All season long, the narrative surrounding Colorado Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis has focused on his recovery from his battle with testicular cancer. After throwing a live session on Tuesday at Coors Field, all that talk is finally shifting back to where it should be: Baseball.

“I felt really good out there,” Bettis said. “I was really excited out there. It was nice to be talking about mechanics again instead how I’m feeling, how my strength is, how I’m recovering and stuff like that. Mechanically, I felt good. I threw a couple curve balls where I just broke too early and spiked a couple, but overall, felt pretty good.”

Manager Bud Black was pleased, to say the least.

“I thought he looked pretty good,” Black said. “We have seen Chad throw off the mound now for some time with increasing intesity. This was just another step of increased intensity. Again, he is passing all of these markers. And it is really good to see. But he looked fine. He threw the ball great in Phoenix Saturday. Ball was coming out of his hand good. A good spin to the breaking ball.”

Since undergoing surgery back in the spring, Bettis said the cancer has failed to make another appearance–not even a trace of one–much to everyone’s elation.

“The crazy thing was once I had surgery, the cancer was never detected in my blood again. I have two more marker tests on my blood coming up in the next couple weeks,” Bettis said. “I feel like I’m getting back to my normal self, my routine of life, so it’s been nice.”

Although Bettis has had the chance to throw some bullpen sessions already this year, he got to throw the ball across the plate to hitters for the first time since the spring, with Pat Valaika and Mike Tauchman in the batter’s box.

“I think having a hitter in there helped, whether to speed stuff up or slow stuff down, I don’t know,” Bettis said. “But I definitely felt more rhythm through my windup.”

He threw 63 pitches on Tuesday.

“It felt as close to a game as I’ve been since spring, so it was nice,” Bettis said. “I felt more in tune. It’s something that has kind of been weird. I feel much more comfortable out of my stretch right now than I do with my windup, just from a timing standpoint.”

With that and a few other sessions under his belt already this season, Bettis said he’s feeling more like himself on the mound again.

“I feel as normal as I can be,” he said. “I feel like everything’s there. I feel back.”

Although he’s not entirely sure when he’ll see in-game action again, he believes he may need two or three rehab starts down in the minors before the Rockies call him back up again to join the starting rotation.

“It’s just kind of a day-by-day basis right now,” Bettis said. “I know I have something like this [another live session], and then we’ll go from there.”

With the cancer in the past for now, it would seem, Bettis said he’s ready to return to his normal life.

“It’s definitely nice to be more in the mindset of baseball now,” Bettis said.

If all goes well the next few weeks, he should be back sooner than you may think.

“Doctors in Phoenix are keeping track of everything that is going on, and everything is full steam ahead,” Black said. “There hasn’t been any indication to us, I think Darren, Steve and I, on holding him back. I think on the strength and conditioning side too he’s doing everything a healthy pitcher would do.”