Greetings…if you’ve made it this far then you have found my blog. Let me give you a quick introduction to the post page and an explanation for the blog’s name.

First, the title: In Difficulty Lies Opportunity

The title comes from an Albert Einstein quote – “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” I believe that last line of Einstein’s quote hit home with me as I continue to deal with the reality of my most recent cancer diagnosis.

My Journey with Melanoma

You’ll also notice that my sub-title is “My Journey with Melanoma…”

There are two things to note here: First, I don’t want to use “battle” or “fight” which have both been used too many times to describe dealing with cancer. Not that I am not a fighter. But my current situation is part of a life-long journey that we all take. Using the word “journey” is much more in-line with my philosophy of using my difficulty as an opportunity. What type of opportunity? Well, that’s what makes life a journey.

Metastatic Melanoma

Second, it’s also important to note that I have metastatic melanoma. Unlike other forms of cancer, melanoma – once it finds it way inside your body – is not curable. Treatable? Definitely. Livable or sustainable? Certainly. But – technically – it is not curable. Yes, it could be removed. But the reality is that the cancer may return to another area of the body.

That’s a lot to process when you’re sitting in an examination room thinking you were going to get another “good report” from your oncologist, like I was doing about a month ago. Needless to say, this has been the ultimate emotional “roller coaster” for my family and me. As I continue to add posts – the plan is to do so on a daily or weekly basis – I will include more of the technical details to help everyone understand my situation.

My Blog

Finally, I continue to tweak this blog layout and “appearance” to make it more appealing. If something doesn’t look right to you or you have trouble accessing the blog, just send me an email. Also, I will include some prior notes from my own journal to this blog (so don’t get confused by the dates).

Thanks for your love and your support.


  1. Anonymous

    The journey is always a challenge … esp. when it is a journey in the medical world. I have laid out to the tea, I belive, what i will and won't accept in my journey with medical conditions. I eat right, love my family and try to be a freiend and asset to humanity. To that end in the middle, for me is to a point that I will not accept.

    Kant was an "in the middle" philosopher. Sometimes his views were not strong enough to support his theories and beliefs.

    I wish you the BEST of luck and happiness in the many choices you face. ST

  2. Anonymous

    Hello Ken,
    I'm so sorry about the diagnosis from your oncologist. However, I'm hanging onto the word "treatable". I do believe in the power of prayer and in miracles. Sometimes miracles come through the medical community and again simply through God.
    I will be following your journey and lifting you up in prayer!

    Carolyn M.

  3. Anonymous

    Ken, my wife just had 4 skin cancers removed yestrerday (and another more significant one removed from her lip 2 weeks earlier). Thankfully, they were simply basal cell cancers. We were certainly clueless about the dangers of taking in the sun during the 1960's and 1970's…

    I was pleased to note, in your email to Joe Begley, that you would appreciate prayers. That leads me to believe that you are a man of faith. You were certainly be in our thoughts and prayers throughout your journey (including the prayers of my men's Bible study group). Your positive attitude, as evidenced by the title of your blog, will certainly help as well. I wish you the best, brother.

    John B. Neukamm

  4. Ken Billett


    Thanks for your post. Part of the journey and part of the unknown will be my treatment. Right now, we'll just see what happens.

  5. Ken Billett


    Thanks so much for your post. So sorry to hear about your wife, but I am glad that she had basal cell cancers removed. Unfortunately for me, I have had six (yes, that's 6!) melanomas and one basal cell carcinoma removed over the past 12+ years. The worst one was removed in November 2011 – I'm going to put the details in this blog – which led me to be scanned every 6 months or so since then.

    Again, thanks for reaching out. I truly do appreciate it.

  6. Ken Billett

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Ken Billett

    Hit Enter too quickly. I'm hoping that I don't have to make too many choices – that treatments and protocols will guide the doctors' thinking – but I know the reality of modern-day medicine. It can be truly scary.

  8. Unknown

    Ken, My positive thoughts and prayers are with you brother. We are all in this together as we play the 'back nine' of life :))

    You have a great attititude about life and it's inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story.

    To educate me, is Melanoma a skin thing? As a red head, I think I did a lot of damage to my skin during my younger water-skiing days. I'm extremely careful now and hope my younger sun days don't catch up with me…

    Have a good one and stay positive!

    My best, Bud Curley

  9. The Vision


    Thinking of you, which, sadly, is more than I've done in 30 years…glad to see your positive outlook…


  10. Ken Billett


    Great to hear from you, and appreciate your comments. Yes, melanoma is the "skin thing." In my case, I have had several melanomas removed over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, the last major one I had removed forced the doctors to start screening me every 6 months. The scan I had in July revealed two very small "blips" in my right lung. A biopsy revealed that it was metastatic melanoma. Not good news! As I said in my post, it's not – technically – curable, but can be treated.

    So, more to come…I hope we'll stay in-touch. Ken

    PS – Definitely take care of your skin…And make certain the kids and, possibly, grandkids stay out of the sun and use sunscreen.

  11. Ken Billett


    So sorry…I thought I posted a reply to your comment, but it must of disappeared into cyberspace. Yes, it is sad that it takes something critical to get folks back together again. I am both overwhelmed and blessed by the love and support I have received from everyone. So, "thank you" for your response.

    This has been especially hard on my wife, Vicki, and our children. I just hope and pray that we can find some peace in this situation.

    Thanks, again. Ken