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 lot has happened in my case since my last blog post. I learned that my tumor has grown a little, which means I will resume chemotherapy if surgery is not an option. I will meet with a surgeon today to discuss the possibility. I don’t believe that it is based on earlier conversations with my health providers.
The other bit of news is that my physician, Dr. Tan, has enlisted me in a study at Siteman Center Center, to start probably within the next month. This is a study of a therapy that will try to use my own immune system to fight the cancer. This therapy has shown a lot of success for people with lung, colon and multiple myelomas.
I am not sure how it has worked thus far with people who have pancreatic cancer. I do know that I will be the first of Dr. Tan’s patients with pancreatic cancer to enter the study. I have been doing some reading about this therapy but figure I will find out a lot more about it once I begin the study. Stay tuned for updates.
While I sit here at the computer, I am looking out the window and the winds have really kicked up. They are bringing with them colder temperatures again just to let us know that winter is not yet over.
The birdfeeders are swinging in the wind but that doesn’t deter the birds from coming to eat. It reminds me that we are often like the birds. The winds of life howl around us yet we keep moving forward. We keep trying to live through the rough times.
I have been so blessed in that when bad news comes, like it did recently, I have been able to hold on to hope and that hope has allowed me to be at peace through it all. I don’t think that I am Pollyannaish about my future, but I know that I still have options to explore.
In the meantime, I am getting a kick out of life. I have really been focused lately on the political circus in our country. It is amazing to me that the discourse has deteriorated to the point of absurdity. Some of our great statesmen from the past must be spinning in their graves. My hope is that, out of the embers of this craziness, will arise something new and better for all the people.