May 21, 2014 by Colin Moore
Stacey King, currently ranked 26th in the Kellogg's Angler of the Year standings, will forego the final two Walmart FLW Tour events of the 2014 season to undergo cancer treatments.
King, 65, will have his tonsils removed Thursday morning, and doctors will then determine what sort of treatments he'll require going forward.
"They're going to take out my tonsils and also take three biopsies," says the quiet-spoken Missourian, who's qualified for four Forrest Wood Cups since joining the Walmart FLW Tour in 2007. "There's a chance the cancer could be in my tonsils, but they'll be able to tell more after I've had that operation. I know one thing: I've had so many tubes and scopes poked down my throat and my nose that it's made me pretty sore. But other than that I feel fine and never have felt bad from it."
King says he first noticed swollen lymph nodes in his throat about six months ago and, after tests were conducted, was told that nothing abnormal was discovered, although he should remain vigilant.
"I kind of put it aside when we got into the heat of the tournament season," King recalls. "The lymph nodes never changed one way or the other, so a month or so ago I went to a different doctor, and he looked at it and said, `You need a CT scan and a biopsy.' It showed some cancer in there, but they don't think it's in my lymph nodes. They can't tell where it is right now, but they're going to find out."
Since joining the Walmart FLW Tour, King has won almost $400,000. He's had nine top-10 finishes, including a second-place spot in 2011 at Beaver Lake. As for the remainder of King's 2014 tournament campaign, he notes that he has too many distractions to continue it. Chemotherapy and more surgery are likely to be the next steps in his treatment regimen.
"I wish I could fish those last two tournaments (Pickwick and Kentucky lakes in June), but I'm going to be recuperating from surgery or getting ready for other treatments," he says.
"Tell 'em I wish I could be there; tell 'em I hope they'll pray for me."
King and his wife, Peggy, live in Reeds Spring, Mo. The Kings plan to keep friends, family and the fishing industry updated on Stacey's progress via his Facebook page.