It was with great sadness that I read the article in View on Marty James. I, too, watched the tortured death of someone in my family from Hodgkin's disease; my younger sister died six days before her 20th birthday. Several years later I was friend, lover and nurse to a man dying of AIDS. I have certain empathy for Marty James because more than once I wished for peace for both of those faces; faces I loved but could hardly recognize through the distortion of pain and suffering.
However, more than any other emotion, I feel pity for James. He, like so many, have looked out life's window only to find a mirror, and in that mirror they see death and loneliness and pain, none of which they can bear so they grasp for a final release, or so they imagine, for themselves and those who are now cursed with their compassion.
I have AIDS. I was hospitalized in September of 1986 with the opportunistic infection PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia). Since then, I have had no recurrence of this disease nor the occurrence of any other. I am 100% asymptomatic for AIDS, continue to work full time and have for the last two years.