I would suppose like most folks I seemed to be born with fears I couldn’t understand very real fears and up until 2005 one of my worst was, “fear of the dark”. At six foot five and two hundred fifty pounds you wouldn’t think it, but my wife would tell you that for years if I herd a noise downstairs, I would send her. Well, what can I say, but that was the way it was, I knew it wasn’t logical but fear is fear. You could find me hiding under the covers on many a creepy night if it was dark, something had me creeped out, I had no idea what but it I was scared, really scared.


haunted-house-creepy-feelingOne night it all came to a head, my wife was out of town and we lived in a particularly dark and creepy old house, rain, lighting, you get the picture, in my case, pure terror. Having just begun my walk with Christ I had herd that we were supposed to lay our fears at his feet and I was more than ready to oblige.


So I remember praying, “Lord I don’t know how, but I would really like to give You this fear.”


Surprisingly, God answered me, (which had me even more scared). “Robby, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”


“Someone could walk in here with a knife and whack, thump, bash, hit, gouge!” I said very animatedly.


Then God said the words that literally changed my life, “Robby, what would be so bad about that?”


For the first time in my life I thought about my own death as a Christian and that I would get to see His Face. Why, I had never thought of that, that, “to die was gain”. Although I didn’t suddenly lose that fear, I was able to go to sleep that night and the healing had begun, “perfect love drives out fear” 1John 4:18. Over the next few years I grew and healed and it’s been years now since it bothered me. Yet, that understanding of my own mortality was critical to the life lesson plan God has me on.


img0008Right at a year later I needed that for I had been getting what looked like flat sores all over me. Very quickly I went from a few sores to dozens. They didn’t hurt but they rose up flat and red from beneath my skin. I thought it was a weird rash but my wife insisted I go to the dermatologist. So the dermatologist took a biopsy and it just happened to be a weekend so the results didn’t come until the following Monday a conversation you never forget. “Mr. Dilmore we need you to come down to the office to get your test results”. The nurse said.


With my puffed up view of my position in life I responded, “I am a very busy man I have a dealership to run here, you can give me the results on the phone, I’m a big boy.”


“Mr. Dilmore you have lymphoma.” She said calmly and nicely I might ad considering how I had spoken to her.


My response is almost comical now, “what’s lymphoma?”


“It’s cancer of the lymph system.” She again said calmly.


“I’ll be right there.” I assured her, all of the sudden my position, my everything changed and truly changed for all time, I had the time to see any doctor they needed me to.


This began a crazy journey any cancer survivor understands. Phone calls, life and death discussions with loved ones. All sorts of tests all sorts of waiting, waiting on results, waiting on another treatment, waiting on another test to see if that treatment helped, and a very clear understanding of why they call you a “patient”. All this comes when someone mentions the “C” word attached to your name.


My older sister worked at the University of Michigan hospital so I was able to send her the pathology report on the type of cancer, the cell type etc… Angiocentric Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma…


When my sister shared that this was sometimes known as extranodal natural killer cell lymphoma a very rare disease and the few cases in the U.S. had no survivor over a few of months. Surprisingly my mind immediately went back to the lesson in the dark creepy house. “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” That may be hard to understand but it was truly my mind set. Yes, my wife and family were heavy on my mind but as for me, I get to see Jesus.


Now as for the faith to be healed, sorry to tell you it wasn’t the case here. Although tons of folks were praying for me and bringing me all kinds of concoctions, I was pretty settled in on the chemo therapy treatment and what my oncologist was recommending. God had other plans, that is for sure.


The Friday before I was to receive my first chemo treatment a little white haired man came into the showroom at the dealership I was working at. He was acquainted with Joe my finance manager because Joe went to his church, Reynolda Presbyterian, so he walked straight up to Joe and told him, “The Lord has told me that someone at Bob Neil Chrysler needs a healing and I have come to Lay Hands on them and anoint them with oil.”


Joe, responded with, “it must be Robby Dilmore he has a deadly form of cancer.”


Now, again I’ll say that not only did I not have the faith to be healed but I also was clue free on the, anoint with oil and lay hands on practice and scripture. So honestly, I thought the whole thing was weird and certainly had no expectation of an actual healing. However, it couldn’t hurt so I went through it. So yes I did feel something spiritual in the process and got up with a different expectation but I couldn’t really put a finger on it.


Many, many folks were praying and I will not know this side of heaven exactly what did it but God. What I do know is that Friday I was covered with tumors, thick round red tumors in my skin especially on my back side, (sorry to give you that picture). Monday morning when I went to the oncologist for my first 94219616-doctortreatment they were gone, yes gone, never to return as a matter of fact here we are 17 years later.


They still wanted me to take the chemo and I did, they did a biopsy on one of the places still scarred by a tumor and when that pathology came back the Doctor said that the cells had changed and went cannibal on themselves, eating the cancer cells themselves. Way over my head for sure, (I didn’t even know lymphoma was cancer at the onset of this thing). One thing I can surely testify to; God is in control of cancer.

So who is the guy with the knife you ask? I would say, “what is your biggest fear, what is the worst that can happen?”

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 New King James Version (NKJV)