A year ago chart-topping Kiwi jazz musician Nathan Haines was weeks into a months-long fight against throat cancer, a battle that would at times rob him of his voice, his energy and his immediate plans for the future.
But it's a new year and while it's not a completely new Haines - he remains the ambitious young man who left New Zealand in his teens and put out the first of 10 solo albums at age 22 - there's been some changes.
There's also some big plans for the 46-year-old, who is cancer free but is still dealing with the after effects of the illness — on Wednesday he had surgery to "bulk up" a vocal chord damaged after his December 2017 diagnosis.
Haines won't be allowed to speak for an as-yet-unknown period after the operation, but he's hoping he'll be able to sing at an outdoor concert in the Far North he's organising with his wife Jaimie Webster Haines and her father.
The Sounds Good jazz, soul and funk concert featuring saxophonist Haines' seven-piece band will take place on Auckland and Northland anniversary day, January 28, at the privately-owned Butler Point property at Hihi, 60km north of Kerikeri.
Webster Haines will DJ at the family-friendly concert, which is free for under-12s.
Haines, who also composes, produces and DJs, said it had been a tough year of operations, radiation, rehabilitation and recovery and he was enjoying focusing on something that was being organised in part as a thank you to those he loved.
"Since my diagnosis and all that hospital time, it's been a very long process of rehabilitation and recovery. Before I got cancer [when] I thought about recovery, oh, it sounds nice, you're just lying around, but there's a very physical aspect to my recovery in that I wasn't able to talk, I was completely wiped out ... [because] I was on morphine for six months to deal with the pain.
"Radiation, I went through 35 radiation treatments and that was very debilitating. I went down to 60kg, and I lost a lot of movement in my right hand."
Add to that was "just being a parent through all that, and a husband", with Webster Haines having to carry a "huge amount" of the work of running the household, Haines said.
"So now, it's nice to be able to be thinking about something else other than me, and it is a bit of a thank you too."
Among those performing at Sounds Good are musicians Haines had collaborated with for many years, including his guitarist brother Joel Haines, drummer Mickey Ututaonga and vocalist Tama Waipara.
"The music I do now, and have been for a long time, it's a celebration. And the musicians I'm working with, there's a lot of long-term love in there.
"So at this time in my life to be able to stand on stage with people like that and play music which is very dear to me, a lot of original music but also we're playing the music of other composers that we love as well ... it's a really lovely process."
The concert was also part of celebrating other milestones for the three-time Tui Jazz Album of the Year award winner, from the 25th anniversary of his debut album Shift Left to his becoming a father to son Zoot, who turned 4 last month.
"There's a lot to celebrate about 2019 for us so this concert was a way of putting that all into one thing and sort of celebrating the fact that we're all here and putting on a really great event for people."
Sounds Good would also be the first time he and his wife had worked on a concert together, Haines said.
Webster Haines has a background in the fashion industry, but had become a very good DJ.
"She's one of my favourite DJs to work with now because she's got such a great level of taste and expertise."
Haines was himself adapting to a new way of life — after years of working at a frenetic pace he now knew the rest of his life would be about maintaining his health.
"I'm doing that for my relationship, and being a father. I've got a family to think about but [also] I want to have a really long career.
"To be told at 46 that I have cancer was a shock, but on another sort of deeply spiritual level I was like, 'Okay, well I sort of knew that maybe something was coming up.' So I had to stop and slow down."
Haines couldn't yet say too much about his plans beyond this month's concert, but promised 2019 was going to be a big year, and the last 13 months would be a significant part of that.
"I've learnt an incredible amount about being a human, about being a father, about being a husband and about my priorities. I think now, a year after, that's going to go back into my art.
"It's all gonna be part of my journey".