(From wife Penni)
NOVEMBER 2007: Eight weeks since Michael's surgery for Oesophageal Cancer
and his recovery is gathering pace.
Although riding on and off for about five weeks, it's only been the last
week that he's been able to manage longer distances and he can finally feel
his fitness increasing. Last week he rode in the morning and then backed up
with his first race that night. He paid for it for a few days afterward (or
it could have been the celebratory Indian feed he had) but he finished in
the pack which is an important milestone.
Michael still has bad days but they are fewer and further between.
Generally unwell in the middle of the day, he also feels worse after eating
so there's still a way to go. It was such a major operation that the
physical recovery will take a long time and he may always have problems
with his digestive system. Staying nutritionally healthy and hydrated
(particularly when he is training and even moreso when he's competing) will
be an ongoing challenge.
He has his eyes firmly set on the Australian Track Championships in Sydney
in February on his way to (hopefully) qualify for the Beijing Paralympic
Games. The pressure is on to get healthy and fit enough to not only survive
but perform. The upshot is he will have to better his PB by quite a bit to
The surgeon is happy with his progress and says all his symptoms are
normal. His vocal chords seem to have been damaged during the operation but
everyone is confident they will heal over time. If it goes on too much
longer, he will have to see an ENT specialist.
We're hoping Michael will rejoin the speaking circuit around February 2008
but, for the moment, we are just enjoying being at home, focussing on
Michael's recovery and spending time together as a family.