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Author Topic: A New Suit...(kinda)  (Read 11988 times)

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Offline AlanBama

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  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
A New Suit...(kinda)
« on: January 18, 2008, 11:03:53 PM »
I have a little story to tell you, and I think the LTSers, especially those like me who were "Lazarus Syndromers", will appreciate it.

In 1992, my bone marrow ceased to function.   I was severely ill, with sepsis, and had been in the hospital for many days.   My doctor came in, and the decision was made to discontinue all treatment, except pain control.   He instructed my partner, Mike, to take me home, and call hospice.   To me, he said "I hope all of your arrangements are in order."   

They were.

At that point in my life, I was a super-organized person.  After I had made the fateful trip to the funeral home to outline my wishes and draw up the plans, I sent my best and newest suit, a charcoal gray Austin Reed, to the dry cleaners.   We packed it in tissue paper and stored it in plastic, along with the shirt, tie and handkerchief I was to be "laid out" in.

That suit has followed me on all my successive moves over the years since then, but was never unpacked.  I recently dug it out of the deep recesses of my closet.  I shook it out, tried it on......and (after having a tailor let the waist out just a tad) I have a practically "brand new" seventeen year-old suit!

I am going to be confirmed at my church, by the Bishop of Alabama, on Feb. the 24th.   I am going to wear this suit (with a brand new shirt and tie).  If that isn't a "full circle" moment, I don't know what is.  If I get the opportunity, I will tell the Bishop the story behind my "new" suit.

Hugs,

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline Ann

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2008, 06:47:35 AM »
Oh Alan, that's a beautiful story! Brought a tear to my eye and warmed my heart. Thank you for sharing your "full circle" - a very apt way of putting it. I hope you manage to tell the Bishop.

Hugs,
Ann
xxx
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2008, 08:39:19 AM »
Hello Alan,

It was a very moving and emotional story. Thankyou for sharing it. You have a way about you, If I could,  I would reach right out and give you a hug or two !!  :-*


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 12/10/14,  t-cells are at 350,  Previous 8/25/14--- 402/ Viral load remains <40

 Current % is at 13% / Previous 8/25/14 11%

  
 63 years young.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2008, 08:56:16 AM »
That's a wonderful story Alan. Congratulations of the highest order on your special day.

sincerely,
Hal

ps course I'm jealous you can still fit in that suit, I wouldn't be able to fit in the car I had seventeen years ago. ;)

Offline aztecan

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2008, 09:22:18 AM »
Hey Hon,

That was a wonderful "full circle" event. I am so glad you shared it. It set a happy tone for the entire weekend.

I  bet you look snappy in that suit!

Congratulations on your upcoming special event too. I hope you get to tell the bishop the story behind the suit.

BIG HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline bear60

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2008, 09:50:01 AM »
Congratulations Alan. Its a rare thing indeed to be given a gift like you have been given.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008, 10:37:42 AM »
Wow Alan, I loved reading that story.  Congratulations on your being confirmed also.  I've got goosebumps!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2008, 01:08:00 PM »
Beautiful Story Alan!

I have to agree with the getting the goosebumps.  If I was able to attend our confirmation, I'd be standing up cheering!

Sharkie

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2008, 01:08:56 PM »
excuse me    YOUR  confirmation.

sorry the tears were gettin in my eyes while I was trying to type

Offline anniebc

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2008, 05:08:37 PM »
Thanks for sharing that with us Alan..I only wish the Doctor who told you to "get your affairs in order" could be there to see a remarkable man standing there in his Brand new seventeen your old suit...you know I will be with you in spirit on your special day.

{{{{hugs}}} from your friend in NZ

Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2008, 05:22:06 PM »
Alan  a great story and very happy ending to a sad beginning...It is wonderful how styles and people seem to come around  after a  time in the closet....   congratulations on the Confirmation.....

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Robert

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2008, 01:36:41 AM »
Alan....

what a remarkably Ohenry kind-of-like way you have about you.  I'm so happy for you.  It's certainly a reaffirmation of life that ony a long-term survivor could appreciate.

robert
..........

Offline allanq

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2008, 04:03:20 PM »
Alan,

Thank you for that beautiful story. Congratulations on your upcoming confirmation, and please do tell the Bishop about your "new" suit.

I'm glad the suit isn't from the 1970's. Fashions were pretty weird back then.

AllanQ
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline komnaes

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2008, 09:49:55 PM »
The real miracle is that it still fits after so many years! ;) Well, with a "tad" tailoring...
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline AlanBama

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2008, 10:28:05 PM »
Thanks for all the kind words, my friends.

Yes, Shaun it does still fit!   Except then I was a 30" waist, and now more like a 32" (thank you, lipodystrophy!).

