Monday, October 10, 2011

No biopsy but....

Well, today was a busy day. Lots of doctors. Unfortunately the biopsy results were not back yet. They promise they will be back tomorrow. Apparently, on these weird ones they like to have multiple pathologists read the slides to avoid errors. We did however have the MRI. The good news was that the tumor had not grown too much, at least not that we could tell. It was more extensive than I knew about. It wraps over the top of the mandible and around the back as well. It is close to important structures but not in them yet. There is a chance it could have followed the nerve pathways up into my brain but it hasn't. It also could have invaded my carotid arteries and it is close but no invasion. So, that was good news. The doctors are concerned however about how close it is to everything so they felt it was best to go ahead and schedule the surgery. Because of the situation they moved us up on the schedule to October 17th, or a week from today. The two lead surgeons will be Dr. Eric Moore (I like his first name) and Dr. Arce. They may need to bring in a neurosurgeon as well if the base of the skull has to be removed. As of right now the plan is to remove the upright part of my mandible on the right along with the salivary glands and some of the deep bones of the skull. Many of the muscles on that side will also have to be removed. They tell me that they can rebuild me using one of my leg bones and that I will look great. That is a little hard to believe since I don't look that great right now. Oh well, modern medicine is amazing. They promise me that I should be able to run again if I am patient and I am the patient so that means I will run. Probably about 7-10 days in the hospital and then home. Chemo and radiation might still happen, it depends on the cancer type.

I sat and listened to all that and I should be scared spitless, (especially since they are taking my saliva glands) but I am surprisingly calm. It's hard to understand. Either I am crazy (likely) or all those prayers and fasting are really working. I just feel like I am going to be okay. And, as JoLynne pointed out, I am going to have the best halloween costume ever this year!


  1. It IS amazing how calm you can feel when it makes no sense to feel calm! People's prayers and faith ARE working - It shouldn't surprise you how loved you are!!!

  2. Eric, This is Michelle Jorgensen. I just heard about this through a very strange grapevine - Mrs. McCartney in your ward is my son's kindergarten teacher. We were talking about me being a dentist and she said the most man in her ward that was a dentist was just diagnosed with a rare jaw tumor. She said your name in an off-hand way and I couldn't believe it! She sent me the link to your blog and I've just caught up on everything. I'm so sorry to hear about all of this. I'm glad you have the knowledge you do, and I'm glad you have your wonderful family and dental family for support. How is your practice going? I know you have an associate - do you need any help there? Let me know what I can do. You're now in my prayers too!

  3. We are glad to hear that you are getting VIP treatment at the MAYO and that those evil phlebotomists are backing off. There might be more people praying for you than you think. We will keep following your progress and know that all will go well on Oct 17th. We will also pray for the surgeons.

    In reading your posts, I realized how much I love how the Lord works with us to teach us. In Elder Hale's recent GC talk, he focused on waiting upon the Lord. He said,

    "Through the humiliation of a public trial and the agony of crucifixion, He waited upon His Father, willing to be “wounded for our transgressions … [and] bruised for our iniquities.” Even as He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He waited upon His Father—exercising His agency to forgive His enemies, see that His mother was watched over, and endure to the end until His life and mortal mission were finished."

    Thank you for writing about your experiences and impressions. You are building other's faith along with your own.

    Steve Ragsdale

  4. I don't think I've ever met anyone who has such insightful humor as you :) Are you sure you don't have a second job as a comedian? Not just here on your blog site, but also in your talks (I'm still picturing you hiding under your bed and grabbing your wife's feet ;)

    Well, I want you to know that we're all thinking about you and hoping for the best! You're in our prayers... We love you guys!

  5. Hi. Just thought I'd let you know that Debbie and I decided a few months ago (before we knew you had cancer) that we want the middle name of our next son to be Eric after you. This is not an announcement however, so I'm sure you'll be back on your feet and your life restored to normalcy by the time we have you have a little namesake. Needless to say, we admire you and hope and pray for the best for you.

  6. Hi it's Trisha Seamons

    Rhett said the cutiest thing today. I told him that you had found some good doctors and he said, "Oh, good that means it's working!"

    Kids have such great faith in the power of prayer.

  7. Dr. Vogel, we just found out and our hearts hurt for you and your family. Our love and all our prayers are with you! PS--My dad had osteosarcoma in his elbow (another rare one!) and the Mayo treated him great. 13 years later he is healthy and strong and cancer free. This will be you too!

    Love, Natalie and Ben Peterson family

  8. Eric
    I just got home late last night from Utah. I took a lot of photos of the wedding for you. I think I filled up my photo card on the Nikon D90! I will send some of the best ones for you to see soon.

    While I was at Dad's I showed him how to view your blog in just 2 clicks of the mouse and then Paula showed him how to make the print on his screen super big so he can read it.

    You were the topic of many conversations this weekend!!!