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Author Topic: New Member  (Read 3314 times)

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LabRat

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New Member
« on: April 14, 2011, 10:24:47 AM »
I’ve been reading the LTS forum off and on for quite some time and decided to take the leap and join.  You are a great group…very supportive and informative.

I was diagnosed in ’93. I took the test during a routine physical because I was sure that I didn’t have the virus. My first t-cell count was 116. My doctor told me that I probably had the virus for quite some time. Naturally I was devastated and in shock. I was put on AZT, DDI and Bactrim.

I waited a year before telling my family. I drove from NY to Ohio with my Golden; tears in my eyes thinking about the emotional scene that I was about to encounter. This wasn’t going to be easy. I waited until after dinner one night and told my parents and my aunt. My older sister (who was very supportive) already knew and quickly left the room when she knew it was time.

I had a speech prepared but instead just told them outright. They stood in the kitchen like statues saying nothing. I then explained that if I was unable to work, that I had disability insurance to fall back on and that financially I should be OK. My Dad simply replied “Oh…that’s good.”  Then they all just walked away as if nothing had happened. I stood alone in the kitchen, stunned. My Golden walked up to me and I gave him a big hug. Besides my sister, he was the only family member that really understood.

An hour later my partner called to see how things went and to offer my family some advice and support. My Dad answered the phone “Oh hi John! How about those Indians, you watching the game?” John asked him to put me on the line. “You promised that you would tell them by 6PM.” I replied that I had…”What?!”  I said yes. John just couldn’t believe it. We spoke for a while then he asked to speak to my Dad, then my Mother. He let them know that he would be by my side, that I have an excellent doctor, etc. Oh good they both replied. That was it.

Like all of you, I’ve had many ups and downs and came very close to death. My family has never been there for me. I’ve relied on John and our friends in NY for help and support. I can honestly say that without John, I would not be here.

I’d like to end on a more positive note with the news that I have successfully cleared Hep C from my body! It has been 10 months since I completed the treatment and my test results are still negative. I now weigh more than I ever have (162) and also reached a t-cell count of an all time high of 300!

Online leatherman

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Re: New Member
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 11:01:21 AM »
welcome to the group!

I drove from NY to Ohio with my Golden
what part of Ohio?
I just left the Canton/Cleveland area after 25 yrs and moved back to the Carolinas. I know that there are several other members here scattered around OH.

I drove from NY to Ohio with my Golden
...
I can honestly say that without John, I would not be here.
Aren't  dogs and partners the best?!?
Heaven knows without my cocker spaniels I wouldn't be here today. Their love has kept me going through the worst of times. (sometimes it works in reverse too. yesterday when I took one of my 3 boyz to the vet and learned he has cancer it had me crying for him and for my late partner who was in the hospital 3 yrs ago this time of year. but getting my boy home and cuddling with him sure helped alot - even if he was still all doped up wobbly and floppy for most of the evening. LOL)

reached a t-cell count of an all time high of 300!
Congrats on the 300!
I was dx'ed back in 92 and finally hit 305, 311, and 318 in the last 2 yrs. Now I'm back down to my average though around 250. C'est la vie. LOL I just passed the 13 yr anniversary of the last time I was in the hospital, so I'm not complaining about my tcells, those little buggers are really working well.

I was put on AZT, DDI and Bactrim.
So what sort of regimen are you on now?
Surely not still on the AZT, right? LOL How about that Bactrim though? My cd4s stayed so low that I stayed on Bactrim for 10 yrs. When I finally consistently stayed around that 250 mark, I finally dropped that.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline denb45

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Re: New Member
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 11:06:29 AM »
Welcome, were all a funny, kinky, tatered and older lot, but, we aint dead yet  ;D I'm glad your here, there's strength in number ya know  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline bear60

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Re: New Member
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 11:54:52 AM »
Just wanted to stop in and say HI!
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Theyer

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Re: New Member
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 12:32:54 PM »
Welcome Mr Labrat,
Families ,yours sound quietly extreme,your father happy to talk sports with you bf, but unable to broach the A word.
Never underestimate the power off denial.
Your story bought my Gay coming out story back to me, something about the kitchen as that's where I told mama and papa. Papa decided he no longer liked mama.s choice off table ware and instead off washing the dishes smashed them!
How we never mentioned that again.
Its OK though in that respect he came along way my beloved late Father.
Anyway welcome again
theyer
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline AlanBama

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Re: New Member
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 02:34:13 PM »
Hi, and welcome!  Glad you've joined us.

