When I came out of the hospital,to be honest, I felt invincible.I felt that I hadbeat AIDS
And I wasfeeling better,I was taking the medications,I started putting on weight,I went back to work,and I did feel invinciblefor a while.So, um, I justcontinued to smoke.I smoked for nearly 30 years,and I wanted to quitfrom the beginning.But it was an addiction.And I couldn't stop.
So, I continued until...my life was threatened --seriously threatened.The last cigarettethat I smokedwas on the day that I was atthe studio where I work.And I was unable to reachmy hand into a plastic bagto pull a penout of the bag,and that's when I knewI was having a stroke.
Um, the doctors told me thatmy left arterywas completely blockedand my right arterywas 80% blocked.So, I needed surgery.I think that dealing with HIV ishard enough,and having HIV is a part ofyour life until you die.But smoking is something thatyou do have control over.Um...And taking every advantagethat you can to stop smokingis something that'sgoing to save you.Quitting smoking will beyour greatest achievement.
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