I am a 75 year old newly diagnosed diabetic. I became a diabetic on 9/11/2018. Initially diagnosed as Type 2. By 12/7/2018 diagnosis was changed to Type I. (Just thought very ironic dates 9/11 & 12/7).
My age may seem unique for a “newby”. So, here’s some history.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with late stage 2 melanoma. I had a wide area incision and sentinel lymph node procedure and I was Ok. Eleven years later I was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. I was subsequently accepted into a clinical test program which required infusions of immune therapy drug, Keytruda, every 3 weeks for a year. During the year I had numerous low grade side effects. (Nothing really to write home about.). In May 2018 I was done with the infusions. The side effects abated and I thought I was done.
In Sept 2018, I scheduled a routine colonoscopy that I had delayed due to the melanoma treat. At first all went well. Then about a day later I started to dry up. I have difficulty brushing my teeth due to lack of saliva. a couple days later I was taken via ambulance, unconscious to the hospital. The first thing I remember is being in ICU. Later that day an endocrinology visited me and advised that I had a diabetic seizure. My glucose upon arrival at the ER was 1075 mg. I told her that I had no history of diabetes. My glucose readings for years was 99-100, and my A1C was 5.5. As the discussion continued, I advised of my melanoma history and the Keytruda test study. She then responded that that explained the diabetes. Keytruda was her nemesis. Had seen many Keytruda patients with Type 1 diabetes. (Actually, the latest studies show that 1 in a thousand (0.1%) patients on Keytruda get Type 1 diabetes and 0.5% of patients with Keytruda side effects get Type 1 diabetes.
So, what happened with me was that Keytruda damaged my pancreas, but not to the extent of causing diabetes. However, the colonoscopy with it’s Gatorade/Miralax kicked my glucose up, and then the anesthesia put it over the top.
Merck/Keytruda website and TV advertisement are still silent about the relationship.
I am coping well. I have spikes from time to time. In 3 months my A1C has dropped from 8.8 to 7.5.