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 health issue has kept me from writing in a while. It was not related to my cancer but I had worried that it might be. Once you have cancer, you worry when an unexpected pain shows up. I am feeling much better now.
I am enjoying the beautiful fall weather. It is crisp and clear and I love to look at all the work going on in the fields. The last of the soybeans are being harvested and the winter wheat is beginning to grow in others.
Early in the morning, before it is light out, I love to look at Venus as she rises in the east. Late at night during this time of year, Orion is visible in the eastern sky. All the stars at this time of year are brilliant. There is something about standing out under the stars at night that makes one feel small and yet somehow really connected to the universe. It is exciting!
As we draw closer to Thanksgiving, it is a time for me to begin thinking about all the things for which I am grateful. Foremost, I am grateful for the gift of life. The cancer has brought ups and downs, but still I am having an awesome journey.
I am grateful for so many people who have walked this path with me. I don’t know how I would have come this far without them. I am grateful for my five senses that take in all the beauty around me. I am grateful for the kittens that have given me so much joy even on rough days. I am grateful for Pope Francis and for all that he is trying to do for the church. I am grateful for those who work with the poor, the homeless and the imprisoned, and for all who are working on environmental issues. And I am grateful for my country that has given me so much. The list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
As I finish this blog, I am watching the wild birds at the feeders outside my window. Gone are the hummingbird feeders, which have been replaced by feeders with sunflower and thistle seeds. The titmouse, chickadee, downy woodpecker and nuthatch are constantly sailing in for a bite to eat from the sunflower feeder and the goldfinches are enjoying the thistle seed. And the cats are enjoying the show, and so am I.