Discussions that mention truvada

HIV/AIDS Living With board


Dearest Scavenaugh: When I was first diagnosed twelve year ago, my doctor (who is also one of my dearest friends) gave me at least one mantra for living: the numbers are only numbers, they neither reflect who you are nor how you feel. It was sage advise but not always advise I have taken to heart. I do get freaked out when the numbers (T-cell) dip and elated when the rise. When first diagnosed, my t-cell count was 200. It remained 200 for eleven years (viral load has always been undetectible) although the t-cells took a staggering dip to 84 last year. At that time, I began seeing a brillian hematologist/oncologist to help evaluate and treat my anemia. He determined that much of my problems with anemia was related to an enlarged spleen. Six days in the hospital, my spleen removed and my numbers began to climb (remember I'm not concerened about the numbers. Yeh, right!) and reached an all time high of 244. Now, did I go from having AIDS to not having AIDS? I just don't know and besides, it's all in the definitions. I simply can't define who I am by this disease. Know what I mean?

I started on meds right away - AZT, ddI, etc. and now I am on Truvada, Norvir, and Rayataz. While I still have some issues with anemia they are attempting to find out if my bone marrow is depressed (Holy Crap, I know I am!) or if I have an ulcer. I mention these anemia issues because what you have described is certainly indicative of that issue for me. Have you had a CBC lately?

We all think we're invincible, you know. And, by and large, we are. And, since people started 'living' with HIV, we all began to think that it's controllable. And, by and large, it is. But, there are these bumps-in-the-road, aren't there? And those bumps-in-the-road take a very heavy toll on our emotional and spiritual well being. (I have a friend who has been HIV+ for twenty years and jsut developed lymphoma. He is absolutely amazing! He is beacon for all of us who freak out with wandering lab values. I wish I could bottle his stamina, humor, and spirit!)

I think that your decision to take the meds is wise (despite that awful essay in Harper's Magazine last month!) and prudent. ANd, since you are in the Bay Area, I just know that there is more going on out there than just about anywhere.

There is so much more I want to add here but, for the time being, I want you to know that we are all rowing this boat together. You will be a wondrous rainbow for your friends and your family. Surround yourself with love, music, poetry, basketball, dogs, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Cioppino, whatever brings you joy.

We will be in the city in May, then driving to Carmel and Pacific Grove, and then returning to the city for four more days before flying back here. Whenever I am in San Francisco, I glory in just being there. We always hang out at City Lights, Sausalito, Grace Cathedral, and indulge ourselves just enough to get us through the next year or so. I will thinking about you and know that you will manage to get through this. love, chris