Sunday, August 19, 2012

Moses and the Red Sea

I'm sorry that I didn't follow up on my last blog sooner.  To be honest it has taken me a few days to get my emotions under control enough to write about it.

Well, my tests are back and frankly the results were not what we had hoped.  The biopsy showed malignant, metastatic osteosarcoma, or in other words, my cancer is back.  When I asked how certain they were of their results, the doctor told me that they were certain.  An MRI was done on Wednesday and found that the tumor detected a month ago has grown 2-3 mm in a one month period and they detected a second tumor, slightly smaller than the first, growing about an inch away from the first one.  The doctor here thinks that they may have grown from a remnant of the last tumor.  Our oncologist here called the doctors at Mayo and it was agreed that I should be go back to Mayo for treatment.

The good news is this.  On Tuesday we had our visit with the oncologist where we received the news about the cancer coming back.  JoLynne and I were pretty disappointed.   We have been through so much and hoped that we could close that chapter of our life and move on.  We both felt like we needed a priesthood blessing.  After thinking about so many friends we might ask,  we decided to ask a dear friend, Ross Cole, who was the Stake President when I was called to be a bishop.  He now serves in the temple presidency.  I consider him to be a close friend and he was happy to give me a blessing.  He asked if our family would join with him in fasting before the blessing was given.  I have been fasting pretty often these days.  (I think that if I fast often enough maybe the cancer will die of starvation)

So, President Cole came by our home Wednesday evening.  I have great confidence in this mans ability to hear the voice of the Lord and I trust that he wouldn't say anything that he wasn't inspired to say. My son Peter was newly ordained as an Elder last Sunday.  He now has the authority to perform priesthood blessings.  I asked him if he would anoint me.  He did a wonderful job even if it did make me cry.  Then President Cole, my sons Peter and John, and my son-in-law Mike, placed their hands on my head and pronounced a beautiful blessing.  The cancer was rebuked, I was told that my body would be healed.  These are the words I needed to hear.  Later Peter gave his mother a blessing.  It was also wonderful, and exactly the words we needed to hear for her as well.  These blessings brought us great comfort!

In talking with our doctors we have arranged to return to Mayo clinic on August 27-28th for a new workup.  All doctors involved before and probably a few more will come together to formulate a new plan of attack to defeat this cancer once and for all.  I have great confidence in them but more importantly I believe that God will intervene and that a miracle will happen to heal me.

On Friday morning early I was driving over to the park near my house to work on a large triathlon that I host every year to raise money for our charitable work.  It is a huge task and with everything else that has been going on it has been challenging this year.  I'll be honest, I was a little depressed and unhappy about how things were going.  Anyway, the thought popped in my mind about the story of Moses and the children of Israel leaving Egypt.  The Israelites had so many miracles performed allowing them to leave Egypt and then they finally arrived at the shores of the Red Sea.  Suddenly the armies of Pharaoh showed up and had them trapped with the sea behind them.  At this point they begin to doubt saying thing like "Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness."  Then Moses tells them "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you to  day...The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace".  I have wondered sometimes about how the Israelites could doubt after so many miracles.  I think I won't judge them so harshly anymore.  Then, of course, the Red Sea was opened, the Israelites escaped and the armies of Pharaoh were destroyed.

Way back at the start of this whole adventure the first words that popped into my mind were these "Be still my son and know that I am God".  I am grateful to remember those words.  Miracles have happened, I believe that more miracles will yet happen.

About a month ago one of my patients told me, "You are doing so good we don't even pray for you anymore."  It was nice to think that I no longer needed to be in so many peoples prayers.  Unfortunately, it looks like I have a few more hurdles to cross.  Once again, I am very grateful for your prayers and faith in my behalf.  I will try to keep you posted as new things develop.


  1. Dear Eric, You remain in our prayers and are a great example to us.

  2. We will continue to pray for you Dr Vogel. You are an amazing man with a strong testimony. Thanks for your great example to me and my family.

  3. You are amazing Eric. Your faith strengthens mine. Hold on!

  4. We continue to pray for both of you. We are sorry you have to go through this again. We love you both. Bryce and Mary

  5. I have such a love for priesthood blessings. I know the comfort and truth they bring. I am so happy for your experience that you shared. Thank you! You are such a strong man and such a strong family. We love you all and think of you often.

  6. Continue to jump those hurdles. You are a walking Miracle already and proven track star. Heavenly Father loves you. We will continue to pray for you and your family. Hang in there Brother.

  7. Dearest Eric and JoLynne,

    Our prayers are with you. The power of such faith as yours does bring down blessings on you and on all of us who love you and witness your faithfulness and are strengthened by your example as we try to be equal to the uncertainties in our own lives.

    Love and blessings,

    Paula and David Thomas

  8. I am so sad to hear about your situation. I was also sad the you brushed me off as being a sanke oil pedler before and that a one time try of a product made you scoff. I was a missionary in Peru so I know prejudice. It didn't matter that I had a message that could heal people. They didn't want to study it for themselves. It didn't change the value of my message. I'm trying again because I love you and care for you. You are an amazing man. The man who formulated these products was a master formulator. He has created products for all the big companies. He was bit by a brown recluse spider and they wanted to amputate his leg. He knew he needed to get the toxins out so checked out of the hospital, went home and made the formula that saved his leg. There are no accidents. We are in a health crisis as a world. We'll be praying for you.

  9. We love you, Eric! And you will be in our prayers.
    Kent and Nancy

  10. I had a very vivid dream last night and in it, you were directing me to a room in a hospital but obstacles kept getting thrown in my way. You were in a hurry and we had to part ways, but before you left, you told me with a smile, "You know, you don't have to fight every battle." I returned with, "Yes, but you and I both know you do have to fight the important ones."

    I don't know if that means anything to you, but the rest of the dream was important to me and taught me a lot and I'm sure that you were in that dream because I've felt strengthened by your faith and I've sent up prayers on your behalf. I believe in miracles and in healing. I'm sending up another prayer for your family and your doctors right now.