Monday, August 31, 2015

a great phone call

As I think I mentioned, we have begun a new drug called PD1.  Our insurance denied payment because it is currently only approved for melanoma.   The testing for Osteosarcoma began this week but it will be months before that data is available.  We don't have that long to wait so we decided to pay it on our own.  Our doctor submitted a request to the drug company asking if they could give me some kind of better price since I was paying myself and insurance wasn't helping.  The drug company turned down our  request.  We were just planning on paying $8000 every other week and somehow finding the money.  It would have added up.  I think that treatment would have consisted of at least 6 injections at $8000 each.  It might have even been more.

So, today, I came home and was just sitting down for lunch when a phone call came in asking for me by name.  The lady on the phone said she was calling from Brystyl Meyers.    She said "We have decided as a company to provide all of your drug at no cost to you.  It will be shipped directly to your doctor"

Well that started me crying.  She asked if I was okay  I told I was just so grateful.  " i have been through so much.  What you are doing means so much to me"  She just said "We re glad we can help you"  Every time I turn round I see another miracle from God

Thursday, August 27, 2015

another step in our journey.

So yesterday we began another step on our journey fighting this cancer.

For many reasons, we need to shrink the size of this tumor.  For one, it's not good having it press upon my brain so much.  Also, for us to continue in Houston, the tumor needs to be reduced in size.

My doctors in Houston, Dr. Gottschalk and Dr. Wang, have been so kind to us.  They are such caring kind people.  I am grateful to both of them.  They are scientists, of course, but they are also really kind health care providers.  In such a challenging time in my life I am so grateful for their kindness to me.

In our discussion they had mentioned to me the possibility of maybe adding a drug called PD1 to my treatment.  It is interesting that, independently, this had also been suggested to me by my oncologist here, my brother-in-law, a super smart physician back east, and of course it is all of the sudden very much in the news since President Jimmy Carter is being given this drug.

PD1 is a drug that helps your body's immune system to find a cancer and attack it.  Many cancers have developed the ability to hide from our own immune system.  PD1 takes away the cancer's ability to hide.  This is a very new drug but is already showing great promise.

So yesterday I had my first dose.  We asked our insurance to pay but they said no.  The drug is not yet approved for osteosarcoma, only for melanoma.  There is a nationwide study beginning this week actually, testing the drug against osteosarcoma but the study isn't done yet.  Because the insurance denied payment we asked for mercy from the drug company.  In the past they have been willing to give the drug for free sometimes when insurance says no.  We haven't been able to get them to agree to that yet but we are still trying.  We felt strongly that this was the course that God wanted us to take so we told our doctor that we would just pay for it ourselves if it would hurry things along.  It isn't cheap, $8000 per dose but my children tell me that I am worth it.  JoLynne seems to think so too.  So, yesterday it began.

I seemed to have a very quick response.  I know that I have cancer in my right sinus and around my eye and brain of course.  Within an hour of the infusion I began having significant swelling in all of those areas.  The swelling around my brain gave be a really bad headache.  We came home from the doctor and I was so grateful to have all of my sons, minus Spencer, and my son in law, gather around me and give me a priesthood blessing.  Within 30 minutes of that blessing my pain was nearly gone.  I am so grateful for the power of God shared with men by means of the priesthood.  That power is very real to me.

As I was preparing to get the PD1 I was saying a prayer of course, asking God to please bless this treatment to be effective in fighting my cancer.  I had the most distinct impression come over my mind.  It basically said, "Eric, open your scriptures to the story of Moses and the red sea.  The words that you will find there are my answer to your prayer.  So I opened my scriptures to Genesis 14:13-14 and here is what it said.

 13 ¶And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
 14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
What a sweet and wonderful answer this was for me at this time.  I am so grateful that God would direct me to those words.
Last night, when the pain had finally gone down, we were all sitting around in our living room.  All of our family.  We were talking about fun memories.  JoLynne and I have been blessed to  travel much in our lives together.  We have been all over the world doing humanitarian work but we have also traveled much, just the two of us, just for the joy of being together.  My head is just full of happy memories that we have together.  Last night I found myself thinking, "Eric, there is still room in your head for more happy memories and you are going to get better and make those memories together with your sweetheart JoLynne and others."  Not only was I thinking that, I found myself really believing it.  It was such a wonderful feeling of hope.  I was so grateful for how I felt.
So grateful for God's blessing to me.  I have been so so blessed.  I am so grateful.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Blessed with a wonderful wife.

