An adult woman holding a hand to her mouth with a worried expression.

Dealing With the Worry of My Blood Sugar Increasing

I've recently been happy with my blood glucose levels and A1C. For the past 2 years, I have been taking Ozempic, which helps me regulate those numbers and keep them under control because I have type 2 diabetes.

But I have an upcoming medical treatment that may make those levels change. What do you do when you're scared of your numbers going up?

Managing cancer and type 2 diabetes

I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma last year. I had 2 surgeries called nephrectomies on both kidneys. After surgery, I thought all was well when I went to my last checkup. My left kidney was just stage 2, with no other problems or concerns. So, imagine my shock when the doctors said I'd need further treatment.

It seems my right kidney had stage 3 with a grade 4. The grading level is how aggressive the cancer cells are; mine is the highest.

Adding a new medicine to my treatment plan

The surgeons removed all the cancer for now, but with a grade 4, it is probable for the cancer to return. This is why I have to start taking the drug Keytruda.

I'm hesitant because adding this new drug to my treatment plan can potentially cause many side effects. Or, I can be lucky and experience no side effects. The point is a rare yet possible side effect of this immunotherapy drug is called pembrolizumab-induced diabetes.1

Fearing new possible side effects

Pembrolizumab-induced diabetes is one of the problematic side effects I fear. I don't want anything messing up my currently controlled blood sugar and A1C levels. I have my diabetes under control now, and I don't want things to go off course. But I have to take this drug, so I have to take comfort that many terrifying side effects are rare.

What if my blood sugar and A1C change?

Let's face it, being scared of your numbers going up is normal. And being scared of side effects is normal. Everyone has to make their own decisions regarding their medical care. Some refuse treatment, but I feel in my case, the benefits outweigh the risks. I certainly don't want the cancer to return, and I don't want to undergo future surgeries.

I guess there are many factors that may impact blood sugar levels, and this is just 1 of them. I'll have to keep a particular watch on my A1C and blood glucose, as I'm sure my oncologist will also. I'm hoping for the best outcome.

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You're not alone

As with anything serious, you can feel overwhelmed with the information. While many support groups are helpful, you tend to read the complaints more than the positive messages or experiences. I must ensure I'm not getting too scared to take this drug and at least give it a try to see if it works for me. Being scared of your numbers going up is a genuine concern, and if you're like me, I get it.

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