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.


I’ve been off the radar for a few weeks while I traveled East to visit friends in Wellesley, Mass., and then to make an eight-day retreat at Eastern Point Retreat Center in Gloucester, Mass. The retreat house sits right on the ocean, so you know it was hard to be there (ha, ha).

During the retreat, I had a lot of time to ponder my journey with cancer and just my overall journey of life. I was blessed to discover that I have very few regrets about my life.

It has been a full life, rich in both joys and sorrows, hopes and dashed dreams, and yes, sin and salvation. I see my life as a well-seasoned banquet of experiences, not a bland diet of cautious existence, and for that I am grateful.

I decided during retreat to begin to work on my diet, take off a little weight and lower my blood-sugar numbers. I learned recently that diabetes may be a precursor of pancreatic cancer, showing up years before the cancer.

This is not to say that diabetics are more likely to get pancreatic cancer, but there does seem to be a pattern. I was diagnosed with diabetes about five years before the cancer.

Then, about three months before I found out I had the cancer, I noticed that my blood-sugar numbers were starting to spike for no apparent reason. I now believe that it was a sign that the cancer was really starting to take off.

Our bodies are fascinating machines even when they are not working properly.

The day before Thanksgiving, I will have my next MRI and CT scan, meaning I will not get results until the following Monday. As I have written in previous blogs, I hate the wait for test results, even when it is just one day, much less five days, but I am determined to have a happy holiday in spite of the wait.

I have nothing new to report about my bladder cancer, other than I am scheduled to meet with my urologist the first week of December.


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