Sunday, October 30, 2011

This Star patient is ready to come home.

Well, I have been unusually quiet for some time now.  Not because I didn't have anything to say but rather because the internet was broken at the house where we are staying and I am simply not patient enough to post a blog using my phone.

My healing is progressing well.  Sometimes those days right after surgery just seem like a dream.  I am grateful for what they were able to do but I don't really like hanging out in hospitals very much.  The last time I spent a night in the hospital as a patient was December 24, 1960.  They wouldn't let me out then because I was in the newborn nursery.  Oh how the great have fallen!

We have been fortunate to have a lovely home to stay in as I regain my strength. (thanks to JoLynne). Shanelle and Mike were able to be at the house for a couple of days, then they went home to take care of our other little cutie pies. (Peter and Spencer are still cutie pies, albeit, not so little any more!)  Seth was able to stay until Thursday morning when his flight left for him to go back to China.  Wednesday we took the opportunity to drive up to the temple and do a session with Seth.  This was amazing and wonderful and it was a blessing that I felt good enough to attend a session.  Even though the whole surgery thing  hasn't been pleasant, it has been a very spiritual few weeks for JoLynne and I, and the temple was a wonderful place to be.  We didn't have our own temple clothes but they had some to lend.  I felt bad that my right leg wound was still weeping enough that when I finished the session I looked down to see the right leg of my pants somewhat bloodied.   The ladies at the desk were super nice "No problem, I have something that will get that right out". Later, I was expressing my dismay to someone and they said, "Now you know how we women feel".  Weird, I didn't know that women had spontaneous bleeding from their calves.  There is so much I don't know.

After we left the temple. we wanted to take a picture of the three of us in front of the temple but had no one to take the picture.  Only a moment passed before a car stopped full of women who were leaving the temple and asked if they could help us.  (Minnesota is overrun with nice people)  As we visited for a moment it turned out that the woman who had stopped grew up in the same general neighborhood where I grew up.  She asked my name and I said "We are the Vogel's"  to which she replied "Eric Vogel?, I was just reading about you on Facebook this morning.  My friend had asked me to pray for you."  Wow, we live in an interesting and small world.

Friday I had my visits with the surgeons.  They were very pleased and kept saying nice things like "You are our star patient", and "We just love it when things turn out this way" and "It's so nice to operate on someone healthy for a change"  They don't know that I have numerous prayers being offered in my behalf.  How could I help but heal well.  They took a panoramic radiograph of my new jaw.  It is so interesting to see the "new me".  JoLynne has been walking around singing  "The leg bone's connected to the Jaw bone". Very appropriate for Halloween.

Today, we went to church, but only the first hour.  For some reason I was really feeling tired.  This afternoon I felt quite a bit better so we went and drove around town and found a cool mansion to walk around.

Tomorrow we meet with the chemotherapy doctors. I am not really looking forward to going through chemotherapy but I also don't want to risk this coming back.  I have read quite a bit about osteosarcomas since my diagnosis.  The survival rates have really gone up in the last few years and it is largely due to chemotherapy.  Sarcomas have a nasty habit of spreading through the blood to distant sites.  Chemotherapy seems to stop that from happening quite effectively.  The good thing about it will be walking up to Bishop Broderick and asking him how it feels to have so much hair.  That will be a sweet day.


  1. Tell JoLynne I approve of her leg bone connected to the jaw bone joke! That is a goodie.

    Great update Eric.

    Love Kelly

  2. Eric, Your experience these last few weeks have been inspiring and faith promoting. Thank you for your insight, humor and humility. The strength of your family has also been so amazing to watch. As for the hair comment you made me laugh. Thanks. Bald is beautiful, At least that is what Becky says. :-) I really love it when she runs her fingers through my scalp. Gary and Becky.

  3. That xray sure looks cool. It looks like you have a new cavity on the far side of your jaw and it resembles a bicycle chain. Weird. Marie

  4. We have missed hearing from you! Thanks for the update. We are so excited to see you healing up. I can't even imagine the things you are going through...and the way you are handling everything is something I really look up to. You are such a great example to us all! Can't wait for you to come home. Feel better! Hugs!!!

  5. You guys make me laugh out loud!! I'm so glad to hear everything is going well still! I got a bit worried Friday night. We were on our way home from eating out as a family when Adam, our two year old, began crying from tiredness. After a few minutes of crying, out of the blue, he starts crying, "Dr. Vogel!! Dr Vogel...gone. Dr. Vogel...gone!" and he kept crying it. We kept trying to comfort him saying you'll be back, but it took a bit to get him to not be worried about you. So I was a bit worried of why, out of nowhere, he would start to say that. So I am very relieved to hear you are doing well. =) And you should hear how
    Adam says your name. It is so cute. He says, "Dah-guh Go-go" (Doctor Vogel).

    We all love you bunches and will continue to pray for you. Especially through Chemo.

  6. "For some reason I was really feeling tired?" You are allowed! Hang in there and know that lots of prayers are still being offered in your behalf. Travel home safely!

  7. [This is Seth's friend Annie from High School.] As someone who's already enjoyed a long and beautiful life after chemo, I am wishing you one too. Although I think about my cancer experience fairly frequently, it doesn't have any negative effect on my day-to-day life at all. We are expecting our second child in a month and a half, and life is beautiful.

    Thank you for your example. I hope I never get a chance, but if I am ever a cancer patient again, I want to be like you.

  8. See how many people are pulling for you! Even strangers at the temple. The metal device looks like a bike chain. Cool. The Starks family loves you and remembers you in their prayers.

  9. President Vogel - The Hill family is thinking of you and praying for a speedy recovery and successful chemotherapy. Thanks for the update - good luck in the coming weeks.

    Tracy and Joeen Hill and Family

  10. HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! That comment about Gary's hair made me laugh out loud.
    Dr. Vogel reading your blog has become an addiction for me - through the laughs and the tears I feel that I am the one whose faith needs strengthening, not you. Keep up the positive attitude, we're praying for you.
    Trevor Butler

  11. Great to hear that you are doing well. We miss you and think of you often. I agree with Gary, bald is beautiful.

  12. Eric - I learned a few "tricks" that helped with the chemo - call me if you need to! :)