Dan’s Story

Site created on January 27, 2021

There is an "incidental finding"...….those words upended our world on January 25, 2021. Thus began Dan's chondrosarcoma cancer journey.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Susan Hettinger

A Facebook post from Dan:

I'm feeling "swell"! Fantastic, actually. Swell, literally (see below).


Friday's post-op appointment could not have gone better. When Dr. Mesko told me I could bear 100% weight as tolerated on my right leg, it was like Jesus saying, "Take up your walker and walk." I went home, began using a cane and then walking around the house even without that.


I went up and down the steps, in the way the therapist taught me to do--one step at a time, up with the good, down with the bad, the cane is the bad leg's friend (always on the same step).


So, I went upstairs and last night slept in my bed. Susan just called the hospital bed company to have them come and get it, exactly one month from when they delivered it.


I still have a month or two to go in recovering from the swelling, tightness and numbness from the ball of muscles (that is what it feels like) in my hip and the big incision around it. Therapy will help me regain mobility and full range of motion, I hope. The swelling will eventually go away but for now, loose clothes, ice and feet elevated whenever possible. Strength has come before endurance, just as the doctor said. While I can walk I can't go far.


The shock of this cancer and the severity of the surgery is matched with the pleasure of the recovery. It is wonderful how well it is going. Your prayers have been answered. 


I know that part of my recovery is due to the nature of this cancer. The sickness my friends have encountered with chemo and radiation preceding and/or following their diagnosis and surgeries, is a misery I have completely avoided.


Another aspect of my recovery is due to the skill of Dr. Mesko and the Cleveland Clinic team.


But covering all of that and giving me steady progress, I feel the power of prayer, the encouragement of care and the work of the Great Physician who brings a thorough healing according to His purpose. The doctor can operate but much more healing is required that he cannot do.


"Wave the banners. We have experienced many victories!!!" Psalm 20:4


There is more journey yet to travel. Thank you for traveling with me. I'm eager for the next stage of recovery with new challenges, experiences and people. (Join me in praying for the son in law of my friends, John and Denise. This 29 year old dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.)


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