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.
Starting today, and over the next three weeks, I resume the role as professional patient, enduring yet another MRI and CT scan, more appointments with my oncologist, followed by a visit to the diabetic clinic, followed by a bladder exam.
My vacation from health issues is over for the time being.
Of course, with the upcoming MRI and scan, comes the usual anxiety that seems to be made a little worse by the fact that I now have a diagnosis of bladder cancer as well.
The trick for me is to not feel overwhelmed, and for that, I have a little help this time around. I am preparing several talks that I will be giving at the end of September at King’s House Retreat Center in Belleville, Ill. I am looking forward to that day and so I am really concentrating on getting my material ready.
The preparation is as much prayer as it is prose because the theme for the day is “Through the Darkness Proclaim the Light.” Trying to find the light in the darkness of pancreatic cancer certainly has been my goal.
Each of us knows darkness of one type or another and we all struggle to find some light, some hope or some consolation in our dark places of grief, doubt and suffering.
The human condition is such that we cannot avoid times of struggle and heartache. The question, though, is whether we can live through the darkness into something new or unexpected or life-giving.
The darkness can yield great treasure, great moments of insight and profound wisdom if we can stay the course. Yet, I also know that I fail probably more often than I succeed at finding the light. My anxiety is proof of that but there are those rare moments when I do see beyond the pain of the moment and these experiences help to sustain me on my journey.
In darkness, we have the opportunity to meet our best self, the part of us that has the power to rise above the hardship.
This best self is the God that lives within at the core of our being. Frequently, it is only when we have been brought low by a difficult situation in life that we, in our helplessness, let go of control and allow God to manifest a promise of light.
This week, as I journey from one test to another and from one doctor to another, I pray that I can let God break through my anxiety with peace and hope.