Most anglers would tell you that peace is hard to find when the clock is quickly ticking in a tournament. But for Blue Mountain College angler Camden Lewis, he is finding peace on the water this week as he competes in the Strike King Bassmaster College Series at Harris Chain presented by Bass Pro Shops after experiencing a stressful month.
Last month, his mother noticed a lump on his neck and out of precaution she wanted him to go have it checked out. After an MRI, CT scan and blood work, doctors determined the lump was malignant and it was cancerous.
“From there I have just been doing biopsy after biopsy and they still think it’s thyroid cancer or thyroid lymphoma,” said Lewis. “If it is thyroid cancer, I will have to have my thyroid glands removed and that requires about a 7 or 8-hour surgery. If it is lymphoma, I’ll have to do chemo more than likely, so I am hoping it is just thyroid cancer.”
Lewis had a biopsy done the day before he and teammate TJ Edwards left for the Harris Chain to find out if the lump was cancerous or if it is lymphoma.
“If it comes back positive, we’ll know it’s thyroid cancer and if it comes back negative it is more likely leaning towards lymphoma,” he said.
Notching a 13th-place finish on the Harris Chain last year in the College Series, Lewis wanted nothing more than to surround himself with teammates and be back out on the water this week doing what he loves.
“I originally didn’t know if I was going to be able to fish,” Lewis said. “I had a pre-op Wednesday that I was fortunate enough to get moved to next week. I just wanted to fish to get my mind off of it and I knew this would be the only tournament I would get to fish in all season now so I tried everything to make it happen.”
After Day 1, Lewis and Edwards landed 9 pounds, 6 ounces. While that may have them in 165th-place after the first competition day, it is a small victory in the midst of one of the toughests tests Lewis has had to face.
“We caught a bunch of fish today – it seemed like all day long we were catching them even if there wasn’t any size to them,” Lewis said. “Tomorrow we are going to switch up the game plan a little bit and keep it simple. Our main plan is just to go out there, have fun and enjoy the time on the water.”