Join Michael's Fight Against Cancer

Join Michael's Fight Against Cancer

From Michael Tietjen

Michael & his family are raising funds for his medical bills, prescriptions, lost wages, and rent. Michael has been away from home since the diagnosis & his ongoing condition may take several months to remedy.

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Recent Updates

Update #3

5 months ago

A lot has been happening; and happening fast. Some encouraging news.. I'm three chemo sessions in! I've also begun immunotherapy which entails targeted cancer cell therapy. I'm not gonna lie, I definitely underestimated the side effects, but I'm powering through best I can. I'm currently on a strong antibiotic for the remainder of my cycles to help combat some of these symptoms. It's difficult feeling comfortable in my own skin and it sucks to know that it's probably not going to get any better as these treatment cycles continue. Regardless, I'm still here and I'm doing it.

My lovely friends in Pittsburgh are hosting a show to help with my financial struggles. Adam Michael & Ian Compton have joined forces to put this together and it's a beautiful thing. Super eclectic lineup with lots of bells and whistles. There will be art for sale and even a tarot card reader. The lineup is something I'm particularly excited about. I absolutely love events like this because more often than not, new creative friendships are forged between parties that would otherwise never meet. It's uncertain if I'll be in attendance, but I hope to bring some art of my own to contribute. This is happening THIS UPCOMING SATURDAY FEB 3RD!

Just a few people I'd like to thank for their support and guidance. Some of whom I meant to include in my last update: Erica Marie, Ian Berk, Colleen Long, Shannon Ruble Long, Carmen LaPlaca, Jason Primo, Jesse Builes, Mark Pickering, Thomas Ryan, Heidy Ryan, Nick Lee and Moon Tooth, Jeffrey Rapaport, Wokeface. I'm still doing my best to reply to messages. If you've reached out, you can expect a reply soon. Love y'all ✌️

More Info

My name is Gary, and I am Mike's brother. Mike is an awesome brother, a talented musician, and a compassionate friend who has always been there for those in need. On December 8th, after almost two years of symptoms and testing, a large mass was found during a colonoscopy. Just a couple days later, Mike boarded a plane back to New York where he was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer. A plan was quickly put in to place and Mike was forced to spend the holidays recovering from emergency surgery for an ileostomy bag.  In addition, he will also need to undergo surgery after his treatment’s to remove the cancerous tumor. Mike has already braved five radiation sessions and is now undergoing chemotherapy that will end on his birthday this July 2023. This diagnosis will require him to take time off work to focus on his treatment and recovery. As his family, we want to support him during this difficult time.

Mike is known for his infectious sense of humor and his love of sharing his favorite food and music with those around him. Many of you know him from his songwriting project, Family Lumber; which he has also had to put on hold while fighting this battle. He has always been a devoted brother to his siblings, and his love and support has been unwavering. Unfortunately, his cancer diagnosis has forced him to take an extended leave of absence from his job, which has put a significant financial strain on him. This crowdfunding campaign will help cover Mike's medical expenses, transportation costs, and daily living expenses while he is unable to work.

We are humbly asking for your support to help Mike get through this tough time. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a difference and help him focus on his recovery without worrying about the financial burden. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

A special thank you to Caitlin Donohue for helping us spearhead this fundraiser. 

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Michael Tietjen posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #5

A lot has been happening; and happening fast. Some encouraging news.. I'm three chemo sessions in! I've also begun immunotherapy which entails targeted cancer cell therapy. I'm not gonna lie, I definitely underestimated the side effects, but I'm powering through best I can. I'm currently on a strong antibiotic for the remainder of my cycles to help combat some of these symptoms. It's difficult feeling comfortable in my own skin and it sucks to know that it's probably not going to get any better as these treatment cycles continue. Regardless, I'm still here and I'm doing it.

My lovely friends in Pittsburgh are hosting a show to help with my financial struggles. Adam Michael & Ian Compton have joined forces to put this together and it's a beautiful thing. Super eclectic lineup with lots of bells and whistles. There will be art for sale and even a tarot card reader. The lineup is something I'm particularly excited about. I absolutely love events like this because more often than not, new creative friendships are forged between parties that would otherwise never meet. It's uncertain if I'll be in attendance, but I hope to bring some art of my own to contribute. This is happening THIS UPCOMING SATURDAY FEB 3RD!

Just a few people I'd like to thank for their support and guidance. Some of whom I meant to include in my last update: Erica Marie, Ian Berk, Colleen Long, Shannon Ruble Long, Carmen LaPlaca, Jason Primo, Jesse Builes, Mark Pickering, Thomas Ryan, Heidy Ryan, Nick Lee and Moon Tooth, Jeffrey Rapaport, Wokeface. I'm still doing my best to reply to messages. If you've reached out, you can expect a reply soon. Love y'all ✌️

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Michael Tietjen posted a new update:
6 months ago

Update #4

As some of you may remember, I had to go to the emergency room a few weeks ago because of abdominal pain related from a recent surgery. While they were not able to find a reason for my pain issues, they did find something else. Two metastasized spots on my liver were discovered.

