HIV

‘I’m not feeling well.’ I called my husband. I remember crying, thinking the only thing I wanted was my mom.’: Widow laments loss of husband during thyroid cancer journey, ‘he always knew how to put my mind at ease’

“I was preoccupied with thoughts of whether this was ‘normal.’ Fast forward 14 years and I can tell you, I feel differently. In 48 hours, my parents will be here to take care of my children and I because my husband is not. The possibility of cancer this time of year is all too familiar. And as I sit here, alone, avoiding all the dishes I’ve let pile up and the 7 loads of laundry, all I can think is that I want my husband.”

‘We need to make her soup so she feels better!’ I had to explain to my 5-year-old his sister was going to heaven.’: Mom loses daughter to Neuroblastoma, ‘we will never forget our brave, beautiful warrior’

“I watched her breathe so slowly. ‘It’s okay to go now. You won’t be in pain anymore.’ At 9:14 p.m. she took her last breath. Her brothers cuddled her one last time and said their final goodbyes. There’s something about seeing your 5-year-old carrying a tiny little casket that will break your heart and make you so proud all at the same time. He was always holding his little sister, even in death.”

‘I loved my older cousin. At 8, I learned the only way to be friends with him was to have sex with him.’: Daughter and mother in addiction recovery together after years of childhood trauma, ‘If that isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is’

“I remember the bright red carpet in his closet. This ongoing ‘event’ became our secret, I held onto this secret for close to 15 years. I never got over what happened to me, I stuffed it so far down. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I finally surrendered. I had enough. I needed to give myself a chance to live.”

‘Please, don’t let them forget me.’ It was as if time stood still. ‘Do you want to come off the ventilator?’ He nodded yes.’: Woman loses husband to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, leaves behind death letter ‘asking everyone to donate blood’

“In weeks, my husband went from being able to drive to and from work, to having to be driven to work, to working from home. One day, got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. He was so unsteady that I held my breath while I listened for him to return to bed. He made a stop in our children’s rooms to give them each a kiss. I had this terrible thought it would be the last time he’d do so.”

‘She was HIV+ and we knew she was our daughter. Time stopped when we saw her. She was absolutely beautiful and perfect, but her oversized clothes hung loosely on her tiny frail body.’: Couple adopt HIV+ daughter, now pregnant with ‘miracle’ baby

“We were looking for a child with HIV. When we learned she was positive, we KNEW she was the one. She was 2 years old and only weighed 15 pounds. I started seeing a trauma counselor. James learned how to breathe in public again, knowing no one was coming after us. Then BAM – Morning sickness!”

‘Why did he choose ME?’ I lay in a hospital bed, the nurse conducting a rape kit after I’d slept in my cousin’s bed.’: Woman overcomes sexual trauma with help from son, ‘there is finally joy in our life’

“I told my cousin I needed to lie down. He offered his bedroom to me. I didn’t think twice about it. I was safe. I was with family. I went to sleep. The next thing I know, my body was rocking. There was pressure. Unrecognizable pressure. Someone was behind me.”

‘My friends invited me for a weekend getaway. I got a few itchy bites. ‘Are you pregnant?’ ‘Maybe it’s bacterial?’ This was a disease I had never heard of. There is NO cure for it.’

“I assumed it was the flu. I drank plenty of fluids and stayed in bed. But I wasn’t getting better. I had shooting pains all the way up my spine, as if someone was sawing me open. I went back to the doctor. ‘I think it’s food poisoning.’ ‘Maybe cancer.’ ‘HIV.’ ‘Is it possible you’re pregnant?’ No.”

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