Mark Menendez – 2013 on the Sidelines

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MenendezBlogThis would have been my 22nd consecutive season of the cast for cash game called the Bassmaster Elite Series. No fishing for me this season. I did not see this coming! There are times in one’s life that a yes or no answer has to be utilized.

I had left my home headed for the Jacob Dugas Cancer Foundation Event in Louisiana. I was heading to the Toyota TexasBass Classic (TTBC) on Lake Conroe afterwards. Qualifying through the PAA, The TTBC would be my “Post Season”.

Fifteen minutes from home my wife called. Donna had been having several pains and aches in late September of 2012. “Where are you?” she asked? “Just a few minutes from home”, I responded. “Could you please turn around and meet me at the doctor’s office?” She said. “Yes, I will”, I answered. Reversing my course,
I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. One hour later, our doctor explained that Donna had a mass on her pancreas. Fishing had just lost all of its importance to me. Two days later, we are in a hospital in Nashville, TN. and are given the news she had pancreatic cancer! I made the call to BASS for a medical leave from the tour. B.A.S.S. officials respectfully granted the request.

No, I will not be fishing!

Donna has undergone one of the most difficult surgeries known to man. The Whipple Surgery is more involved vascularly than heart bypass. She aced it! She is currently receiving chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy. We caught this very early and we have a good prognosis according to the specialist.

I must say I have been on a learning curve! From cancer issues to house cleaning, I can do it! It has given me a new respect for the homemaker. It is a hard job taking care of my family in the home. My respect has grown for Donna.

Bass Fishing is still a priority in my life. I have just completed a comprehensive test for Lew’s. We are developing a new line of “Pro Series” Cranking Rods. I can’t wait for the release of the rods! I’m looking forward to contributing content for various websites and magazines as well. Look for a complete series of “How To” videos online coming soon. I will be headlining boat shows and other speaking engagements as well.

I must mention my sponsors. Through this nightmare called cancer, 100% of my sponsors have supported me! This is the best compliment I have ever received in my life! Because of their commitment to my family, I will be working twice as hard to represent them while not on the tournament trail. Advancedangler.com has given me a visible platform to share my life and my fishing. I look forward to this adventure and sharing the life of a professional angler that is not going to be at the tournament blast off. I have found the other part of life has to be more important than fishing at this time!

Mark Menendez is a Bassmaster Elite Angler. You may follow him at Facebook, Twitter, and at Markmenendez.com.