Friday, September 18, 2009


ITs been a VERY long while since my last blog. Several weeks after I wrote my last post I went to Augusta Georgia to compete in a leather title contest. I had a perfect score up until I had to drop out. Seems I contracted strep throat and on Fri Feb 13th I had a fever up there at about 104. I had classic symptoms, high sudden onset fever, VERY sore throat that I couldnt swallow, diarrhea and swollen glands. It was scary because the tylenol wasnt working to get my fever down so I had to put my feet in a cold water bath and get rags on my forehead to get my fever down. My heartbeat became erratic from the high fever so I knew I was in trouble. I had NEVER EVER been so sick in my life. In fact I didnt even know at the time what I had. I assumed it was the flu. I managed to drive home on Sun and stayed in bed for a week. It wasnt until the following Wednesday that I noticed that my urine was the color of golden blossom honey. I ran to my MD without making an appointment because I wasnt feeling well and I knew something was wrong. He asked me if I had been sick within the past 10 days. Of course I said yes. I was diagnosed with strep infection that went into my kidneys causing them to bleed.
I was put on THREE courses of 3 different antibiotics and sent to a kidney specialist. I had numerous blood tests and had to get tons of rest for the next 7 weeks. What scared me was when the PA mentioned the word cancer and went into all sorts of scenarios. MY blood was also tested for cancer makers which thankfully came back negative. It made me think of my friends who died of AIDS and it gave me a glimpse of what they must have gone through. I felt very alone and lost. I couldnt work out and I couldnt do much of anything. I tried not to get depressed and thats when the universe stepped in.
I got a phone call from a guy named Mario from out of the blue asking me to come join a group called Fusion which was located several blocks from my home. I thought it would be good to see what it was all about so I went to one of their leadership meetings which steered the organization.
THAT WAS The MOST important phone call I could have gotten. At that first meeting in February, I was asked to take on a project called American Heroes. On one of the walls were 3 names of those who made a difference in the gay liberation movement. Harvey Milk, Scott Hall and Pedro Zamora. There was a one page condensed biography with photo of them which was framed in an 8 by 11 frame.
I reluctantly agreed to spearhead the new project. My mind was on my kidneys and although I was in no pain I was scared shitless because of the complications that could set in. The specialist had me come back several times for more blood tests, urine tests and watching to see if my ankles and hands became swollen and if my blood pressure was on the rise; two very bad signs that my kidneys weren't working.
I began to work on *the Wall* and add more names. IT took my focus off me and I placed my attention on adding more names. The name of the wall was changed to nCOURAGEu which focused on these people who came before and those who stand up now to enourage you to be the best you can be. AS time went on, none of the complications set in. The specialist determined I had a mild case because as he put it, my urine didnt get the color of mahogony. By Memorial day week everything was back to normal with my blood and urine and the wall had grown substantially.
I spent the summer working on the wall and getting back into life. I got heavily BACK into the gym and I look better now than ever (Even if I have to say so myself)
The wall has a website, and has grown to 77 names. I have gone to different venues to talk about the project and have been well received. In August I went back to Augusta and this time to bring the project to the very same group I was in when I got so sick in February. Again the project was WELL received. Everyone was so glad to see me looking so good and whole.
I am now looking for a publisher to get this into book form. There are NO real books on the history of those who made substantial differences to the community and I would like to get this into every college and high school in the United States. You have bits and pieces but theres really nothing comprehensive. All of the proceeds will be donated back to the community. I dont have any right to make a profile off of other peoples lives and struggles. All I want is for others to learn what I have and benefit from it.
I often think that if I didnt get sick I would have likely won that leather title but look at what I would have missed out on. When you get sick like that it really not only humbles you it makes you realize how fast you can lose it all and that life is NOT infinite. I learned that lesson VERY well. I see things VERY differently now. MY focus isnt on finding Mr. Right anymore. What a waste of my time that was..Yeah hes out there and we'll run into each other when the time is right but if it doesnt happen I am not going to eat my heart out anymore bemoaning the fact that I am single. I am thankful to just be here.
When I went back to Augusta in August, one of the ladies there had a sister who had the EXACT same thing I had and on June 13, 2009 she DIED!!!!
It hit me that it could have been me, but it wasnt. I have work to do and that doesnt include bitching about being single or not finding the right guy. What a waste of my energy. I am REALLY ok now with being single. I now work with Fusion on other projects, with the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in a greater capacity (I'm one of the volunteer coordinators) and now with the Names Project (AIDS Memorial Quilt). I would have missed out on ALL of this but for one bacteria. Its odd how things happen...

ONE friend with the stage 4 liver cancer is STILL with us. The doctors dont know everything nor can they *predict* when ones time is VERY grateful to have him here yet and I got to throw him his 72nd birthday in July ... I may yet have him around for another holiday season.. I am VERY grateful....


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