Advice to a Friend with Disease Diagnosis

Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Belief systems, Expect synchronicity, Ken's Blogs

Advice to a Friend with Disease Diagnosis

If you were going through a disease diagnosis, how would you decide what to do next?

Do you know anyone that has recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or condition? Or someone that has just received a cancer diagnosis? What would your advice be to them? What would you do if it was you?

I know a very good friend and a few family members who have been diagnosed with MS, I have several friends that have been diagnosed with cancer over the years, a few family members have been diagnosed with diabetes. Sound familiar? Seems we all have friends or family members that have been diagnosed with something. Whenever this has happened to someone that I am close to, many thoughts go through my head.

I have been brought up inCanada all my life and have been raised by understanding the Western medicine doctor and pharmaceutical model. If I look back a few years, the first thought would have been that you should throw everything at it. Throw any and all drugs at the problem; whatever the latest and greatest is, do it. You have to look after your health and this is the best way. Yup, that would have been my first thought a few years ago, and it probably would have been my only thought. That’s all I knew, so there would have been no reason to consider even looking any further. A lot has changed in the last few years, at least for me. And that changes how I would answer the question at this moment.

I’ve learned (and experienced) that there are significant side effects to many of the drugs that we take to help us cope with disease states, and that much of the Western doctor and pharmaceutical approach is focused on dealing with managing symptoms and does little to work at getting to the root cause of disease. Yet I also know that for those that take the drugs to relieve symptoms, they can live a life with much less pain and discomfort, and for them that’s a very good thing. It seems to boil down to a quality of life versus quantity of life discussion.

I’ve learned that there are a lot of other ways to work through physical challenges. I’ve learned that there are many other types of Eastern and Western trained doctors such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, homeopaths, osteopaths, etc. that have been trained to look at physical symptoms in different ways, to try to diagnose and attempt to treat the root cause of the condition. I’ve learned that there are dietitians and nutritionists that have been trained to understand the impact that various foods have on our bodies. I’ve learned a lot about the field of energy work where there are reiki practitioners, sound healers, and vibrational energy healers, to name but a few. The list goes on and on, and every single one of these practitioners can point to success stories where their work has contributed to the improved health of many of their patients.

I’ve learned that many people believe that true health comes when there is balance between the mind, the body and the spiritual connection. Many people have experienced miracles and spontaneous remissions of disease states that no one can really explain. Many people believe that the mind itself and the power of our thoughts is an incredible healer and that by focusing on positive results, we can achieve significant positive results, and ultimate healing.

I’ve learned that there is also an entire group of people that have strong spiritual beliefs, and believe that many people are going through pain and suffering at this moment in time as part of their own personal transformation. Many liken it to the caterpillar that must go through all kinds of difficulties before it eventually transforms into a beautiful butterfly.

The good news is that I’ve learned a lot, the side effect is that it becomes harder and harder to offer advice to someone. With so many potential answers staring at you, how do you know which one is right for you? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic wand that you could just wave, and the answer would come to you? Even if it meant that there was a lot of work to do, you would be fine with that because you were confident that you were headed in the right direction. Yup, that would be great. So far, I haven’t found that magic wand.

So what advice would I offer to a friend that had just been diagnosed with a disease? I would still tell them to throw the kitchen sink at it. I would encourage them to investigate each of the alternatives to see which one(s) resonated with them, and I would very much share my beliefs that there was merit in examining the root cause of the condition. As much as that can be difficult to find, it seems to be the path to true healing. I’d also tell them to “put it out there”, ask the question to anyone that cared to listen, put out the question to the entire universe, because I believe the answer that is right for them will come to them. After all, what matters is the answer that is right for the person in the situation, not the answer that works best for the one offering the advice.

What would your advice be?

So I’m going to do exactly that right now. I’m going to put my question out to the universe.

I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and have been told that it is progressing. Yesterday I was told by my rheumatologist to think of the condition as you would think of lymphoma. Her strong recommendation is to throw a type of drug called biologics at it (you’ve probably seen the Enbrel ads on TV, that’s an example of a biologic), as biologics have been shown to manage the pain and spread of the inflammation associated with RA. I’m still investigating this option, and know that there can be severe side effects in some cases; this brings up the quality of life versus quantity of life discussion. That’s the recommendation from one member of the Western medicine teachings.

I’ve experienced the side effects of the medication approach where the drugs I was taking to treat the condition a few years back had the side effects of knocking out my hair. That’s okay, many people have told me that I look better and younger as a bald guy; I can live with that side effect. My rheumatologist told me at the time that I was the first person to lose their hair from this level of dosage of the drug. So I learned that I am sensitive to some of the drugs. I can’t deny though that the pain and suffering (aka the symptoms) had disappeared when I was on the drugs, and that added a certain quality to life.

