Cancer and Communion

by Nils Anderson

My wife Janice went through breast cancer in a somewhat advanced form six and 1/2 years ago — 6 years since end of radiation and chemo — and 6 1/2 years since initial diagnosis and surgery. We came to the Sunday morning 11:45 communion many times during her 16-week chemo treatments because she was told to avoid crowds. 

It has always been my firm belief that God’s meal played a large part in her initial recovery but also in her ongoing remission. Nothing will ever shake my belief that the Lord is sitting on her shoulder all the time but never more so than when she receives the Eucharist at church.

We are planning to attend all of the mid-week communion mini services and are hoping that we will be able to continue communion services like these in some way past the Easter season — one or two days a week would be wonderful. 

During Lent 2011, we are encouraging the St. Philip the Deacon community to reflect on the Sacrament of Holy Communion — recalling early memories, describing memorable celebrations of Communion, or reflecting on how Communion informs daily life. This post is part of that series. We invite your reflections about Communion, as well. If you would like to submit something for this series, please send it to Pastor Cheryl Mathison at

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