Oh Allan, I remember those 70's suits!  I had a few, and they were all 100% polyester!    This one (thankfully) is a traditional 2-button, charcoal gray lightweight wool, very sober and kinda boring.....so maybe a bright new tie to spruce it up a bit....

I considered wearing my "best" suit, a navy pin-stripe (and considerably newer!) but I felt this one would be perfect for the occasion.   I'm going to ask my priest to tell the Bishop beforehand that he is about to confirm someone who is a 21 year long-term survivor of AIDS....not every day that happens to him (or any other Bishop, for that matter).

hugs,

Alan   :-*
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline OneTampa

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2008, 12:27:10 PM »
Man oh Man!  Give me a moment..... Alan, thank you, thank you, thank you!  Such a wonderful and apt story. I 'm just too through. Bless you dear man.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Lou-ah-vull

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2008, 05:01:15 PM »
Alan,

What a wonderful story!  Just like baptismal garments, your suit is really "clothes of the Resurrection!"  God is obviously using your extraordinary experience over the past few decades to continue the great work of ministry (the one that began in earnest a little over 2000 years ago.)  Congratulations on this newest step in your journey especially with such a significant suit of clothes!  As Prior says in the closing lines of "Angels in America":  You are fabulous people, all of you and I bless you.  More life!  The great work begins!"

Your friend and admirer,
Gary
Diagnosed Oct. 2005
10/05:  367 (26.2%), 24556 VL
01/06:  344 (24.6%), 86299 VL
04/06:  374 (22.0%), 87657 VL
05/06:  Began HAART 05/15/06, Combivir/Kaletra
07/06:  361 (27.8%), 1299 VL
10/06:  454 (32.4%), 55 VL
01/07:  499 (38.4%), UD
02/07:  Switched to Atripla 2/8/07
04/07:  566 (37.7%), UD
08/07:  761 (42.3%), UD
06/08:  659 (47.1%), UD
01/09:  613 (43.8%), UD
07/09:  616 (47.4%), UD
01/10:  530 (44.2%), UD
07/10:  636 (48.9%), UD
01/11:  627 (48.2%), UD
07/11:  840 (52.5%), UD
01/12:  920 (51.1%), UD
07/12:  857 (50.4%), 40
10/12:  UD
01/13:  710 (47.3%), UD
07/13:  886 (49.2%), UD
01/14:  985 (46.9%), UD
06/14:  823 (47.2%), UD

Offline minismom

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2008, 06:59:52 PM »
What a wonderful story!  You need to take a picture in your "new" suit and post it. 

mum
www.watoto.com
www.MotherBearProject.org
"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today...it's already tomorrow in Australia"  Charles Schultz

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2008, 01:02:38 AM »
Nice story Alan. I would also love to see you in it!
Positive since 1985

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2008, 09:44:25 PM »
Big kudos and hugs to you, Alan, for making this happen.

I want to see a picture of you in the suit. Full length, please.

More hugs,
Andy Velez

Offline joemutt

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2008, 04:25:18 AM »
What a beautiful story. Lov'yalots.

Offline gemini20

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2008, 06:13:47 PM »
Dear Alan,

I just wanted to send you best wishes for your confirmation tomorrow (24th Feb) and hope that you are able to share the story of the suit with the Bishop.

I'm sure the event will bring you much happiness and I hope we all get to see a photo of the outfit at some point.

Enjoy your special day.

Emma
Diagnosed 11th September 1991
Current CD4 count 484 (26%); viral load undetectable (December 2011).
Restarting boosted Prezista 08/04/11

Offline Snowangel

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2008, 08:11:33 PM »
Great story!  I hope you have a wonderful confirmation tomorrow, too!
Take care,
Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2008, 08:41:29 PM »
omg that's right!

Tomorrow is the DAY

Congrats!!!!!!!!!

Sharkie

Offline BT65

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2008, 06:58:30 PM »
Alan, you know we will want pictures! :-*
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline AlanBama

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2008, 09:18:08 PM »
Me and the Bishop

[attachment deleted by admin]
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2008, 09:29:51 PM »
Oh Alan, you look quite handsome! Very dashing!

I love the soul patch! When did you grow that?

Congratulations on the doings at your church and on your confirmation.

{{{{{BIG HAPPY HUGS}}}}}

Mark

P.S. - Your bishop must be quite tall!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2008, 09:32:04 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Snowangel

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2008, 09:45:56 PM »
Alan- You look VERY handsome, great color choice for the tie!  I hope the day felt as good as you looked!
Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline BT65

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2008, 10:25:23 PM »
Alan, you are such a handsome man.  I had to look over those pics several times because I like what I see. ;)

Congratulations!  You deserve something good! :-*
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline VM-Bass

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2008, 06:06:18 PM »
Congratulations on your awesome day yesterday.  Thanks for sharing it with us.  Love the suit. 