I also happen to be a strong believer in the idea that if we can get to the root cause of any condition, we can deal with and heal the condition and related symptoms. I have been working with many health care practitioners that share this belief and I have been known to share that belief in this blog and to anyone that cares to listen. To this point, we haven’t found the root cause and have as of yet not resolved the condition.

So that’s the background. If I was your best friend, someone you cared deeply about, or someone that you happened to pass in the street and hear their story, what would your advice be? Do any of you carry the magic wand? What would you do if this was your story?

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Namaste, Ken

Written by Ken

Ken Jaques describes himself as a Health Care Evolutionary, Community Builder, and Speaker. True healing begins when we treat root causes instead of just masking symptoms. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008, Ken has experienced many facets of the health care system. As “the only patient who ever lost their hair on this low of a dosage of chemotherapy” – as spoken by his rheumatologist – Ken has been on an amazing journal of self-discovery, a journey of true healing. In his blog, Ken shares stories of how his beliefs have changed over the past few years, and how they are still changing. Is it possible that our bodies can heal themselves? Do we really have to live without hope after we receive a chronic illness diagnosis? These are the types of questions that Ken encourages people to ask themselves as they embark on their own physical or emotional healing journey.

Ken is creating a platform to connect People, Patients, Practitioners, Partners and Promoters, enabling a collaborative effort to help shift the focus on health from I-llness to We-llness. Check out the pilot at

“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, even I-llness becomes WE-llness” ~ Malcolm X


  1. Ken, first off, great to hear you enjoyed NFLD!
    I know of a few people with RA, senior guy I work with has suffered for 30 years. Best athlete I knew at Western.
    I have reached out to him to see what his thoughts are. He has tried many severe treatments over the years.

  2. Over the course of the past year I have explored a variety of healing modalities. What I am coming to is that heatling comes from within each of us. The modalities are the teachers and lessons on our path to healing. As part of our healing journey we have to remove blocks that prevent us from moving forward. Some blocks are so well hidden that we don’t see them. My belief is that we are complex beings made of energy that vibrates. Our vibration and energy is impacted by our surrounding, what we eat and how we think. I believe that our bodies continuously rebuild themselves. When we encounter dis-ease we have to take a step back and look at how we live, what we each and how happy we are. I would recommend step 1 – Feel Good, step 2 – eat healthy step 3 – laugh
    Find ways to identify and remove the hidden blocks;

  3. As someone who does care deeply, let me be blunt… take the damn drug. While I wholly believe in getting to the root cause, and anything else is treating the symptoms,not the cause, sometimes it takes a period of relief to clear the mind. When I was dealing with nearly overwhelming depression last summer, I tried my very best to avoid the happy pills. But until I started on my medication I was completely unable to deal with ANY emotions, and therefor unable to distinguish the cause of it all. I know that depression and RA are not the same thing, but I also know there is no way I could/would have gone to Calgary in November had I not decided on anti-depressants. Besides, inflammation is a result of the RA, but how can you hope to deal with the root cause(s) with that much inflammation, discomfort, and/or pain?
    Lastly, have you looked for a second opinion?

  4. Sasha makes some very good points and I agree about removing blocks which can often be very well hidden. I would suggest trying EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and also a lesser known process called ZPoint. ZPoint works with the subconscious mind and can bring real peace and clarity of thought. You’ll find it at I gained some amazing insights while doing the training and finally managed to change some repeating patterns which kept me stuck in a place I didn’t want to be! And the great thing is you don’t need to know what’s causing the problem as you work with the way you feel about it. Sometimes your subconscious throws up the answer but often the problem just clears without knowing what caused it. Good luck with whatever you decide to do and I hope you find lasting relief soon.

    • Had a friend in College (mom a life long Christian Scientist, which he suppdseoly became, last I heard.) who through his research had access to some pretty pure pharmaceutical stuff.He always claimed that the original (often plant-based) drugs were usually better than “new and improved.”Seemed true in those days:Certainly chewing Coca leaves must have been a healthier habit than refined stuff, and recently had a stay at the hospital which luckily has an enlightened pain-management policy.Hard to imagine how morphine could be improved on, at least for me, but feel no “need” for it now that pain is gone.(Worry about living w/o non-steroidals from now on a bit tho, so if you have a post on a safe substitute for those, I would appreciate the tip.)