Okay, I just want to go on the record here.  I don't want to brag but I may have the best wife a man could ever ask for.  JoLynne is simply amazing.  I am SO SO grateful for her.

Yesterday was a difficult day.  We finally got hold of the researchers from Houston to talk about our MRI results.  Dr. Gottschalk is the principle researcher there and we talked to him on the phone.  It was his feeling that the MRI showed progression of the cancer.  By the written protocol associated with his experiment his hands are tied.  So essentially we cannot at this time go forward with the HER2 trial.  He is a kind man but he is bound by how the experiment was written.

This is such an emotional let down for me.  When they told me in Houston that my blood result was the best that they had ever seen I was so hopeful that we had finally found the miracle that we have searched so hard for.  Now with this MRI it seems that door is closing for us.  It breaks my heart.

My son Seth is so wise.  He is visiting right now from Boston.  When we picked him up from the airport he told me.  "Dad, we are going to find the way.  I truly believe that.  I believe that if God doesn't want you to go through a certain door that He will close that door to you.  At that point or soon thereafter he will open another door that He wants you to go through."  I have worried so much that I wouldn't be smart enough or in tune with the spirit enough and that I might miss the next door when it presents, I wouldn't see it for what it was.  I told Seth what I was worried about.  My sweet Seth just looked at me and said, "Dad you are plenty smart and I have no doubts about you being in tune or worthy.  Look dad, if God has gone to the trouble of preparing a path for you to escape it would make no sense for Him to hide it from you.  You will know that path what it presents."  I have leaned on those words from Seth.

Okay, with all that said, the door to HER2 seems closed at least for now.  I asked the doctor if he can hang onto those cells in case we need them in the future.  He told me that of course he would.  That he would keep them for at least 4 years.  I then asked him what he thought I should do.  He told me "Eric, there is a new drug on the market called PD1.  It is showing great promise.  I really think you should consider trying that.  It isn't approved for your disease, only melanoma right now, but maybe your oncologist there could get an exception made for you to use it in osteosarcoma."  It is so interesting to me that my own oncologist had mentioned the exact same thing to me just two days earlier and had in fact already started the paperwork to seek approval.  Also, Dr. Wang, another researcher from Houston had mentioned it also about a month ago.  And finally, my brother in law from back east who is a super smart physician had mentioned something to that effect as well.  It seems like another door is opening.

PD1 is what Jimmy Carter is on right now.  Cancer cells have the ability to hide from the body's natural immune system.  It is almost like a cloaking device for your Star Trek fans or in more general terms it is like Stealth technology.  The idea behind PD1 is that it turns off the ability of the cancer cells to hide and therefore let's the bodies immune system find the cancer cells.

A few months ago, Shanelle found an article about using oxygen to help the immune system better find cancer.  The research is early but it is coming out of Boston.  Another way that cancer hides is by depleting oxygen around the tumor.  Cancer is able to live in pretty low oxygen conditions but the bodies T-cells need lots of oxygen.  Essentially the body's T cells find the cancer and when they get close to it they kind of fall asleep because there isn't enough oxygen.  So, they don't do their job right.  The initial research was done on mice.  The mice were intentionally given breast cancer.  Some were then put in a chamber with 60 % oxygen and the rest were just left normal.  Basically the ones in the chamber got better with no drugs, the others didn't.  They have not yet done the tests on humans.  Two days ago when JoLynne was saying her prayers she felt like God wanted us to reconsider this research on oxygen.  I called my dear friend and physician Steve Berry and he gladly hooked me up to have an oxygen mask in hopes that it might help.  I have long ago learned to never ignore my wife's impressions.  So now I am on oxygen.  Perhaps this is another door opening.  Here is a link to the article.

Yesterday night I was exhausted.  With all the talk with doctors in Houston I was feeling the strain.  JoLyyne and I love to walk together.  As we walked JoLynne stopped me and said. "Eric, look up.  Look at how beautiful the clouds are."  They were beautiful.  Then she said, "Eric, we are going through some hard times right now.  I think our motto needs to be "Look up"  Boy I love that woman.

