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Gary Carter’s brain tumors likely inoperable

May 29, 2011, 9:12 PM EDT

Gary Carter Reuters

While the official results won’t be known until Tuesday, doctors are “99 percent sure” Gary Carter has Grade 4 Glioblastoma and his brain tumors are inoperable, the New York Post reports.

An MRI on May 21 showed that Carter had four small brain tumors, and a biopsy performed on one last week had doctors saying they were “90 percent” sure it was malignant.

Carter’s daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, wrote that the cancer “is like a snake of tumors that are connected across the back of the brain. The biggest tumor is on the left side of the brain.”

Blomers went on to write that Dr. Henry Friedman of the Duke Medical Center told the family the medical team will be “attacking and doing all we can to shrink these tumors. He explained that we are not fighting to prolong Dad’s life, instead, we are fighting to cure him completely.”

According to Wikipedia, Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans and the median survival time after a diagnosis is approximately 14 months.

To say the least, Gary has a very tough fight coming up.

  1. stankfinger - May 29, 2011 at 9:35 PM


  2. nixonotis - May 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM


  3. Old Gator - May 29, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Well, if anyone has the right frame of mind to go into a fight like this, it’s the Kid. Hang in there, Gary, we’re with ya.

  4. aceshigh11 - May 29, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Oh, Christ…what awful news. And to be only 57 years old…such a tragedy.

    Good luck, Kid. I’ll always have fond memories of watching you play when I was young.

  5. indaburg - May 29, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Fight the good fight, Kid. If anyone can beat it, he can.

  6. CliffC - May 30, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    I lost my old man on March 4th when his glioblastoma tumor hemorrhaged just before surgery, Same hospital. As a shameless plug, please give to glioblastoma specifically as they are so far behind cancer in general.

    It’s a tough road ahead for his family, I wish them the best.

    • nixonotis - May 30, 2011 at 12:20 AM

      So sorry to hear about your loss.

    • indaburg - May 30, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      I’m very sorry for your loss. And I agree–brain cancer research needs to catch up.

  7. cur68 - May 30, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Good luck Mr. Carter. I’ll be thinking about you.

  8. cup0pizza - May 30, 2011 at 12:42 AM


    • nixonotis - May 30, 2011 at 1:46 AM

      Come on, man. What is with you?

      • cur68 - May 30, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        He’s an idiotic little twerp, that’s what’s with him, nixon’. Don’t bother with the guy.

    • bigdicktater - May 30, 2011 at 2:06 PM

      You need to remember that what goes around comes around, jackass!

  9. ulpian88 - May 30, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    An inoperable brain tumor is indeed bad news. Fortunatelly mine was operable and Dr. Friedman and his skilled team got most of it out. Unfortunately the mass was draped all over my optic nerves, right where the two major nerves cross at the optic chiasm and I was left about 50% blind, perhaps 60%. If any team of neurosurgeons can prolong Gary Carters life, I would bet on Duke.
    The staff includes not only some fine brain surgeons but also a very capable collection of residents who will soon be full-fledged brain surgeons. Some have been training for 7 years after receiving their MD degrees. Also the nurses and the radiology technicians at Duke are also first class.
    I spent a total of 18 days on the neurology floor as a patient and I can testify first hand about the skill care offered to the patients by the non physician staff. They were super.

    Any cancer patient needs all the support we can give him or her. Believe me, knowing that people care and are expressing it can be felt by the patient whether they can actually hear you or not.

    I will sound off with two humorous comment on myself. Just remember that humor even in the face of a serious, life-threatening problem is essential in helping the body fight like hell.

    After surgery when I was in recovery, one of the residents kept asking me questions. My surgery involved a craniotomy so I was put under deep anesthesia during surgery, and the recovery room staff was trying to ascertain my level of consciousness. First someone asked me if I new where I was. I got that one right. Next, when were you born? (Got that one too.) Then somebody asked me who was the president of the United States. Duhhhhh,

    My wife and son were there and they said I started naming presidents from G. W. Bush all the way back to Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, and Woodrow Wilson, but I never could think of President Obama. Bear in mind, he had not been president but a few days as my surgery was in January.

