Happy Thanksgiving!  Today I will be taking my 28th pill of Harvoni with 28 more to go on my eight week treatment plan.  I am doing pretty well.  I have been really tired for the last few weeks and haven’t been sleeping well.  I am utterly exhausted in the evenings by 9:00 PM and I go to sleep but then I am awake by midnight and then toss and turn the remainder of the night still too sleepy and tired to read or watch TV or blog but not sleepy enough to actually sleep it seems. 

My one month follow-up with the doctor is on Monday, December 1.   In addition to blood tests to monitor my treatment progress, the doctor and I are going to discuss if eight weeks on Harvoni is really enough since there seems to be some concern in the HCV specialist community that a longer treatment duration may be prudent although I don’t think there is enough data to know for sure either way.  Unless something crazy has happened since the my one week follow-up, I suspect my viral load will be undetectable since it had dropped from 224,994 to 172 in the first eight days.  I obviously want it to stay undetectable and achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR) for 24 weeks after completion of my Harvoni treatment.  More to come on this.

I read an interesting article that can be found here that discusses SVR and what it means to those of us that have HCV beyond being cured. According to the article, patients that achieve SVR even if we have cirrhosis at the start of the treatment see a reversal of inflammation and fibrosis, a reduction in the risk for insulin resistance (I didn’t know that HCV caused that?), and fewer liver-related complications, fewer liver cancers, and fewer liver-related deaths.  Those are all wonderful things.

So for this Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful for family, friends, and the opportunity for a cure that Harvoni may provide me.