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.


A recent CT scan and MRI, followed by a visit to my oncologist, Dr. Tan, brought great news for me. My tumor remains stable!

My blood tests revealed that my platelet count was still rather low, so he recommended a two-month break from treatment. He also described my case as exceptional in that my cancer is not acting, or growing, as might be expected. I do not understand why that is the case, but I am extremely grateful.

Finally, Dr. Tan talked about the possibility of my taking part in an immunotherapy trial. Immunotherapy seeks to treat the disease with substances that stimulate the immune response. I think this would be a good thing because this type of treatment has had some success.

I find myself pondering my situation and wondering why God has blessed me with this extra time. I do not know if it is because I have something yet to learn from life or if there is something that I can do for others. Maybe God simply wants to give me a gift. I may never know the reason, but I appreciate the extra time that each day brings.

I have started walking about 30 minutes a day. I had not been getting out during the winter, but I know that in order to regain my strength, I have to get into a regular walking routine. Sister Alan, with whom I live, checks in with me every day to make sure I get out in the fresh air. I am slow right now, but hope to increase my speed gradually.

In the meantime, I continue to watch the birds outside. A rose-breasted grosbeak has been visiting our feeder for a couple of weeks now.  They are beautiful birds and normally just pass through here on their way north. I am surprised that this one continues to linger here. Our bluebirds have given up on their nest because a raccoon comes in the night and raids it. I am disappointed, but that is how nature is sometimes. Meanwhile, Sr. Alan has some wrens nesting in another house and we are enjoying their beautiful song.


Read more about Janis’s journey with cancer >>