So I got the news today that after 46 weeks of Treatment for HEP C that the virus is still detectable in my blood.
I have genotype 1A and have been on Pegetron since September 2007, doing a 48 week course of weekly injections and 5 Ribavirin a day. My viral load was something like 1,141,000 PRIOR to treating, and think stage / grade was 1.5 & 2. After twelve weeks they tested the viral load, and I had achieved ‘close enough’ to a two log drop (which translate to a drop to a level of 10’s of thousands from millions?).
What this means is that I was to continue treating and push for a further drop to the desired “undetectable” level. After 46 weeks I did the viral load test last week, and was informed today that I am still detectable, although the viral load is still dropping, and that I am a “slow responder”.
Now what? I had asked my nurse ALL along, throughout the treatment, if we would be able to extend treatment IF I had not achieved the viral responses, and was repeatedly told that in her experience it is not feasible. She said that it was her experience that the doctors in Canada do not seem to go for extended treatment and that this was partly due to difficulty getting approval for an extended “section 8”: (read government approval for funding assistance). I referenced the practice that I had read about in the USA where treatment can be extended from 48 weeks to 72 weeks to improve the response and sustain it.
When I met with my doctor last week, this was the first thing he said- we may have to extend treatment if the virus is still detected, another 6 months he said, and ordered the blood work so there would not be an interruption in treating as my last ‘originally’ scheduled injection would have been this Friday August 8th.
So not I am here- days away from what I thought would be my last injection- sad that I have to go, yet determined to continue to battle. Besides the most obvious reasons for wishing treatment to be done, like an end to the terrifically horrible, cycling, various and ever present side effects I think I am more focussed on my the fact that I will have to delay getting my hair done – (lightened or red, whoo hoo,) and getting a new bed set- as mine has suffered horribly through this hell too!
So- what is the purpose of this post? Really, I think I just wanted to inform you all of what is up. There are a few more specifics that I hope to attain, and will actually post more direct questions to seek your experience, strength and hope in following posts, as I think this is more of a vent here.
Thank you all for listening, and for allowing me to share my news with you. Thank you all for being here for me throughout this treatment. Although I do not have the energy to post much, I do read and stay in contact with this forum and believe it has been a great source of comfort to know I am not alone.
Albany – from Toronto , ON