Last night I was having a hard time sleeping.  I think it was the steroids combined with the new oxygen mask I am wearing.  Anyway, I got up at about 1:00 am and just couldn't go back to sleep.  I even walked around the cul de sac for a while barefoot in my pajamas.  I just couldn't get my mind to settle down.  Finally about 3:00 am sweet JoLynne, tells me 'Eric, lay down and I will rub your feet until you fall asleep."  She proceeded to do that and I was finally able to fall asleep.  She is just amazing.  I love her so much.

Friday, August 21, 2015

More reasons for faith

Yucky eye
Well, I will be honest.  This has been a hard week.  About a week ago I was eating lunch when quite suddenly I had a large discharge of puss from the corner of my left eye.  This is the eye I had surgery on.  It was probably a tablespoon of puss, really yucky.   A great way to ruin your appetite if I ever had one.  We called all of our doctors offices but they were all out and their staff said "Go to the emergency room"  I don't like going to the ER but we went anyway.  At the ER they did tests for infection and took a new CAT scan of my brain.  Honestly, as I was walking into the ER I didn't feel very good.  I was even having a little trouble walking.   I have also had lots of pain lately, especially headaches.

Anyway, they told me that I had an infection and wanted to do IV antibiotics.  They also said that the CAT scan did not look good.  They said that tumor had grown significantly and was pressing on my brain and not a little.  It was applying pressure all over, enough to push my whole brain 10 mm to the left.  Especially concerning was pressure on my brain stem.  The brain stem is nothing to mess around with.  It controls things like breathing, and heart beat and a ton of other stuff.  Kind of important functions.  Some of the pressure was from tumor, much of it was from swelling.  The doctor felt like the swelling was enough that my life was in immediate danger.  He recommended that I have IV steroids to bring the swelling down immediately.

I have been avoiding any sort of steroids because the researchers in Houston tell me that steroids kill off my T cells.  Honestly I just didn't know what to do.  Because the hour was late in Houston I couldn't contact them.  I don't want to mess up my T cells but I also didn't want a life threatening event in my brain.  So, when the doctor left the room I simply said a prayer.  I may not know what to do but God does.  So I asked Him what I should do.

For some reason, of late, I have had the most amazing connection with Heaven.  It is almost as if I have a telephone when I pray.  In all of my life I have never gotten answers so quickly and so clearly. Many of the impressions are much too sacred for me to share in a blog.  I am so grateful for this connection at this time in my life.  This night was no exception.  A clear answer came right away.  The words that formed in my mind said simply "Eric, please do both the antibiotics and the steroids.  This is important and urgent and don't worry about the T cells, it will all be fine."  So, off we went on the new drugs that they wanted to give me.

Within hours I started feeling a lot better.  I could walk easily again.  My pain began to go down.  My mental clarity improved.  And, interestingly enough my answers from heaven became even more profound and clear as the swelling in my brain went down.  Wow, this connection with Heaven is almost beyond belief.  I am so thankful.  The other day I asked God, "Why am I getting answers so readily right now?"  Almost immediately the answer came,  "Eric, you should know that I love you.  Your answers are coming so readily right now because you are worthy and you need them.  I would have thought that would have been obvious"

Anyway, we started the week needing an MRI to continue in the study in Houston.  This was an important image for us.  If my cancer has progressed I may be taken out of the study.  So, I am good at MRI's  I would estimate that I have had 24-36 MRI's since this began.  They really don't bother me.  Thankfully I am not claustrophobic.

Well this was officially the hardest MRI that I have ever had.  They put me into the machine and it was fine.  Halfway through I was pulled out while they gave me a contrast die to look for cancer better.  This is a liquid injected into my veins.  Anyway, the technician left to go back into the control booth and the machine began re-inserting me into the tube.  Suddenly I was overwhelmed with the most terrible nausea.  Realize that at this point my head is in a metal cage and can't move and I am bound to the table.  I started barfing my guts out.  The vomit was running down my face and filled up my sinuses.  My head was laying in a pool of oatmeal vomit.  It was in my ears and all over my face.  My mouth was full and the robotic machine voice kept saying, "Do not move, do not swallow"  I had a panic button I could have pushed.  I probably should have pushed it but I kept thinking, "I know that they only have so much time to get this image after the dye is injected.   I just need to hold still"  It was so awful.  I lay like that for about 40 minutes.  Finally it was over and the machine spit me out.  The technician came back into the room and saw what had happened.  He felt so badly.  He told me, "how in the world did you hold so still.  You held more still that most of my normal patients."  I told him that I tried really hard so that he could get a good image.  Anyway, it was not easy.

