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Sunday, September 25, 2011
Gary Carter suffers setback

By Adam Rubin
ESPNNewYork.com

Medical staff treating Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter for cancerous brain tumors discovered "an abnormal and unusual spot" on his right temple, his daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote in the family's online journal Sunday night.

He was immediately dispatched to get a biopsy.

"When I saw the look on my dad's face, I just wanted to cry," Bloemers wrote. "This journey has been so emotional when there has been just one thing after the next that dad has to conquer. Dad did not complain; he just had look of sadness. I really hate that dad has to go through such a tough road. Dad got the biopsy and actually had several spots removed in various places. We hope to find out the results soon."

On a positive note, Carter's white-blood-cell count has now risen to an acceptable level to begin a second, higher-dosage round of chemotherapy. That treatment had been delayed for a few weeks.

"We are thankful he was able to get the medication needed to fight this battle," wrote Bloemers in the journal, to which the family has granted ESPNNewYork.com access.

Before the latest discovery, Carter had unsuccessfully tried to throw batting practice to his Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team. An associate head coach has been hired to handle the bulk of the duties.

"He hadn't thrown in a long time but thought he would try," Bloemers wrote. "Sadly, it didn't go so well. He tried a couple of times and in his eyes, he had failed. He talked with my mom and was saddened/disappointed that things are starting to be 'taken away from me' ... golf, throwing BP, physical activity, travel, etc. It is not easy and my heart breaks for dad.

"On the flip side, I felt encouraged that dad wanted to throw BP and thought he could, which in my opinion shows that dad is doing well with his mind. I am believing that the low energy and struggle and tough effort for physical activity are strictly from the medication and not from the tumors. I am believing that dad is healing, but the road will remain bumpy for a little while longer."

Bloemers said well-wishers can visit teamcarterstore.com to purchase "Team Carter" merchandise that supports the Gary Carter Foundation, which funds charitable programs including an elementary-school reading initiative in Florida.

Carter played 18 seasons in the big leagues, most notably for the New York Mets and Montreal Expos.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.