Apr 10, 2009
This week I got the result of my VL test at 4 weeks. It had dropped from 13.7 million to 8.12 million. That's only a 0.23 log drop, while I should achive a 2 log drop at 12 weeks for the treatement to make any sense at all. (According to the protocol, treatement should stop if less than a 2 log reduction is reached at 12 weeks.) I don't think my chances of getting the remaining 1.77 log in the next 8 weeks are very good. However, one person on this forum said he had a similar bad result, but did reach a 2 log drop at 12 weeks, and UND at 24 weeks. So there is hope.
Meanwhile, there will be a next VL test at 8 weeks. That should give a better indication. Given my side effects and the already slim chance of SVR (29%), I don't intend to finish this harsh 72 week treatement with odds that people normally accept from lotteries. Especially not, given the many promising drugs that are lining up like VX 950 (telaprevir), SCH 900518 (boceprevir), and BI 201335.
On top of that, I had planned a vacation between week 8 and 12, this was done before the decision to start treatement was made. My doc was adament that it would be very unwise to postpone the treatement for 3 months, due to my HIV. The latter is under control now (thanks to the IFN). If I could cancel my vacation, I would -- but I can't. The only thing I can do, is not go. I will go with my best friend, that does make things easier.
However, with such a small chance of success, I am seriously wondering if I should continue to 12 weeks, as the protocol demands. If I can do the next VL test at 7 weeks instead, and that test shows again a disappointing drop, then I can just as well stop at 8 weeks and enjoy more my vacation instead. I don't expect my doc to be thrilled by diverging from protocol (I know I wouldn't in her place), but I don't see the point of clinging to very dim chances.
My side effects so far:
- flu-like feelings
- decreased appettite
- decreased sex drive (I can do without it at the moment)
- depression & mood swings
- lack of concentration & anxiety
...and who knows what's next!