'The day Scotland got a 'No' I got a 'Yes'," says Scots-born BDO tax partner Iain Craig. As his countrymen were voting against independence in September, the 51-year-old Craig was getting the diagnosis on a dodgy looking lump on his lower left eyelid.
The cancerous growth needed to be removed to stop it metastasising through his nervous system.
Excising the skin cancer meant removing a margin around the lump and it became obvious his eyeball was going to be surgical collateral.
While Craig - who is head of tax for BDO's New Zealand/Asia Pacific region and international tax co-ordinator for the firm - never considered the cancer would be life-threatening, he admits he was shocked at the thought of losing an eye and nervous about the effect on his business.
And it wasn't how he expected 2015 to unfold, a year in which he'd pledged to be "fit at 50" and started by running the London Marathon.
Craig sought the advice of architect and golfing pal John Duncan, who wears an eye patch after losing an eye in a boating accident some 25 years ago.
"He settled me down because it hadn't affected him at all." Instead, Craig uses his eye patch - he generally wears black, but has already accumulated gold, silver fern, Maori motif and tartan patches to suit the occasion - in one-liners aimed at breaking the ice.
"I now meet new clients and say: 'Hi, my name is Iain Craig, that's Iain with two i's - spelling not look'."
He has become BDO's "eye on tax" and even bought the number plate "1ISCOT".
When the date for the operation was set down for late November, Craig had a four-week window to sort out his work schedule and run one last event for the year, the Kerikeri Half Marathon.
By chance, the race's official charity was the Cancer Society.
"The best thing about that was I was able to use the run as a way of telling people what was going on. I composed a very carefully worded email to my business partners from all around the country and to friends and family, around the speed bump that hit me."
Craig says keeping people in the loop made it easier to come back to work after the operation, with the bonus that sponsorship support from friends and family raised $17,500 for the Cancer Society.
A lot of that money came from BDO colleagues locally and internationally, says Craig,
"That was really heart-warming to think your fellow partners and staff sending you messages of goodwill, to know that you've made a difference in the 15 years you've been at BDO and they had your back. "It was really rewarding."
After the operation Craig spent the first six weeks of the New Year getting radiotherapy treatment across five days each week.
He scaled back his work, stopping by the office for a couple of hours in the morning before being taken to the hospital by friends and colleagues for his afternoon treatment appointments.
"A lot of it was coming in and just having communication.
"I wasn't doing any really hard work, I was just making sure I understood what was going on and trying to help where I could, but I was very mindful about recovering.
As well as work, Craig was keen to get back into the sport of curling. "I had no room for error in my recovery or I would never have made the world champs."
The Russian-hosted World Senior Curling Championships in April created a fairly tight timetable for Craig to finish his treatment and get fit for curling again, but he was not happy to postpone it for another year.
"I have always been goal oriented and it was a pretty good goal.
"And also after the surprise I had you can't look too far forward."
He scheduled six weeks to get ready which included gym work and time spent with his teammates in Dunedin practising throws - none of which is affected by the loss of some peripheral vision and depth of perception.
Despite having an interrupted training schedule, Craig helped the team to a bronze at Sochi.
Six months on, Craig says he doesn't think anything has changed on a day-to-day basis. "I bought a stand-up desk the other day so I stand up and work more now, but I don't think that has anything to do with the eye," he quips.
However, the upsides have been renewed connections forged through embracing social media and a more realistic approach to work stresses, says Craig.
When his father-in-law told him after the operation he'd been lucky, Craig thought "you've got to be joking".
"But I do think I've been lucky."