I just went back and reread the story at the beginning of the thread.  How awesome God is that He has guided you to this place and time. 
1/11/08                  4/14/08         6/12/08

CD4: 927                    838               883
CD4%: 42                    40                 47
Viral Load: 2170           926               173

The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel...
---Shakespeare

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2008, 11:52:00 PM »
Fantastic, thanks for sharing Alan.  You look quite handsome in your suit.

love.

Sharkie

Offline Ann

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2008, 06:34:51 AM »
Alan, you look gorgeous! The suit ain't bad either! ;)

Did you get to tell the Bishop the story of your suit?

Congratulatory hugs,
Ann
xxx

(who wonders when we'll get to see a photo of Alan's birthday suit!) ;D
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline AlanBama

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2008, 10:05:22 AM »
Thanks everybody!

Yes Ann, I did tell the story to the Bishop; he was a lovely man and he was very kind to me (he was HUGE too, 6'6" and about 375 lbs)

I tried to send my birthday suit to the cleaners but they sent it back...too many sags and wrinkles that they said there was NO WAY they could get out
 ;)

Remember when I first joined the forums?  I had a shirtless photo as my avatar?  That guy doesn't exist anymore.. :'(

Love,

Alan (who USED to be at least a 6 or 7, but now is more like a 1 or 2)  ;D
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline bear60

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2008, 12:40:01 PM »
Alan
Great photos that record a wonderful event in your life. Thanks for posting.

Joel aka Bear
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2008, 02:16:44 PM »
I tried to send my birthday suit to the cleaners but they sent it back...too many sags and wrinkles that they said there was NO WAY they could get out
 ;)

Alan (who USED to be at least a 6 or 7, but now is more like a 1 or 2)  ;D

Honey, you just didn't send it to the right cleaners. ;)
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Ann

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2008, 03:50:29 AM »
Honey, you just didn't send it to the right cleaners. ;)

Alan, I agree with Betty.

How about you bring that shirtless guy back for a reunion tour? ;) Sweetie, beauty is more than skin deep - and you're one of the most beautiful people I know. Love you, mate! :)

Hugs,
Ann
xxx
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline anniebc

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2008, 05:45:03 AM »
I can go one better than the shirtless Alan Ann, I have a photo of the handsome man in his swimming togs..but I'm not sharing it with anyone..it's all mine... ;)

Alan you already know how I feel about your confirmation day...so I'll just repeat what Ann said:

Quote
you're one of the most beautiful people I know

(((hugs))))
Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline scud44

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2008, 06:07:18 AM »
Congratulations Alan
- I hope you are able to keep the suit long enough for it to wear out

All the best

Regards
Scuddles
CD4 = 110 - 30 July 2007 - 10%
VL = 139000 - 30 July 2007
CD4 = 252 - 6th August 2007
VL = 16400 - 23rd August 2007
CD4 = 240 - 23rd August 2007
VL = 400 4th Sept 2007
CD4 = 96 - 4th Sept 2007
CD4 = 120 18th Sept 2007
VL = 386000 19th Nov 2007
CD4 = 160 19th Nov 2007
CD4 = 110 10th Jan 2008
CD4 = 311 29th Jan 2008
VL = <50 29th Jan 2008
CD4 = 148 2nd April 2008
VL = 110,000 2nd April 2008
June 2010 and nothing has improved

Offline BT65

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2008, 09:26:57 AM »
Alan, just wanted to chime in with what Ann & Jan have already said.  You are an extremely beautiful soul and I'm honored knowing you. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2008, 04:23:35 PM »
what a beautiful story!!it made me reflect on my long struggle with hiv and the struggle of all of us long time survivors.we are all stronger than we think and we keep up the fight!!!

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,430
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2008, 05:55:54 PM »
I can go one better than the shirtless Alan Ann, I have a photo of the handsome man in his swimming togs..but I'm not sharing it with anyone..it's all mine... ;)

Alan you already know how I feel about your confirmation day...so I'll just repeat what Ann said:

(((hugs))))
Jan :-*

Jan, sweetie, you aren't the only one with photos of Alan - and some others -  in their swimming gear. Alan did look good in his trunks, I must admit. (I burned the photos with me in them. UGH!)

Alan, I remember your shirtless photo. It was, in a word, hot.

You are much better than a 1 or 2. In my book, you will always be a 10.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline JR Gabbard

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  • Posts: 259
  • Union Jacks
Re: A New Suit...(kinda)
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2008, 12:22:29 PM »

I agree.  A beautiful story, and a very dapper gentleman.

Now I too want to see the skin shots.  ;)

XXOO    JR
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah!

L. Cohen

 


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