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 frigid weather has really gotten a grip on the Midwest this year and my birds are eating up a storm. I have always enjoyed the cold weather, but this year I long for temperatures to return to the 40s at least.

On the way to the former motherhouse tonight for dinner, Sister Alan and I were surprised to see a beautiful owl sitting in a tree close to the road.  I am sure that he was out hunting a mouse or some other creatures. It was a pleasure to see him up close.

I recently spent time in the hospital due to an infection, and what was intended to be just a couple days’ stay ended up being a seven-day adventure of many tests.  It was good to come home.

Since I returned home, I have discovered that the pain in my abdomen is relieved a bit if I use a heating pad on my back. I am glad for that relief. I have lost a fair amount of weight and hope that this is due to diuretics aimed at reducing fluid buildup. I will have to see.

As I await my next visit with my oncologist, I have found myself being more and more conscious of the presence of God. I want to say that I have more faith than ever, but I am not sure if that is true. I find God in nature still and in the loving embrace of my sisters and my family. Their care illuminates God for me.

For example, this past weekend, all three of my brothers and their wives came to visit, eager to know all the details of my health. I know they feel helpless in some ways, but to me, they are such a special support. Our laughter and teasing during the visit energized me.

And so the journey continues.

Hopefully, I will be writing many more blogs, but I want to be open to God’s plan for me. In the meantime, I will enjoy the birds at the feeders, and the cats watching the birds at the feeder.


Read more from Sister Janis’s journey with cancer >>