  5. Feedback from a friend of a friend came in through e-mail, so am posting here with his approval.

    Thanks for the link re: your friends RA. I am currently on a biologic called Enbrel (the medical name of the drug is Etanercept). I self inject once per week and have been taking it now since 2001. It is working very, very well for me. I consider it a miracle drug in my case. I also take a drug called Methotrexate which is a chemotherapy drug primarily. I also inject it once a week otherwise I tend to get very nauseous. When I take it with the Enbrel the overall effect is very positive. I have no visible or noticeable side effects…..I am very fortunate that way as some people will experience some side effects.

    My advice to your friend is to hit the Rheumatoid as hard as possible with the highest level medication they can. Everyone’s physiology is different so different things will work for different folks. I speak to many organizations, patients, practitioner groups, even health care workers on the treatment and approach I’ve taken over 32 years with this disease. I’ve tried Naturopaths, diet, exercise, prayer, chiropractic etc. etc. over the past 32 years. None of it worked for any period of time in my case except effective prescription drug treatment and an unwavering attitude to beat it. I was told at age 21 when the disease was diagnosed (1980) that when I would be age 30 I’d likely be in a wheelchair……that was all I needed to make it a bit of a life’s mission to never let that happen. I started on NSAID’s, (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) then moved to DMARDS (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) and finally after some time on steroids to Biologics (Enbrel) in 2001. I wish they had biologics back in the early 1980’s when I was first diagnosed as they have been wonderful for me. I still play golf 50-60 rounds a year and walk almost every round. I work out between 125-150 days a year doing light weights, stretching, spin cycle and elliptical training. I am able to work full time and I travel upwards of 100 days a year for my job. I consider my quality of life as good as anyone I know.

    I do believe very strongly as well that a positive attitude and maintaining a degree of peace about your condition is critical to letting your body respond to the proper treatment. You need to be open to what you are taking and continuing to find ways to keep yourself going and improving.

    Hope these thoughts are helpful to your friend.

  6. Dear Ken;
    Looking back in time has it’s benefits – I couldn’t have stated my opinions when first we met in any case, so I offer my opinions in retrospect, if I may! Your question has released a dam of thought-flow that surprised me!

    Para #4 – Drugs do not have “side-effects”! Chemical concoctions create MANY effects; some may be helpful to some symptom or other, to some degree, but other effects assuredly create other problems, with VERY FEW exceptions!

    Drugs NEVER treat or “manage” SYMPTOMS, they may MASK – they TREAT nothing, in reality! That is the bitter TRUTH! Drugs are TOXIC in most cases, even at MINIMUM recommended dosages, and their effects are always ACCUMULATIVE! Drugs do NOTHING to treat underlying causes!

    A typical family M.D. might offer this advice: “Try to avoid ….”, as if we are so addicted to sugar, wheat, animal fats, butter, GMFs, soft drinks, hard drinks, etc., that we can’t be helped without their interventions with toxins!

    Para #5 – You name some sane alternative practices, but MOST require YOU to tell THEM what your problems are! For the most part, they still attempt to treat SYMPTOMS rather than the REASONS for the imbalances that cause the symptoms (DIS-EASE). Gangrene is a symptom, lack of blood (oxygen) is the problem, diabetes is the diagnosis and there is nothing in “medicine” that will nourish your metabolism or boost you immune system to cure the dis-ease labelled as “diabetes”!

    Chiropractics have been a life-line for me since 1980 – but my chiropractor has cured nothing! While I
    Love&Trust him, he RELIEVES symptoms! (For which I am eternally grateful!)

    Allopathic “medicine” is a huge contributor to our illnesses, along with WRONG diets and POISONOUS pollution, and to to the destruction of our metabolic balance and immune system in later life!

    A technology exists that offers analysis of one’s metabolism and it’s deficiencies and provides guidance – (naturopathic) for balancing one’s metabolism, thus restoring our immune system, helping each individual to restore God’s temple (our body) to it’s original purity! Strong words, I know, but Reality! & Truth!

    That technology, long a PROVEN methodology, is IRIDOLOGY, and there are practitioners in your area!

    There are 3, not 2, steps involved here – symptoms which indicate various CONDITIONS created by DEFICIENCIES which are CAUSES brought about by intake of unhealthy practices not limited to diet but include other environmental influences – stress, (fear, negativity, fear, dearth of spirituality, lack of family, loneliness, fear and …), then there’s false propaganda creating distorted views of reality, … need I go on? !

    The Divine structure of our world offers many cures for every human problem; addressing only health of our bodies, there are a multitude of natural cures for for everything from cancerous conditions to blindness; not the least of which is PhoenixTears! That is only one! Arguably the most efficient ever discovered, it is a Divine gift! It is often said that God helps those who help themselves! There is plenty enough around, so help yourself to as much as you can use!

    Namaste Ken. and to all my Brothers & Sisters who read this comment,

    May Light & Love prepare your path , wherever you choose to travel ! I am dave p

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