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.


Recent rains haven’t kept the hummingbirds from drinking at the feeder outside my window.

Nothing seems to stop those little characters. Chickadees and cardinals are visiting too, although my bluebird babies seem to have flown the coop. It is time to clean out the nest so the adults can begin a new family.

Just now, I see two rose-breasted grosbeaks at the feeder, a rare sight for this part of the country but possible only this time of year as they migrate to Wisconsin and Minnesota.

They are beautiful birds and they have just made my day.

Isn’t it often the small things, the subtle things that make our days special?  Not every day will have dramatic moments of great joy or sadness. Most of the time, the small or seemingly insignificant moments dictate our encounters with the sacred.

When these moments present themselves, we should stay with the experience, stay in the moment and enjoy it fully for God is found in the experience. While I believe that, I also know that it is hard to stay in the moment.

We want to share the experience or write about it in our journal, to reflect about its meaning rather that enjoy the whole experience first. God is found, however, in the moment of encounter and so I see the visit by the grosbeaks to be a gift from God.  Perhaps it is not a big grace, but one that certainly brightened my day.

My next CT scan and MRI will be Friday and my doctor’s appointment has been pushed up to June 1, making for a nearly two-week wait for results. That seems too long.

I hope to receive some kind of report by phone to keep my anxiety in check. As I have written before, the waiting between tests and reports is my greatest challenge in this whole journey.

There is still no word on whether I can enroll in an immunotherapy study.

Lots of unknowns right now but at least I am feeling well.

Read other entries from Sr. Janis on her journey with cancer.


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