Berry has cancer
Reds 3B coach Mark Berry just came out and said it on Sunday morning.
“I have cancer,” Berry said. “I know it sounds bad, the word ‘cancer.’ Plenty of people in this clubhouse have had it. I know people around the game that have beaten it. My sister had it and beat it. That part doesn’t bother me.”
Berry, 50, returned to Cincinnati last week for tests and scans came back as positive for cancer in his tonsil and lymph nodes. But according to Dr. Tim Kremchek, it was detected early and has not spread from the left side of Berry’s neck.
After returning to work, Berry plans to remain with the club this week for the final week of camp. He is still deciding whether to undergo radiation or surgery. If he had radiation, his schedule with the club could be limited and he would not be able to travel.
Bench coach Chris Speier had been filling in for Berry on the third base line.
Berry told the players during this morning’s clubhouse meeting.
I will have more soon…but Berry is very, very optimistic he will be able to beat this.
**Berry first detected something was wrong in December.
“My left tonsil swelled up and was kind of red,” he explained. “But I had a history of that when I was a kid. Most of us get a sore throat or whatever. You look in the mirror and it stopped. Two or three weeks went by and it never changed and I didn’t get sick. In January, the thing that concerned me is I started playing with my neck and it was a little bit swollen and puffy. It felt like there were two marbles in my neck and they’re still there. I’d play with them and like ‘man, what the heck are those things?’ They were the lymph nodes that had swelled up and hardened.”
A needle biopsy taken in Arizona twice came back negative. But since his sister had the same thing happen to her, she recommended more testing. A surgical procedure in Cincinnati to remove some tissue from the left tonsil verified that it was cancer. Berry said he was told the cancer in his tonsil was the side of a small thumb.
“To be honest, it is very early,” Kremchek said. “The bottom line is he caught it early rather than it spread. It was the smart thing to pursue it when he did that way rather than blow off the needle thing. It changes everything as far as his treatment and prognosis. He’s going to be just fine.”
“Now we grab a fungo and get to work,” Berry said before going to the field for the morning workout.
Click here for my MLB.com story on Berry.