Cross Post

originally posted this picture on the main blog… but some people felt they couldn’t comment… so I’m posting it here again for freedom of speech.

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Is it any surprise?

What I ate yesterday..

  • Special K w/ Red Berries w/milk
  • 2 cups of Hills Bros Sugar Free Cappuccino coffee drink (mix)
  • A few pieces of Teriyaki Jerky and a handful  mini marshmallows
  • A philly steak hotpocket and green beans marinated in Balsamic vinegar
  • a small bowlful of BBQ potato chips
  • half a hamburger patty made with onion soup mix, and a serving of pasta made with bacon, peas, grilled onions and a Parmesan white sauce.

Soooo… is anyone surprised that my ankles look like sausages ready to pop (CANKLES anyone?) and that I’ve gained 8 pounds since I stepped on the scale a few days ago?

Today’s plan? Lotsa water. Nothing out of a box (except cereal), tea, veggies, fruit and more water.

Ugh…  my skin itches… maybe cuz it’s wanting to split!

no matter how I word this

it’s gonna sound “wrong”… bitter, selfish, bitchy…

As you know… (because every blog, message board and avatar is PINK!)… October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I love how people get involved and participate so whole-heartedly at great length. I love the “manly men” at rodeos, football games, Nascar races buck up and wear the color usually saved for little girls, sissies and queer bois. But, ya know… I’m a little… hm… concerned maybe is the right word. Frustrated. Irritated? Pissed off isn’t the right term… but I’ll be damned if I can’t think of how to describe what I’ve been feeling. Let me see if I can explain.

I told a long time “internet” friend of  mine over the phone a week or so ago about my diagnosis. We’d gone through our weight loss surgery’s together. She’d had a blockage/twist in her gut and had to have part of her.. i dunno… intestines, colon (do women have colons? must go google that!) removed and spent a few days in the hospital for emergency surgery. This was all soon after my hospital visit in 2007. I’m sorry, Jodi, if I have that wrong… forgive me… my memory is for shit lately.

Earlier that year she’d come out to California from Pittsburgh, Penn and we did a weekend at North Lake Tahoe. There was a group of us, but she and I had some bonding time and our friendship was special. When I gave her the news, she was surprised yet still supportive… honest when she didn’t have to be and shared some stuff with me that made me not feel so “out there”. But one thing she said has haunted me since our phone conversation… “HIV? AIDS? That’s so 1990’s!”

It’s true… people DON’T talk about HIV and AIDS anymore. People use condoms so they don’t get herpes, syphilis or pregnant… not because they might get AIDS. Most of the gay boys I know use condoms every time, or at least put off the vibe that they know they need to be safe. It’s just the norm (thank goodness). Needle exchanges are no longer a much publicized issue.  Even in Law Enforcement and Public Safety, more people are concerned with the Hep’s than the HIV.

People joke about “Swine Flu Monkey AIDS”…  When I was still trying to figure out what was wrong with me, a lot of people laughed and jeered “OH NOES! YOU GOTZ DA’AIDZ!”…. and I would laugh right along side them thinking “NO ONE GOT AIDS ANYMORE! chuckle chuckle, ha, ha, THANK GOD I TESTED NEGATIVE lawz!”

Except I’m not negative. Ya… my body doesn’t create the antibodies that show up in tests, so all that time I assumed I was negative… but I do have AIDS… I am HIV positive… and it could be a year before my numbers get me to a state where I can say I’m “just” HIV positive.

If that part doesn’t make sense… I’ll try and give you a Readers Digest version of how I understand it. AIDS is like an everyday cold… you have it when you show symptoms of it. It can come and go and will come and go… sometimes it will be mild, like a case of the sniffles and a sore throat… other times it will be “up all night with a hacking cough and fever”. HIV patients have AIDS when their numbers are skewed, but more often they show symptoms of opportunistic infections. See… learn something new every day.

Anyway… back to the beginning of my post. I’m all for supporting Cancer Research. I hate that people get Cancer. I hate that those who have to live with it are having to deal with icky treatments. I hate that those left after someone looses the fight have to live without their loved ones. I hate the Cancer.

But, and this is where I feel selfish, I want the awareness of HIV and AIDS to get the same support. the same love, as Cancer, without judgment… I have a red ribbon on my twitter avatar and I’m sure no one has ever noticed it. But if I were to start a huge campaign regarding my disease… I just don’t feel it would get the same support as Cancer. That makes me sad.

I don’t want people to have to choose… please don’t get me wrong… but I want the Susan G. Komen foundation and the Ryan White foundation to get equal press coverage. I want people to know that HIV and AIDS is out there, still... and it can “hide” in your body for 8 years without showing any symptoms… I want people, no matter what their sexual preference or assumed commitment status, to get an HIV test yearly… just like a mammogram.

I know right now if I started campaigning for HIV/AIDS research strongly, as strongly as some of my peers do for cancer, people would put two and two together… and the judging would start. “She was kinda slutty there for a bit…”, “Remember how drunk she was getting all the time after she and so-&-so split up?…” People will question if I used drugs… if I was into, dare I say, anything deviant. The only thing that won’t come up, is if I’m a gay man… but people will wonder if I was ever with a gay man… it’s already been questioned… and the answer to EVERY SINGLE ONE of these questions is I don’t know. I don’t know who gave me this… and whoever it was… obviously wasn’t all that honest with me about his past… so I won’t ever know… all I know is I have it… and I want the vaccine out sooner than later. I’ve accepted there is no cure… now let’s work on stopping it from going forward.

How do I do that? Do I swallow my pride and just… do it? It’s something I’ve been thinking about. Every time I see a pink ribbon or a request to sponsor someone in a Cancer walk… a tiny voice inside me screams “what about AIDS?”… and I need that voice to shut up.

This isn’t a contest… this isn’t a race. That disease and my disease aren’t better, worse or for that matter much different. If caught early and treated… those diagnosed can live a long, healthy life…

That being the case, how do I “get over” feeling jealous that Cancer is getting more support?

And, obviously, this is one of those posts I probably need to print out and show a professional….