WEDNESDAY 10 OCTOBER 2007: After a major operation and ten days in hospital,
Paralympic champion and Australia's fastest ever skier, Michael Milton, checked
out of hospital yesterday having all but beaten cancer for the second time.
The operation to remove Milton's oesophagus and the malignant tumour within
took place on Saturday 29 September. Since then he has focussed on his
physical recovery while waiting for the pathology results on the cancerous
Yesterday his surgeon reported the tumour had shrunk to a fraction of its
original size and there was no longer any evidence of the cancer having
spread to surrounding lymph nodes. At this stage, it is the best possible
outcome for Milton and his wife Penni.
'This is the news we have been waiting to hear. Now we can put the last
three months of worry and anguish and fear behind us and concentrate on
recovery. It was a major operation and I still have a long way to go but we
are confident the worst is over,' said Milton.
The couple and their one-year-old daughter Matilda relocated to a Rydges
Hotel in North Sydney for three weeks for the surgery, along with Milton's
mother and Penni's sister.
'Both families have been wonderful. There are no limits to the support they
are prepared to give. I don't know how we would have managed without them.
'Our team of surgeons and specialists in Canberra and in Sydney have done a
fantastic job. They've guided us through the chemotherapy, radiation
therapy and the surgery and we've come out the other end. Thanks to them we
can get on with our lives now,' explained Milton.
The cancer diagnosis was a huge setback in Milton's plans to represent
Australia as a cyclist at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. He now
plans to be back in serious training by the end of the year with a view to
competing in the Australian Track Cycling Championships in February 2008.
'I have to have a goal, something to aim for. It's vital to my recovery,
both mentally and physically. I do believe it's possible though. I don't
set unrealistic goals,' said a determined Milton.
The Milton family will return home to Canberra this weekend where, just one
month ago, they celebrated Matilda's first birthday and naming ceremony and
surprised guests with their own wedding.