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An update from Michael

FRIDAY 3 AUGUST 2007: First of all I need to apologise for not replying to all the emails and phone calls and letters of support individually. Thank you so much for all your messages of support and offers of help. Reading them definitely helped while I dealt with a serious cancer diagnosis.

After the initial shock of my diagnosis, I have now come to terms with the path that must be taken. Treatment has started and let me tell you it's not much fun. Chemo was a quick one week dose of two different drugs, now finished. Radiotherapy is three weeks of treatments, five days a week. Ten down, five to go.

There is no confirmed date for surgery yet but it is likely to be in around the middle of September. They will remove the oesophagus as well as some of the lymph nodes in the area, stretch the stomach from a balloon shape into a tube and attach it to the base of my throat.

Even with the treatment the odds are still stacked against me. Five year survival rates are around 30% but I am much younger and healthier than most others with this disease so we are banking on better stats than that. I am optimistic about a successful treatment and look forward to feeling healthy again and enjoying life.

I would like to thank my sponsors for sticking with me through this: the Toyota and Skins teams are great to work with and have been very understanding. I hope to be able to repay them in the future by getting my career back on track.

Thanks again for all your support.