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

LabRat

  • Guest
Re: New Member
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 05:32:27 PM »
Thanks for the welcome! It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside!

I guess I'll fill in some of the blanks from my intro:

I'm 56, left the Cleveland area 34 years ago after college.

My family's middle name is denial. My Dad also made a lot of progress. He actually hugged me a few times and told me he loved me before his death 2 1/2 years ago.

I'm still on Bactrim. A few months ago my doctor told me that he was thinking about taking me off it when my t's hit 290, but then they went back down to 250. Maybe I still have a chance now that I am back up to 300...just have to stay there!

I'm currently taking: Viread, Epivir, Sustiva, Isentress, plus Lipitor, Enalapril (for my kidneys), and Toprol.

So sorry to hear about your cocker spaniel Leatherman. I know...my heart goes out to you.

I lost my first Golden when he was 8 years old to cancer. It was very difficult. He sensed when I was really sick and just stayed by my side. He was my best buddy.
Last May, just before I fully completed my Hep C treatment, I lost my 2nd Golden also to cancer. He was 2 weeks shy of his 10th birthday. We were a real team. I miss him so much.

My partner of 25 years is negative and has been with me from the very start. He could have walked away when I was first diagnosed, but that is not his nature. I know that I've been very difficult to deal with at times, but his love for me has remained unshaken. I know that I am truly blessed.


Offline CaptCarl

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Re: New Member
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011, 06:26:50 PM »
Lab-
   Welcome to the forums! Glad to hear you have a suppportive partner and dogs, I do as well, and they definitely make life easier and more enjoyable.

   From your families reaction, yeah, denial seems to be the order of the day. My family was pretty good about it, except the brother, whose middle name also seems to be Denial ;)

   Congrats on the HepC thing. Clearing that shit isn't easy, I'm co-infected with HepB, so I know what that must have ben like for you.

   Hope to read more of your posts, I like your style.

CaptCarl
The only thing I can do straight is shoot..

Online leatherman

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Re: New Member
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 06:44:47 PM »
I'm still on Bactrim. A few months ago my doctor told me that he was thinking about taking me off it when my t's hit 290, but then they went back down to 250.
ouch! That's a long time. How long since you've been in a hospital or had pnuemonia? My doctor started talking to me about going off Bactrim after about 5 yrs of consistently around 250 (since it's really only prescribed at 200 and less). I was sorta scared but by then I had been out of the hospital for a long time and kept consistent cd4 numbers with an UD VL. (In the long run I've lived with >150 and <250 for nearly 20 yrs, been off the bactrim for 7 or 8 yrs, and was last in the hospital, with PCP, 13 yrs ago.)

So sorry to hear about your cocker spaniel Leatherman. I know...my heart goes out to you.

I lost my first Golden when he was 8 years old to cancer. It was very difficult. He sensed when I was really sick and just stayed by my side. He was my best buddy.
Last May, just before I fully completed my Hep C treatment, I lost my 2nd Golden also to cancer. He was 2 weeks shy of his 10th birthday. We were a real team. I miss him so much.
Thank you, but at least my cocker is still here for the time being. Right now I have him and his two brothers, who are all the great-great grandsons of my first spaniel. My first partner got me our first spaniel, and while we owned a pet store, we kept puppy after puppy from this line of dogs. I've already lost 1 thru 8; and it's just getting to be that time (they're 12, 11 and 11 yrs old) for cockers 9, 10, and 11 to be leaving me soon. It's a shame their lives aren't longer - especially with all the love and companionship they bring to our relationships wtih them.

So does that mean that you're dog-less now? You know how they can actually make you healthier and happier  ;D so I hope your looking for another buddy if you haven't already gotten one.

I'm 56, left the Cleveland area 34 years ago after college.
Yea, Cleveland! I lived in Cleveland for a few yrs in the 80s. One of our moderators, Ann, also lived in Cleveland; but quite a few years ago before moving to the other side of the Atlantic.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline wolfter

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Re: New Member
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 12:13:18 AM »
Welcome from a fellow Ohioan. 
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

LabRat

  • Guest
Re: New Member
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2011, 04:17:37 PM »
I’m glad to see that there are other former Ohioans here…O-H!