He gave me a cup to rinse my mouth and some towels to clean myself up with.  I went to my locker.  Truly, through these last four years I have tried really hard to never murmur with my afflictions.  That day was really hard.  I was kind of emotionally overwhelmed.  I sat on the bench in the locker room and told Heavenly Father "Why does everything have to be so hard for me.  I'm really not a bad person.  Why can't this ever be easy"  Again, an answer came almost instantly.  It said, "Eric, I am so sorry for your suffering.  You should know that in the future you will have a chance to help others who suffer greatly.  What you are going through right now will help you in the future to help them better.  There is a purpose in what you are going through.  I will try to be gentle with you dear Eric."  Needless to say I was pretty tearful  by the time I met JoLynne in the waiting room.

So, the MRI was not good either.  It showed essentially what the CAT scan showed.  We will talk to the doctor in Houston today about it.  I still have faith that God has prepared a way for me to escape this awful cancer, I just don't know exactly how that will happen right now.  I pray that I will recognize the path when I find it.

It was almost two years ago now that JoLynne and I sat in a doctors office at Mayo clinic.  This was a very intelligent man.  He looked at my scans and told me that my time in this life was over.  He told me that nothing could be done for me.  He estimated that I had three weeks to live.  I left that awful appointment with my sweetheart.  We were so distraught.  I remember thinking. "A renowned doctor is telling me that I need to prepare to die and righteous priesthood holders have told me in blessings that I will be healed.  They can't both be right.  I need to decide who to believe."  At that time I chose to believe in priesthood blessings.  Two years later, here I am.  God was right, the doctor was wrong.  I am still choosing to believe in priesthood blessings.

Friday, August 14, 2015

My first book

I just submitted my very first book ever to a publisher to be considered for publication.  I sent it to Cedar Fort Publishing because I liked their mission statement.  i will probably submit it to Deserat Book as well just to see if they have an interest.  If nobody likes it then I will self publish.  During my illness I found time to write this children's book. I am excited to see if they like it.  The story has been influenced by my journey through cancer.  My daughter had a dear friend growing up named Erin Thomas.  She was always so sweet. She is also very talented in the written word.  She kindly agreed to be my editor for which I am very grateful.  The story is much better because of Erin's help.    It will be a picture book.  The illustrations are not yet complete.  When it is illustrated I hope it will be more compelling.   I had hoped that my son Jarom might be my illustrator (He drew the one picture that you will see below) but he simply doesn't have the time right now.  Anyway, I am excited to hear back from them.

Just for fun I will show you what I just submitted.  I would be interested in your feedback.  Here you go.

The Stone
Written by Eric Vogel
801 319=4570 (cell)
243 W. 1455 S.
Orem, Utah 84058
Submitted on August 14th, 2015
Word count 1312 including cover page
I envision that each numbered line would include an illustration of some sort. 
Probably a total page count of 24 pages.

