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Clinical trials & Support groups- YES !!!
Dec 28, 2001

Thank you, Dr. Dezube, for the valuable work you and all of the "AIDS Docs" do. The past two years have been awesome. (No, they've been hellish...) My viral load was way over a million, with stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, plus Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and MAC, and I weighed less than 100 lbs... I was dying. I've had CTs, MRIs, bone scans, bronchioscopies, biopsies blood tranfusions and more. But... I'm lucky to be in a clinical trial. My research and treatment team includes Drs. Pablo Tebas and Lee Ratner at Washington University in St. Louis (one of my alma maters). Rituximab and CHOP Chemotherapy was rough, with all the side effects. I'm currently on HAART plus Bactrim for PCP prophylaxis-- but my viral load is just about undetectable, my CD4 count is gradually improving, I'm not bald anymore, the fatigue is not so constant now and we'll beat these damned burning feet yet. Food Outreach is helping me gain weight (I'm now over 130 lb) and my cancer support group at the Wellness Community keeps me smiling. As Dr. Tebas said to me recently, some day we'll find a way to KILL that damned HIV bug, but right now, thanks to my team, friends and family, my theme song is "I'm still standing !!!". Sorry to be so long-winded but I hope this can help someone hang in there.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Wow! What a pleasant surprise to open my inbox and read your testimony to life! Your backing of both clinical trials and support groups is music to my ears. I'm a firm advocate of both of these entities. You deserve a big pat on your back. I imagine that you are on a whole new spiritual plain. You certainly have gone through hell; welcome back to the land of the living. My very best. BD.

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