Hoping for Tomorrow on Today
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
September 2, 2011
This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.
When I woke this morning with tears streaming down my face, guilt gripped my very being. As I lay there I wondered how could I already be wishing for another day when God just blessed me with this one. "What's wrong with you woman?" I asked to myself. "Take it one day at a time." But at that moment, one day at a time seemed like an over used quote.
How could God expect me to deal with my weak and broken body that is chipping away at my spirit like a determined woodpecker? To hell with making it through the day like this; so sick from this IV medication that you can even hear it in my voice. Beat down from the herpes infection that I was wondering if they could just cut out my vagina and vulva to resolve this issue once and for all.
Everything that entered my head this morning was as ugly as the illness that I am facing. So the best I could do is hope for another day, with new thoughts that didn't compound my already defiled body. Yep, hoping for tomorrow on today seemed like the best solution, even if it was the most unrealistic solution. Wanting it to all go away was all I wanted at that moment. But I knew wishing it away was futile, it is what it is. Too late to change my destiny.
As I dragged myself out of the bed I knew that I had to face this battle like a true warrior. I had to find the strength to stand tall, when all I want to do is lean. The side effects of this medication sticks to you like gorilla glue and they never go away until you are off.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it was just one thing. And while I'm used to fatigue, this particular fatigue just wipes you out and you feel like nothing and the nausea is just maddening. But I think the worst of it all is trying to smile through the burning when I use the bathroom.
The medicine foscarnet is so strong that it burns your skin as you pee. I actually have to wash each time I use the bathroom or it will burn a sore. It's one thing to urinate over an open herpes lesion, it's another thing to urinate over an open lesion with a mixture of pee and a potent medication.
In the end hoping for tomorrow does not take away the reality of today. In the end, all I can really do is man up and get the hell out of my feelings. Yes, I'm tired ... Yes I'm sad ... but in the end, I have to face today and press my way.
I know in my heart that a better tomorrow will come one day, for that is God's promise to us. But God's time is not our to time, so I've just got to find the strength to continue pressing through the todays until I'm blessed with a better tomorrow.
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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
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