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Mike Hannigan Cancer Recovery Fund

$6,150 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 71 people in 8 months
The recovery from cancer is a physical, emotional, and financial one.

I've been self-employed for several years, providing consulting services in the IT industry.  In July of this year, I developed severe pain in my neck, ear, and jaw.  After seeing my primary doctor and going through the usual steps for a few weeks - exam, antibiotics (in case it was an infection), re-exam, they sent me for a CT scan, which was scheduled two weeks later. The doctor saw "something" on the CT scan so she referred me to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. I saw the ENT specialist at the beginning of October. They were concerned with what they saw, so they scheduled me for surgery for the following week to remove the mass they saw on the CT Scan - they actually did the surgery in the Hasbro Children's Hospital O.R. (the Orange Room!).

As an aside, I'd never been treated in Hasbro Children's Hospital, and I was surprised to be scheduled for surgery there, but I later found out that they reserve some days/times for adult surgeries. It's a beautiful hospital and an absolutely magnificent staff, and we are SO lucky to have it right here in Rhode Island - for the incredible work they do with children that some families have to (and do) travel thousands of miles for.

I'd never had surgery like this and was surprised by the long and painful the recovery period was. I went to the followup with the ENT who referred me to an Oncologist for a diagnosis of Stage II Throat Cancer.  The prognosis is good, but getting better will require chemotherapy and possibly radiation. 

All of this is suddenly creating a financial crisis in my life - although not as sudden as I first thought.  My health insurance covers most of the (shockingly high) costs, even though the deductibles are fairly high (just found out - higher than I thought)

EDIT 11/20/2017  On further research (looking at the bills), I found that my Silver plan now has a... One sec., I have to see if I'm reading it correctly... $10,000 deductible? (Confirmed). So these funds will essentially go to that, but may be juggled with other expenses in the short term to make it through.  Lesson: Check your medical plan deductibles and make sure they are practical.

My self-employment means that the two-four months of not working has severely impacted my finances.  It's also devastating to know that the business I've spent so much time trying to build is in jeopardy.  I don't know if I can save that but my absolute priority is my family (including Mickey, my faithful furry companion!).  I cannot fail them, although I may have already. In retrospect, the way I was feeling had been affecting my productivity for several months. I used up saved funds to pay living expenses in the first two months of this ordeal, but the diagnosis was completely unexpected.  I simply don't have the funds to continue paying ordinary living expenses for my family.  Home, Utilities, Food - It's extremely frustrating because I expect to recover quickly, but I'm right on the edge of losing the basics due to the extended recovery time (and my poor productivity in recent months).  Things in my life have changed so suddenly - they've caught me off guard - and I'm terrified of the prospect of being two weeks away from not being able to support myself and the few that rely on me, but that's what I'm facing. The financial situation is urgent. (My medical situation is slowly improving, and in itself, it's not what I would consider being urgent. I'm taking the right steps - 8 weeks of treatment - and I'm already feeling better than I was before the surgery, which I understand is the exception).

The fund would help me pay the bare minimum of expenses for my family and buy me a little time for treatment and recovery, and eventually pay the deductible (I'm assuming I can delay at least part of this expense). I cannot let those close to me down and I don't know what else to do.  I can and do work from home, and I expect that there will be some time during treatment that I can continue to work.  I WILL be fine physically (I honestly believe that). I don't wait to go to the doctor when something is wrong, and that's really helped me here.  Lesson: If you're not feeling right, it's best to go to the doctor sooner than later.

I just need to get through the next month or two without becoming homeless, and I can take it from there.  Any help whatsoever is help that I deeply appreciate.  I don't know how interactive I'll be here because I don't know what to expect - at least for the rest of this year. ANYTHING would help.  And for a monetary donation, every bit helps, whether it's a dollar, or, say, $250 Million (I haven't lost hope that one of us will win Powerball eventually, right?).  And if you're not able to donate financially, please share the link on social media so that others have the opportunity.  That can be a tremendous way to help get to the goal.