After finishing my recovery in Portland, I flew back to New York where I was unfortunately given the diagnosis of stage four liver cancer.

Weeks prior to this, I had been drafting an update to share with all of you. Part of me wanted to wait until I had some good news to share. However, life has been heavy and I just I couldn’t muster the strength to update my social media and fundly page.

I will do my best to summarize everything that has happened.

While I was happy to be done with treatments and surgeries, I’ve been struggling with some complications. The biggest being neuropathy. I have not been able to play guitar or make art. Even writing my name on a piece of paper is a struggle. I also took a nasty spill down the stairs at the Jamaica train station because of how numb my feet have become. Losing the ability to make music has been beyond devastating and I’m still having a hard time accepting this new reality.

I also lost a close friend, Chris Askin (pictured). Chris was one of my favorite humans and musicians and we had been in close communication about meeting up until I heard the news of his passing. Losing Chris was so upsetting for me. I loved that kid so much and I regret not trying to see him sooner, but I realized my cancer battle had to stay in focus. So I’m still very much processing this loss. I would like to recognize friends like Andrew Accardi, who wrote a beautiful post and photo of Chris. Andrew also reached out to me after hearing the news. Which really meant a lot and made me appreciate the friends I don’t see very often.

Another Chris, my old boss, Chris Chapman.. sadly passed away from cancer. He was another friend I had been texting with, planning a phone call, but I just never found the time or courage to make that phone call; and I regret that very much. Chris was one of my favorite bosses and he was just the sweetest guy. He treated me so well and was always happy to talk about life and love and family etc.

Now… my chances of survival are not great. I know this. The tone of my doctors voices have changed and it is quite obvious that we are hoping for a bit of a miracle. The current plan is eight rounds of chemo with the possibility of radiation or maybe even other treatments if I’m a candidate. If we can somehow get this under control, I will undergo surgery and hopefully end up cancer-free.
I’ve already undergone my first round of chemo and currently feeling good. I’m doing everything I can to keep my spirits up and stay healthy so I can give myself the best opportunity at beating this. Yeah, my plans for Christmas were once again thwarted, but I can (and will) adapt to this new challenge and plan for Christmas in 2024.

Donations are huge right now. Just a few weeks ago, I was planning thank you notes and gifts to send to all of you who have generously donated. Now, I need help more than ever. Fundraising shows with some of my favorite bands and friends are in the works for both New York and Pittsburgh. So please keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, sharing my fundly link is the best way to help: https://fundly.com/color-me-rectal I also have a Venmo @familylumber if that helps makes donating easier for anyone that’s interested.

I have a lot of people to thank. Many who have welcomed me into their homes with love and kindness. Many others who have just been amazing and/or steadfast with their support: Cheesemaster Flex, Desiree Freeman, Josh Freeman, Dave Kalpakjian Cox, Brittany Berger, Mike Goodman, Chris Lewis, Beth Summer, Angela Gibaldi, Greg Gibaldi, Davey Jones, Carmen LaPlaca, Ken Russo, Mark Brickman, Maddy Gentile, Brian Kish, Eric Gustafson, Matt Brady, Ian Compton, Laurel Wain, Jaycee Rogue, Tara Mandella, Guy Hodyl, DJ Don Champion, Adam Michael, Joe Vaas, Laura Vaas, Joshua Thibault, Samson Davis, Mark Pirro

Wish me luck. I appreciate all the love and support. If I have not yet responded to a message of yours, know that I care and will respond in due time. Thanks everyone ❤

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Michael Tietjen posted a new update:
about 1 year ago

Update #3

Do I look sick to you? This photo was taken in Flushing Queens right after my good buddy, Chris Lewis, got stuck in an elevator; immediately followed by his car being towed by the city of New York. Even with cancer, I still sit here contemplating who's day was worse. Fortunately, I am filled with loads of gratitude and a healthy perspective. A lot of that is thanks to your donations. With all of your help, I've been able to pay off numerous debts including: radiation treatments, visiting home nurses, labs, anesthesia, and surgeries. Having access to funding has also helped me pay for meals, airfare, lodging, green juices, talk therapy, prescription drugs, medical supplies, and a whole lot more. I recognize that I have it way easier than many others fighting disease, but the love and understanding of those around me has been paramount in helping me come to terms with what I've been going through. Big shout outs to the friends who've welcomed me into their homes with compassion and dignity. Those people include: Chris Lewis and Beth Summer, Ryan and Annaliese Spilken, and my dear friends Eric Gustafson and Matt Brady. I am happy to report that I have officially passed the 2/3 mark of my chemotherapy treatments! Still have plenty to endure, but the relief I feel in this moment is like nothing else. A very drunk man once told me "make sound decisions and listen to your thoughts." Happy Memorial Day :)

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