It’s raining again. Of course it is, I am off of work today, so it just HAD to freaking rain. It feels like that every day that I have had off this month, and that I have planned outdoor work activities around my house, it has decided to be a rainy day. Today it’s just been miserable drizzle all day long. I did end up having to unload my truck (ok, it’s an SUV, but to me it’s “the truck” because that’s just what I am used to calling my vehicles, which are usually pick-up trucks but this time around I went with an SUV in an attempt to sort of act more my age I think…something about carrying passengers more comfortably, and not stuffing them behind the seats of the pick-up trucks, etc.)
I got my blood drawn and tested last Thursday. It was part of my quarterly check up on my HIV infection. I got the results of the major tests today…get this…763 T-cells!!!!! Un-fucking-believable! And an undetectable viral burden, meaning the amount of HIV in my blood cannot be detected even with ultra-sensitive PCR testing! Yes, I am a fucking machine! My body is healthier and stronger than it’s been ever I think. And I feel remarkably GOOD on top of it all. I do think that mental attitude has a lot to do with my success, as well as the grace of God and modern science and medicine. It’s just unreal that I have lived with this virus for over 25 years now and I have done very well, especially the last 15 years or so. In the beginning when I was bouncing from anti-retroviral drug to another and suffering the side-effects of the evil chemotherapy it wasn’t quite so good. I did have to go through a period where I was pretty sick, and scared that I wasn’t going to live to see 35…but I hung in there and modern science came through with newer stronger drugs.
Today I take a 4 drug cocktail (consisting of Isentress, Viread, Norvir and Prezista) once a day and my immune system response to this cocktail has been nothing short of amazing. I am healthier now than I was when I diagnosed positive in 1992. And the world of anti HIV drugs has expanded greatly since those early days of massive doses of AZT (which was actually developed in 1962 as a cancer fighting drug, and shelved because of it’s toxic side-effects).
I am very lucky. I have a strong immune system, and it’s responding well to the drug regimen. I have a great supportive and loving family that doesn’t treat me any different because of my seuro-positive status. They have been my rock of Gibraltar throughout my fight with this disease. Thank God for them, and also for the support and love of numerous friends and relatives throughout my life.
Someone close to me told me recently to always surround myself with the best people for me. This thought has echoed through my thoughts for a few days now, and I absolutely see the validity of this statement. It’s those that you associate with that you assimilate. In the days when I was hanging out with some sketchy, shady characters I was a sketchy shady character myself. And now because I choose the best people to have in my life, I am the best I can possibly be myself. So I will always now be very careful in the choosing of my friends, because it IS important that they are the best people to have in my life.
I wanted to take a second here to recognize butchcountry67 ‘s 100th blog post! I follow this blog daily, and it’s very interesting, touching and sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious. I loved this particular 100th post because it was so informative and had links to some of the best blogs on WordPress that BC67 follows! Plus, I thank BC67 for the “shout out” in the blog, linking back to my blog here. It’s these connections that we make through our writing that bring us all closer together and also gives us the strength and courage to keep blogging like we all do. I am going to do a similar post listing many of the bloggers that I follow and a bit about them like butchcountry67 did, it’s a very good idea, and as we know we bloggers like to snitch an idea – especially if it’s shiney and moves! – from each other on occasion.
**I just found out that Leslie Feinberg, author of “Stone Butch Blues” and Butch/Transgender pioneer, and friend to many, died this morning….wow…I don’t quite know what to think or how to respond at this moment. Today I had been thinking of friends that I have lost over the years, but I didn’t expect to lose another one today….RIP Leslie, you were the Butch of all Butches, and a very big inspiration to us all.