1.     Once upon a time there was a stone.  It was sitting on the side of mountain.  It was big and beautiful.  It was the product of eons of heat and pressure.  When the sun shone just right it would glisten.
2.     One day a man came up the mountain.  He was a master stone worker.  He wandered around a bit and then came to stand in front of the stone.  He walked around looking at the stone from every angle.  He even made some notes.  The stone was happy to be admired and became more convinced than ever about it’s beauty.
3.     Several days later, the master stoneworker returned with others and a large cart.  They began to tie ropes around the stone and levers underneath.  The stone thought, “There is no way that they can move me, I’m too big” but, to it’s surprise, it soon began to feel itself moving. 
4.     At this point the stone said, “Hey, what are you doing?  I’m happy here.  Leave me alone!”  The men untied the ropes and withdrew a pace.  The master stoneworker approached the stone and talked to it in a quiet voice.  He said, “I know you are happy on the mountain, who wouldn’t be.  It’s beautiful here.  But you were meant for greater things.  Come with me and I will help you see a bigger world.” 
5.     After thinking about it the stone finally consented and it wasn’t long before the stone found itself loaded on the cart and being hauled away from the mountain home.
6.     It was taken to a large warehouse where it was moved from the cart and left by itself.
7.     The next day the master sontworker returned, this time carrying hammers and chisels.  The master walked around the stone looking at it this way and that.  After a time he picked up the hammer and a chisel and began to strike the stone. 
8.     At first it tickled but then it began to hurt and the stone watched while one piece of the stone fell to the ground, and then another and another.  Sometimes the master would refer to a paper that he had on table.  Sometimes small pieces fell away, sometimes large but always the pounding continued.
9.     “Why would this man want to beat on me so?  I was beautiful just the way I was” thought the stone.  “Hey, cut it out!  Quit pounding on me!” said the stone.  So, the master stopped.  He tried to persuade the stone that what he was doing would be for the best, even though it hurt, but the stone refused.  The master hung his head, packed up his tools and left the stone alone.
10.  Not long after, the stone saw a light where the door had opened again.  The stone  thought the master stoneworker was returning to try to persuade it again but it wasn’t.  Instead, it was a tall, handsome man, dressed in fine clothes but he had shifty eyes.  He seemed sneaky.   He came to the stone and said, “I heard you were here.  I hear that they have been pounding on you and telling you crazy stories.” 
11.  The stone wondered who the man was and how he knew so much.  Then the man said, “I can make you beautiful and you don’t have to suffer.  It will be so easy.”  The man held up a bottle and said, “This is my magic bottle.  I simply pour it on you and all the work is done without any pain to you.”   The stone hesitated but then agreed to let the sneaky man do what he wanted.
12.  The sneaky man then began to tell of all the wonders he could offer.  He talked and he talked.  As the man talked he opened the bottle and poured it over the stone promising that this was the easier way.    It turned out that the bottle was full of acid.  The man talked and talked and as he talked the acid began making the stone melt away.  What had been a beautiful stone was dissolving into a dirty mud puddle on the floor.  Still the man continued to talk and talk.  Suddenly it occurred to the stone that if he didn’t do something the man would keep pouring acid and soon the stone would melt completely.  The stone realized. “I’m not being changed for the better.  I am being being destroyed!”
13.  The stone told the man that he must leave.  The man smiled and said, “But I have so much more to tell you.”   The stone simply told him, “I have had enough.  Please leave and take your bottle of acid with you.”  The man wasn’t happy as he turned and left the room.
14.  A few days later the master returned.  He looked sadly at the stone.  Much of his work had been lost, dissolved away.  The stone no longer looked beautiful, just worn and common.
15.  The master left and later returned with a young man at his side.  He looked at the stone with a new look of hope.  “This is my son.  He has a gift.  If you will let him, he can make you whole again.  We can start over.”  The stone wondered how it could be possible but agreed to let them try.
16.  The master’s son looked at the stone with a look of love, mingled with sadness.  He walked slowly around and around, looking at the damage.  The stone was amazed at what happened next.  The son would stoop down and pick up the mud that had been stone and gently pat it onto the stone again.  Somehow the mud stuck and hardened into stone again.  The stone couldn’t help but notice that the acid was burning the son’s hands but the son didn’t complain, he just kept working even though it must have hurt him dearly.
17.  The next day the master stone worker returned and began again the shaping process.  It still hurt but the stone tried to be brave.
18.  Days passed, the son came often to watch the work progress.  Something wonderful was emerging.
19.  Finally the work was done.  The master stepped back and gazing at the stone and said, “Because you allowed me and  my son  to work, you have become our masterpiece.”
20.  The master stone worker, from the start, could see the potential in the stone that wouldn’t have been apparent to others.  He knew that there was amazing beauty in the stone just waiting to be discovered.
21.  And thus a beautiful stone had become more beautiful than ever.  The stone, who had become an amazing piece of art, would be admired by all who saw it for generations to come. 
22.  The master stone worker and his son were thrilled with what the stone had become and the stone lived happily every after.
23.  The End

Front Cover:  This is a parable.  It is the story of a beautiful stone.  The stone sits on the side of a mountain enjoying life.  One day a master stone worker comes along and the stone’s life begins to change.

