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.

Our family recently said good-bye to my great nephew, Jason, who died unexpectedly at age 32.

What a loss for all of us, especially for Katie and baby Jase, and Julie and Charlie, his parents.

Sometimes we get so focused on our own problems that we lose sight of the world around us. Then a tragedy such as this occurs and our perspective changes.

We realize that people are dealing with situations that are more significant than ours.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost a young person, or experienced a loved one’s sudden death. They have no time to say “Good-bye” or “I love you” one more time, and no time to prepare for the letting go.

Darkness wraps around them as surely as night cloaks the day. And this darkness will stay for a long while. Those left behind will breathe it, eat it and sleep with it.  There is no getting around it, but there will appear at some point a way through it.

That is my prayer for Jason’s family, that they may hold on to each other in the darkness ahead and look for the light that will begin to appear.

Today as I look at my own disease, I realize that in many ways I have been blessed. I have had time to adjust to the fact that I have cancer, to reflect upon it and see the movement of God in the events of my life.

At some point, I know my condition will probably decline and I will again have to deal with fear and sorrow because at that point I will again be letting go.

But for this day, I know that I am lucky to be able to have time for more living.

Read more of Janis’s journey with cancer >>