EDIT 11/24/2017 This next edit has been changed to reflect the copayment of $!0,000 vs $2500 that I thought it was.  I wanted to give you some insight into my lifestyle, which isn't extravagant. Where the number comes from - I was just lying in bed awake, doing the calculations in my head. Chemotherapy lasts for at least 8 weeks, so I'll be at severely diminished work capacity for December and most of January. The deductible for everything totals about $10,000. Of course, that served to aggravate the financial picture. So really, you'd be helping with the medical expenses or the things I haven't paid because of the medical expenses.  Major monthly expenses are Home: $1000, cars and insurance: $600, electricity and gas: $250, Internet: $100 (temporarily stopping the cable portion, but I can't work without the Internet) Debt service for all the stupid credit.card purchases (actually these are what I used to supplement when I first started getting sick, figuring I'd just pay them off when I felt better - I'm not the type that spends like a drunken sailor (at least with credit cards) - they were put to good use given the situation,  and then 6 months passed.  So, for the bare necessities, about $3000/month - for a couple of months. I'm sure it's a low estimate, but this amount should get me to "the other side" if I work extremely hard, and that's what I need. That estimate is less than I spend in a month, but the number makes me feel pretty good about living in RI. You can't pay for a home for that in many places.

EDIT 11/24/2017 There was a little wrench thrown into the financial workings of this situation when I looked at the bills. It appears that my yearly deductible is no longer $2500, but $10,000. I obviously have to get right on this to find out. If it did change, I wasn't aware of it and will find a way to enroll in something a little more practical next month since it's open enrollment.  So, it doesn't cover all expenses (fewer than I thought), but it still might be enough to get back on my feet, and I don't plan to be idle, of course, and I'll be supplementing that with a much lower self-employment income as I ramp up to being back near100% in a few months. The doctors think it may be a little overly optimistic, but that's what they said when I told them I'd come out healthy on the other side of Severe Congestive Heart failure, and I did. We generally have a more accurate sense of our own prognosis that what the doctors can get from a chart. At that time they treated me like a dying man, I insisted that I wasn't, and I turned out to be right. When they saw my third Ultrasound a year later, they could still barely believe it - but I never doubted it. In fact, they told me it wasn't even possible - it was.

So, anyone who's ever been given a prognosis or will be given one someday - just remember that what the doctors tell you is in NO WAY set in stone. Only you know how you really feel. And I feel like I'll be back to normal with a little time and help. Thank you for reading my story. It felt good just to share.  If the deductible on the new bills is correct, I may add a bit of a stretch goal to help pay for that after the original one is met, but it isn't my priority right now (otherwise I'd be freaking out!). I'll deal with that once I know I'm secure in having a home life first.
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I'll give a more detailed update in a few days when I'm feeling energetic. But you should know that status is nominal.
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Hey everyone. I know it's been a while since I've given an update. I'll be uncharacteristically brief with this one.

Things have become a little more difficult. In the past several weeks, the doctors had found that the cancer did indeed spread to a lymph node. A biopsy a couple of weeks ago confirmed.that. I had another surgery last week to remove it, and now my treatment will intensify, with the addition of radiation therapy, which I understand will all but incapacitate me for a while.

Unfortunately, there's no way I'll be able to work as soon as I expected, and I still need all the help I can get. I know I've probably exhausted you guys with this, but I wouldn't be asking again if I had another option.

If you know anybody who is in a position to donate, PLEASE ask them to help. It has been a couple months since I started this campaign and I'm worried that in a few weeks, I'll be in a desparate situation again.

I want this to be over more than anyone, and when it is over, I'll pay forward everything you have done several fold. Thank you for your support. I apologize for asking more of you, but right now it's my only option. By Summer though, it will be us, on the beach, celebrating the victory over cancer with mai tais - my treat this time.

Thank you everyone! I don't know what I would have done without your generosity so far.
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I just wanted to update everyone on my status - I though I had good news, but unfortunately, that's not the case. Contrary to what they saw previously, the doctors believe the cancer may have spread to my lymph nodes. This is not a death sentence, and if it has happened, there are additional treatments available. I will have a biopsy this week to find out. I'll update you next week on the status.

Please keep the donations coming in. It have been a life saver up until this point, and I owe you my life already. But if you know anyone else that might be able to help, please share the link with them. It may take me a little longer to recover than I had anticipated, but I will recover!

Thank you again.
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Hey everyone. Thank you again for helping with the campaign. I'd like to be able to close donations by Christmas if possible, but I have a way to go to make that happen. Please share the link as much as you can. And THANK YOU AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!

I'll.be sending out a longer update mid-week on how I'm doing and on some valuable help my brother pointed me to.

Thank you!
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$6,150 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 71 people in 8 months
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