Back Cover:  Eric Vogel lives in Orem Utah.  He and his wife are the parents of eight children.  Eric has always been fond of telling stories, especially to his children.  In 2011 Eric was diagnosed with bone cancer in his jaw.  The last four years have indeed been a journey of change.  There has been much pain in the journey but there has also been joy and, like the stone, it has certainly shaped him in ways he never expected.  And like the story, Eric has found that it is best to trust the master even when it hurts and he has felt the touch of the Son helping to heal him when all seemed lost.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Deadly donuts

So we had a bit of excitement around here last week.  I guess you should first know that I live with pain.  It is part of my life these days.  Usually I wake up at least once a night to take pain medication sometimes I wake up more.  Anyway, Friday I woke up at about 4:00 am hurting and quietly got out of bed and went to the kitchen and prepared my pain medication.  Usually I dissolve it in water and then pour it in the tube that I have so that it goes directly into my stomach.  So, while I was waiting for it to dissolve I noticed that there were some Krispy cream donuts on the counter.  It always makes JoLynne happy when I find ways to get more calories.   I love making her happy so I thought, "I will eat a donut while I wait.  It has to have a few calories.'"  So, I warmed it up for a few seconds in the microwave and sat down to the task.  I took a fairly normal size bite, chewed a bit and swallowed.  Because of the radiation my ability to swallow is impaired.  Breads are usually harder for me than most things.  Anyway, the donut didn't go down.  Instead it got stuck right on top of my wind pipe.  I couldn't breath or talk.  Having things stuck isn't uncommon and usually I can run to the sink and cough them out.  So I ran to the sink and did all the normal things I do when that happens but nothing was working.  I had a complete airway blockage.  I struggled at the sink for maybe 2.5 minutes but with no success.  Now I was beginning to panic.  I still couldn't breath that whole time.  It was 4:00 am and I was the only one awake.  I ran down the hall and opened our bedroom door and turned on the light.  I couldn't talk so I was just holding my hand on my throat hoping that JoLynne would get the message.  She looked at me and asked what was wrong.  Obviously I couldn't answer her.  I just kept grabbing at my throat.  Now JoLynne got excited and yelled for our son Jarom who was asleep in the room straight across from ours.  You see, we own apartments and recently we had an upstairs tenant whose toilet flooded really bad.  It did extensive damage to his apartment and even more damage to the apartment below him which is where Jarom and Natalie live.  The repairs have been slow coming so Jarom and Natalie are living with us while their apartment is being repaired.  Jarom, Natalie and our sweet daughter Elizabeth all came running into the hall.  By now it has been probably 3.5 minutes without air.  Jarom says, "I think he is choking".  He grabs me around the chest and gives a pull.  His hands are too high to move my diaphragm so it doesn't work.  Now I am probably at 4.5 minutes without air.  The room is beginning to spin and go dark.  Sweet Elizabeth, who is just home from girls camp where she learned first aid, tells Jarom, "You need to put your hands lower and pull up."  (By the way, thank you girls camp leaders for teaching my daughter this.  I am very grateful to you whoever you are)  Anyway, Jarom repositioned his hands and pulls again.  Now it has been probably 5 minutes and out pops this piece of donut about the size of a ping pong ball.  Wow, did it ever feel good to breath.  This whole thing really scared me.  I grabbed Jarom and Elizabeth and thanked them for saving my life.  I took this piece of donut that I had caught and went to the kitchen. I guess I know that donuts are not sentient beings but I was so angry.  I threw it in the sink and ran it down the disposal.  You should know that I never swear.  I really never have.  But that night I called out "You damn donut!  Go to hell!  How dare you try to take my life after all that I have been through"  Well, the donut went in the sewer and I guess that was close enough.  After everyone settled down a bit  I climbed back in bed with JoLynne.  We were both really unsettles.  JoLynne declared "Don't ever do that again.  You scared the bajeebies out of me"  Frankly I didn't even know that she had bajeebies but I guess I am glad that they are gone.  Honestly I'm not really sure what a bajeebie is.  Anyway, as we lay there suddenly we heard sirens close by.  I don't know where they were going but I am so grateful that our house was not their destination.  It easily could have been if it weren't for Jarom and Elizabeth.

So, we have a new rule at our house.  Eric is no longer ever allowed to eat anything by mouth when he is alone.  Probably a good rule.

I don't believe in chance.  I honestly believe that Heavenly Father arranged events so that Jarom would be there when I needed him and that Elizabeth would have that training just when I needed it.  Once again, my life has been spared.