Kate,Janis,MariamBy 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.


On Monday, I received news from my oncologist, Dr. Tan, which has sent me reeling. I have needed the past couple days to process it and get my act together in order to write about it.

It seems that the blood clot in the portal vein of the liver may actually be a tumor. We do not know for sure and will not know for another month or so.

Dr. Tan wants me to have at least a couple more chemo treatments before ordering me another MRI. If it is a tumor in the vein, this would not be good news. It would mean I would not be eligible for any of the studies. Even my fallback radiation treatment may not be possible.

So, I am really praying that this is a blood clot and not a tumor. If it is a tumor, it would seem to be growing rather quickly since the MRI in December was clear, but the one in January showed something.

I reacted to this information this week with fear. Suddenly, this journey may have taken a decidedly different turn. I was somewhat overwhelmed and found myself only able to put one foot in front of another. On the more humorous side, I find that bad news does not stop me from eating. After the chemo treatment, Sister Alan and I went out for pasta. I guess it is what one might call comfort food and comfort was what I was looking for on Monday.

By Tuesday, I had my feet back under me and found that I could function again somewhat normally.  I was able to talk about my situation as well as other things.  I was not dwelling on the disease.

Today, I feel a little tired from the chemo, but so far, I am not having any significant reactions to the treatment. Of course, that could come tomorrow or the next day. I am going out to lunch, which again will be a good thing. Good food and good conversation always seem to help me.

I am so grateful for a caring family and community. Many people are praying for me, and I can feel their support. There is something about getting news like this that prompts people to express their love in ways they would not under ordinary circumstances.

I am so blessed.

And yes, I feel the presence of my God. I know that in all of this, God will see me to the completion of this journey.


Read more about Janis’s journey with cancer >>