    After I fully woke up a few hours later, I asked one of the residents who filled the hole in my head with wood putty.

    I know that sounds like undue levity at a time of crisis but, again, despair is not going to beat cancer.
    Give Gary all the help you can muster.

    I will close with a real funny. Bear in mind that North Carolina is one state where it seems like every body is familiar with the Andy Griffith Show that originated in the early Sixties. I was being taken from my room to radiology for another MRI. I asked the guys pushing the gurney if there was someone there in radiology who could get me in the right position. One of the staff helping transport me said assured me that John was there. He was twice as strong as he was ugly and he was uglier than Ernest T. Bass.

    • nixonotis - May 30, 2011 at 1:50 AM

      Hope you keep putting up the good fight, it sounds that despite any affects you have your mind in the right place. Thanks for sharing your story, we can only hope Mr. Carter will be able to share in the future the same way that you have tonight. All the best.

      • nixonotis - May 30, 2011 at 1:51 AM


    • cur68 - May 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      ulpian88; great story. I’m glad to know there’s hope for Gary Carter. Your story really helps. He was among the first ball players I could recognize on sight and I’m so used to hearing his name pronounced with a French accent I halfway think of him as Quebecois.

      It’s comforting to know that Duke’s rep is well deserved.

    • indaburg - May 30, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Thanks for the story, ulpian88. My dad had his craniotomy for GBM on May 19th, and we are working on getting him to Duke–all the records and pathology have been sent, and we’re just waiting to hear back from them. Based on your story, it is reassuring to know that we’re making the right choice. Good luck in your continued remission.

  10. purdueman - May 30, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    Any cancer is bad enough, but this kind of cancer is among the very worst because as the disease progresses the patient gets blistering migrane headaches to the point to where frankly life isn’t worth living anymore. Unfortunately none of us have a say in such things, much less understand them; all we can do is say a prayer for Gary and hope that his pain and suffering can be minimized.

  11. Chipmaker - May 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Damn. That sounds like what Johnny Oates had. He lasted three years from his diagnosis, which was longer than doctors predicted.

    Stupid cancer.

  12. tuftsb - May 30, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    I talked with some doctors and drug company execs this weekend regarding brain cancer and what can be done. Unfortunately, they all told me we are 50 years or more away from being able to treat it as “effectively” as some other cancers. The advances will be slow.

  13. jwbiii - May 30, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    “Grade 4 Glioblastoma” were pretty much the words I did not want to read about Carter’s condition. My sister lasted 11 months; the last three or so were Really Bad.

    Pray for Carter and his family.

    Also for Ulpian’s and tuftsb’s presence on the sunny side of the turf.

  14. jjpileggi - May 31, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    The Kid has been a part of my life for over 30 years. The first game after the 1981 strike was the All Star Game where Carter hit two homers, gave a textbook showing of how to block the plate, and was voted MVP. His first game as a Met was about 45 days after the birth of my son, and I remember driving around on that opening day of 1985, looking at homes with my wife. Carter hit a dramatic game winning home run off ex-Met Neil Allen and my radio almost flew out of my dashboard and woke up the baby in his car seat. During the Astros NL Championship series of 1986, I was locked in a meeting on the 13th floor of my building and heard a scream from the street when Carter singled home the winning run. And, I will never forget him running to hug Jesse Orosco when as Jesse threw his glove into the sky, and it has yet to come down.

    The Kid was a great ball player, and is a wonderful human being. I am watching the Mets Pirates game this evening, and Ron Darling just choked up talking about Carter, calling him “one of the two finest human beings (Mookie WIlson is the other) he had ever played with. The word that keeps coming to mind is “no”. I want to scream “no” at the tumors in his brain. He is 57. It is not his time. The Kid is all heart. He will beat this. The love of millions has to count for something. Go Kid!!! Love , strength and prayers to your family. The world needs you around.

    • purdueman - May 31, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      jj… nice post. If ever there was a pro ballplayer who played with the untarnished joy of a little leaguer, it was Gary Carter. Too bad more guys aren’t like him!

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