Noel Estenson

First post: Nov 17, 2019 Latest post: Dec 27, 2019
In June of 2008 we got the news nobody wants to hear....Dad has prostate cancer.  He had his prostate removed at Mayo, but the doc wasn’t positive if it was was too close to call. He then had 7 weeks of radiation and started Lupron injections. Lupron is used to cut off testosterone production thus starving the cancer. Mom & Dad lived at Hope Lodge at Mayo during the week while he underwent daily radiation.....they got to go home to Hayward during the weekends. Dad finished his treatment & got to ring the bell at Mayo & was clear for about two years. We were all so happy, but then a couple of spots showed up on his bones. They were able to spot radiate those with just a single radiation.  There was more “spot welding” over the years until his scans showed several hot spots up and down his spine. He had to undergo chemo this time which cleared him again....for a while.  He had a little more “spot welding” & another series of chemo, but it just wasn’t clearing him this time. Finally, his wonderful team at Mayo decided to try radio active isotope injections. He was able to complete 4 of the 6 treatments. The isotopes will attack your bone marrow so your hemoglobin has to be at least a 10 in order to be able to get a treatment.  After 4 treatments, his hemoglobin was at 7 and they couldn’t get it to come back up.  All treatment was stopped over the week of July 4th & he was given 3-6 mo. In late Aug./early Sep. Dad started hospice care at home. Hospice is a wonderful thing.....the caregivers are amazing.  Dad’s spirits, attitude & will to live have been very high through out his journey & he really hasn’t been in any pain, but his body continues to get weaker and weaker.  Since September he has gone from a cane to a walker to a wheel chair to being bed-bound, but he is still laughing, joking, looking at the bright side & having heartfelt conversations through it all. He is the most positive person I know. 

Dad’s bed is in their sunroom & he loves having it there. For the first two weeks an amazing blazing maple tree filled the windows & earlier this week Dad enjoyed looking at the fresh inch of snow that fell was all so beautiful.  He has been enjoying tons of visits from friends and family who he hasn’t seen in a long time.  He said, “it’s the wake before the wake......all you gotta do is tell people that you only have 5 months to live & they all show up”.    Even under the circumstances, we have still been having a good time together.  Keith, Craig, Dennis, Kate & Steve (Dad’s sis & B-I-L) & I have been with Mom and Dad to help as much as each of us can.....there has almost always been a game of cards or two & lots of laughs & lots of heartfelt talks & lots of memories to chat about. 

From the beginning Dad has been praying for a miracle....he was determined to beat this.  He has accepted that he may not get the miracle he had originally hoped for & it may be an eternal miracle.......he says that he’s ready for that, but he would also be ok with an Earthly miracle.  It is God’s will.

Mom & Dad are enjoying quiet time together now & talking too much can be straining on him, so Dad is no longer accepting visitors, but please leave a message for him.  He loves hearing from you.  Please pray for his continued comfort and peace......and a miracle.


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