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.
This is my waiting week. Next Monday, I’ll get the results of a CAT scan and MRI when I meet with my doctor and receive a chemo treatment.
I can’t help but reflect that it was last year at this time when the CAT scan revealed that my cancer had returned. As you can imagine, it put a damper on my Christmas, yet throughout the year the cancer has not really grown. My doctor tells me that I am a mystery, an unusual case. I hope that I continue to be a mystery and that the cancer remains small.
The trees in our backyard are starting to bud out. A sure sign of Christmas! Ha! I look out the window and see green grass and think not about Christmas, but of climate change. I think about the Paris climate talks that drew 190 nations to address environmental sustainability. I know world leaders could have done more, but they took a step in the right direction. I am hopeful that future generations will have a beautiful and healthy planet. Positive, life-giving actions are always the right response to fear and there is much to fear about the condition of Earth.
Climate change isn’t the only thing that concerns me. Fear seems to be driving the talk and actions of so many in our political process. It is holding us captive and we are reacting rather than acting thoughtfully. We trust only those who think as we do and our view of our neighbor gets more and more narrow.
I know fear, a life-and-death fear, but if I allow it to rule my life, I will see only the unfairness of life, the darkness of despair and a worry that will eat away at my soul. I don’t think that I am doing that. The grace of God helps me see beyond the fear.
All I can do is respond to that grace and keep my eyes focused on the possibilities of life rather than the fear that would paralyze me. Perhaps God is calling all of us to act out of hope rather than fear, to live in the light rather than in the darkness.