why".

Sometimes miracles are so small they would be easy to overlook. For example, today in the temple we were seated quite a ways back in the chapel. Far enough that we wondered if we would get into the next session or not. For some reason the temple worker came way back to where we were seated and asked JoLynne and I to be the witness couple. It was a small thing but it felt like a simple way for Heavenly Father to say He was thinking about us and aware of our burdens.

Later I had some time to work putting the garden to bed for the season. It will be a little while before I will have the strength to run a roto-tiller again. Later this evening we were able to go to a dinner for my niece who was just married. She looked amazing and seemed so happy with her new husband. Life goes on. It was nice to see my family. When we came home we sat down and watched Peter Pan with our children and just laughed together. I will miss them for the next two weeks.

I forgot to mention that last night, just about dinner time, I had a call from our health insurance. I thought it might be something wonderful, like them telling us they were going to pay for my treatment, instead it was somebody calling to conduct a "10 minute customer satisfaction survey regarding my health insurance" In my mind I thought, "You have got to be kidding!". I didn't really know what to say so finally I just said "You know, I was just diagnosed with cancer and am scheduled for surgery on Monday. I don't think this is a very good time". After a startled pause he said, "How about I take your name off the survey list permanently?"..... I think I may have to use this same line the next time someone comes to the door selling something.


  1. Good luck tomorrow Eric. I fasted for you and specifically for the doctors and for Jolynne too today.

    your sis,

  2. Dr. Vogel,

    You are a true hero to me. Many times in dental school I've caught myself thinking, "what would Dr. Vogel do" or "I need to stay positive like Dr. Vogel would." My Mom tells me that when she visits, you always ask how I'm doing. Well I cemented my 1st crown a few weeks ago and started my 1st RCT last week so things are picking up. Our family of five is doing wife amazingly handles all the demands required of her during this time. I couldn't get through it without her.

    It would be very difficult for me to open up after such an event and be as candid as you have been on this blog. Reading your entries has been inspiring, humbling, amusing, and faith-promoting just to name a few. We certainly appreciate the updates. You and your family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

    -Mike George

  3. We love you and your family. Know that our faith and prayers are with you. If this last year has taught me anything it is that the lords will, will be done. The faith part comes in accepting that no matter what it will be ok.
    (Steph was thinking about flying out to be there, we have gotten really good at hospital waiting rooms)

  4. We're thinking about you and praying for you! I was just talking to someone today about how much of a difference a positive attitude makes when dealing with tough times. A great example of that is Jamie Whitmore, who was a pro triathlete but then lost most of the musculature of one of her legs due to cancer. But she hung on and ended up giving birth to twins, and is generally inspiring. She also has a blog, at
    You're one of the most positive people we know, so keep that up! We wish you the very best with your big day tomorrow.
    Karl and Sarah Jarvis

  5. OK, so all I have to say to unwanted phone solicitors is "I have cancer?" Brilliant!
    Seriously, the Steffensen family loves you and yesterday Scott and I dedicated a special fast for you and your wonderful family. We give you our strength in these words:

    How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
    What more can He say than to you He hath said,
    You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

    In every condition, in sickness, in health;
    In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
    At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
    As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

    Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
    I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
    Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.