I have AIDS and have been through the mill with opportunistic infections, treatments, drugs, and doctors. In 1996, I became very weak after receiving several chemo therapy treatments for my karposi sarcoma (KS). My blood counts went south, I became very weak and proceeded to contract MAC (a bacterial infection) and CMV within weeks of each other. It was truly horrible emotionally and physically.
I had to have a catheter inserted into a vein in my arm so that I could infuse two different drugs to fight the MAC and CMV. The infusions made me really sick and even weaker. I also had to give myself injections of two different drugs to help boost my blood counts. I lost a lot of weight, and my body was beginning to shut down. My doctor had advised me to get my things in order because I wasn't responding to my therapy. I wrote up my will and named my lover as executor.
I gave up on God and gave up on myself. I was tired of being sick and tired and gave in to HIV. I actually wanted to die. I just wanted it to be over with. Somehow, (I believe through the prayers of my lover) I began to get a little stronger. I still, however hung on to my death wish.
Prior to becoming really sick, I had been attending a healing service given by a priest and woman with the healing power of prayer. I returned in the hopes of receiving some final graces before I making my final exit. At that service, the woman (Maryanne) spoke about having a choice between life and death. That we can make the choice. I was taken aback. It was as though she was speaking directly to me! I then, at that moment, decided to chose life and start fighting again. I very gradually began to regain my health. My doctor was really surprised at my progress.
Through my prayers, and meditation, I received the gift of hope. Hope for the future and hope for God's help with everything I was going through. I also learned that for healing to work, that I must participate. You can't expect healing to occur if you don't use your God given free will to let go of negative thoughts, guilt, anger, a sense of unworthiness, unforgiveness and the sense of resignation to illness. All of these things serve as a block to God's healing power. I pray for the removal of anything that is blocking God's healing light, and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit and His wonderful sense of peace and love.
My prayers have been and are being answered. I have a much deeper spiritual life and I thank God everyday for the graces and blessings he has given me; including one of the greatest gifts He has given me...hope.
J. Michael Clark