By Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC

I am Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC and I have pancreatic cancer. In fact, I have lived with cancer since 2012. I hope to share in my blog my journey and my reflections on the presence of God in my life. It is my hope that those who read my entries will find strength for their own journeys.


The summer heat is upon us and I must say that I do not like it. I am not much of a summer person although I like watching nature in its summer activity around me.

Nothing much new to report about my cancer. I will be having some blood tests next week, but it will be mid-July before I have my next MRI and scan. I am in the process of deciding whether to join an immune study at Washington University in St. Louis. Studies indicate this therapy is helping with many types of cancer, but the jury is still out on whether it would be effective for pancreatic cancer.

Even if I get into the study, I may not get the new drug. Two groups will participate in the study: one that gets the cancer drug and one that gets a placebo. This is a blind study, which means I will not know whether I am in the group receiving therapy. On the other hand, what do I have to lose?  I have not made up my mind yet and I hope that I will get more information to help me with my decision.

I have been reading from the book “Everything Belongs” by Richard Rohr, about the importance of darkness in our lives. When everything is going well, we do not grow much, but when we are confronted by the dark times of our lives, we have the opportunity to look deep within in search of meaning.

It is in the dark moments that we call out to God for help.

In the darkness, we come to realize that we need help to enter the light once again. I know that dealing with this cancer often has been a dark experience, one that calls into question all my old understandings of life and God.

But I have learned a great deal in the dark about faith and living in the present moment. I am slowly learning about taking one day at a time and finding each day’s gift for me.

It is my hope that this present-moment living will help me find some light amid the darkness.


Read more about Janis’s journey with cancer >>