Yes Carl, the hep C treatment was tough and I’m very fortunate to not only complete the treatment but to be successful as well.  I had 48 weeks of six pills a day plus one injection a week. The side effects not only affected me physically, but mentally as well.  Toward the end of treatment, I was basically home bound but I would not give up. We are survivors…we never give up!

My doctor was surprised that I actually cleared the virus. He is somewhat of a celebrity now among his peers. We are the only couple that they have ever heard of that cleared the virus. My partner had Hep B and cleared the virus after treatment about 5 years ago.

It seems like I’ve been taking Bactrim forever. One less pill a day sounds like heaven. I’ve been lucky and have never had pcp or been in the hospital for anything other than those wonderful “outpatient procedures.”
I did however have 0 t-cells for four years. Like most of the group, I came down with every OI in the book. During that time I remember walking my first Golden around my apt. complex. A neighbor came up to me to chat about dogs. He remarked that it was such a shame that our favorite companions have such a short life span and that we outlive them. I immediately thought that in my case, my Golden will most likely outlive me! Thank God we all survived.

It has been almost a year and I still can’t used to being dog-less. The residents of my building rarely saw one without the other, and most of them only knew the name of my dog. I was simply known as “Jake’s Dad.”  I plan to wait a while before adopting another dog…(famous last words)!

Offline Sfteve

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Re: New Member
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2011, 04:51:21 PM »
Hi Lab!

Telling our families about HIV is not easy because of the stigma it carries along. Sometimes it is easier to say Diabetes, Cancer, etc, etc. Accepting it is already difficult, sharing with other family and friends is simply unacceptable due to self-inflicted shame. Don´t be harsh or disappointed at them. Take advantage of those times when they may talk about their pains and aches, jump in with your own issues and what you do to make it better. It take some educating before they realize that your conditions is part of life just like theirs.

It will get better.



 

 
HIV since 1984, Cancer survivor since 1996.
Tcells= 678, Undetectable
Prezista
Truvada
Norvir

Online leatherman

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Re: New Member
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2011, 05:16:35 PM »
I plan to wait a while before adopting another dog…(famous last words)!
be careful! don't go looking at any puppies. ;D That's what did me in! ::)

I would get invited to see the pups sired by some of my "kids" that I had sold and would fall for getting one of those pups every time. I mean it's like they were my grandchildren! And then those dogs would had puppies, and I kept some of them, and well ... eventually we had a pack of seven! which is a lot of dogs - and a lot of hair, let me tell you! After my first partner passed away, I had let some of the dogs pass away too because there were so many to care for; but then the house got too quite. So I got invited to see more pups related to the "family" (some of the great grandkids) and I acquired a few more until pack #2 had four members. Gosh, it was like having a crack addiction or something LOL

Since it's just me now, with memories of my late partners and dogs, I'm going to wait till I'm down to one (which may not be all that way in the future at this rate.  :'( ) before I get only ONE replacement. It's going to be weird only having one dog, but I don't think I could last even a day with no dog at all.

I hope you change you mind, and find yourself a new companion in the near future. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline BT65

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Re: New Member
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2011, 05:50:42 PM »
Lab, just wanted to say welcome!

Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Ohyesme2

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Re: New Member
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 04:33:02 PM »
I am new to this site too.Ihavent figured out how to post or anything yet but i am trying.Hay I was diagnosed in 1992 after my husband of 2 years was diagnosed,and 4 months later passed. Now reaching the 20 year mark and my 16th anniversary of my 2nd marrage,added bonus my son will be 18 this fall:)

Offline aztecan

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Re: New Member
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2011, 01:41:45 AM »
Hey Labrat,

Welcome aboard. Just wanted to say hi and glad you have joined in.

hey Ohyesme2,

Glad you are here too. When you get a chance, tell us a bit more about yourself, if you wish.

HUGS,

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

Offline BT65

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Re: New Member
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2011, 06:13:56 AM »
Welcome Ohyesme2, like Aztecan says, tell us about yourself.  I'd love to get to know more!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


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