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Radiation treatment over

FRIDAY 10 AUGUST 2007: Michael today completed the scheduled pre-operative course of radiation treatment at Canberra Hospital and will now focus on recovering for surgery, expected to be mid-September.

However, it could be three or four weeks before he can have a test to find out how successful the radiation and chemotherapy have been in treating the tumour. His medical team are hoping the tumour will have disappeared altogether and that evidence of the cancer in any lymph nodes has been eliminated.

In the last few days, Michael has returned to the gym, doing some light training sessions at the ACT Academy of Sport and out on his bike. As he says: 'I am in training for surgery'.

The cumulative effects of the radiation therapy mean Michael expects to feel his worst over the next couple of weeks despite having his last treatment today. Extreme fatigue and oesophagitis (pain and discomfort swallowing) are the main symptoms but he is hopeful he can continue training and manage his eating to retain weight.

He is also looking forward to celebrating daughter Matilda's first birthday and maybe even going to one of the Canberra Raiders' last home games for the season.

The extensive surgery could mean hospitalisation for ten days and a long period of recovery afterward so Michael plans to savour the two or three weeks between completing the radiation treatment and having surgery when he expects to feel his old self again.