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Upbeat Bettis pays Rockies a visit

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis arrived at Chase Field on Friday with his eyes and smile so bright that the chemotherapy-induced hair loss was a secondary appearance trait.

"This is what I needed," said Bettis, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November and underwent surgery, then learned during Spring Training that the cancer had spread to lymph nodes.

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PHOENIX -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis arrived at Chase Field on Friday with his eyes and smile so bright that the chemotherapy-induced hair loss was a secondary appearance trait.

"This is what I needed," said Bettis, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November and underwent surgery, then learned during Spring Training that the cancer had spread to lymph nodes.

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Bettis began chemotherapy on March 20 and has seven treatments left between now and May 16. His blood counts will then be monitored, and if all is well, the chemotherapy port will be removed.

A return to the Majors this season is one of the goals for Bettis, who throws after treatments, as he did on Friday, with head athletic trainer Keith Dugger.

Manager Bud Black was in a coaches' meeting when he heard a knock on the door -- "and there was Chad. A lot of guys' hugs," Black said.

Beyond the hair loss and a temporary loss of appetite and taste, Bettis says the procedure is "as smooth sailing as could possibly be."

Bettis, who watches and analyzes every game, has been upbeat.

"It's who I try to be and strive to be a little bit more now than before," he said.

He and his wife, Kristina, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Everleigh Rae, on March 29.

"The focus has switched from baseball to how can I provide for her and my wife," he said. "It's more now."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Chad Bettis