Have you ever read the works of a writer that you'd never met, yet you felt an inexplicable connection to? I have. His name was Robert DeAndreis. Five years ago, nearly the beginning of my life with HIV, I wrote a short post here on TheBody.com on how I spent the hours just before receiving confirmation of my diagnosis. In it, I shared about the power of Robert's words, the unique comfort they provided, and the loss I felt upon learning of his death.
Since 2007, my inner critic has been extra busy. Sure, he's always been a really, hard worker but since HIV moved in, he's been pulling extra shifts. First one in, last one out, and rarely takes a sick day. In fact, he does his job with such consistency and dedication that most of the time he goes unnoticed. Until recently, that is. My newfound awareness, after observing him in action, has brought me to the conclusion that it's time for him to take a much-needed vacation.
As she sleeps, I hear her snoring softly. To me, there is no sound more comforting; and is, quite possibly, the thing I will miss most. My dog, Wilma, has cancer and it's spreading inside her. With the wisdom of my trusted vet, I've decided not to pursue surgery or other procedures to prolong her life. She is resting comfortably now with the help of painkillers and steroids. I know in my heart that her ball fetching days are over. I am mentally preparing for life without her and making arrangements to have her euthanized in our home and to be buried in the country.
If you are an adult American, it is nearly impossible to forget where you were the morning of September 11th. If you are HIV positive, it is unlikely you can forget the moment you were first told that the deadly virus lives and replicates inside of you. I heard the news five years ago today. It changed the way I felt about myself and in some ways, how I viewed the world. Although I have already blogged here about that pivotal moment, I still wanted to post something to mark "our" anniversary.
There may be hope for me yet. According to a book I read recently, those who worry in moderation appear to outlive their overly cheerful counterparts. If that's really true, I may be around to blog for a very long time.
I am tattoo free. Saying that, along with having little or no desire to visit Facebook (never say never) can make me feel like the odd man out, at any given San Francisco event. (not an easy thing to do, if you've ever attended the Folsom Street Fair). But recently I have entertained the idea of permanently marking some of my skin with ink. Although you might be sporting full sleeves or a Komodo dragon that envelops your entire back, I'm thinking something a bit more discreet. I'm not completely decided on its placement but it's really just for me and it's really just one word. Not so much a statement but a personal reminder.
I know it's been quite some time since I posted an entry here. Admittedly, the content of my previous post was a bit on the gloomy side but the experience of writing it evolved into something surprisingly cathartic. I'm lucky to have lived to tell the tale and I am forever grateful that my days of running from the Devil are behind me.
I first read about the new gay cancer in the summer of 1982. Barely 18, my hormones are continually escalating and men are really starting to notice me. There are so many things I want to try with them but it isn't worth dying over.
After my previous post on essential oils, I received more inquiries on the topic than any other, by far. This made me feel hopeful for the HIV-positive community. Many of us are so bound to to Pharma that sometimes it's refreshing to have somewhere else to turn to support our compromised health and complement what modern medicines have to offer us.