This section looks at 2011 onwards, from 2011 to 2016 I was required to have one check up a year.
My one and only check-up for 2011 took place in August. Cheryl attended the appointment with me instead of mum I ended up using the
appointment time this day as my lunch break as the waiting time exceeded an hour I had to make the time up on another day at work.
This year there wasn't really much new to report. I will continue to have annual check-ups for the next 5 years and then after that
it is most likely check-ups will take place through my GP instead of the hospital.
In April this year I became an uncle when Katrina gave birth to Amelie.
Back in 2009 when I made a decision to return to study I also had an appointment at Workbridge to see if they could
help me find employment in the IT industry, explaining that I was about to start a new course. I didn't have much success with
Workbridge in 2006 but in 2009 the advice I was given was to put my CV into a few businesses around town explaining that I
was looking for some work experience and hopefully this could lead to employment in the IT industry. One of the businesses I dropped my CV
off to was Gen-i, at the time I actually assumed my CV would probably end up in the rubbish. In August 2010 I was surprised
to receive an email inviting me to apply for a position as a Junior Engineer an entry level position. I applied for this job
and was not successful however in April this year I was offered a job at Gen-i to work on their soon to be establish
Service Desk. Finally foot in the door into the IT industry something I have been trying to get for a very long time.
One condition of employment was that I had to leave my course, I did question as to whether not having a degree would
prevent me from climbing the ladder within the company and all of managers didn't seem to think not having a degree would
hold me back once I had started. So I chose to leave the course, my tutor was not happy that I had to leave the course but
was really happy I had found this job. The employment was also subject to the newly established 90 day trial period law,
as a result I stayed at the Freezing works and worked both jobs until the first chain was laid off for the season, I then
took voluntary termination for the season this way if I was to lose my new job under the 90 day period I could return
to my old job.
Since starting my new job I have really enjoyed myself and when I wake up in the morning I actually look forward to
getting up and going to work. I feel I am learning a lot more from my new job than what I did when I was a student.
The job has seen many challenges and certainly in the early weeks was very tough but after 3 months this is certainly
a different story.
At the end of the year I made a decision to end my engagement to Cheryl for a very long list of reasons.
To put it simply we both had different ideas about where we wanted to go in life, while we both liked the idea
of getting married and having children one day the way we each wanted to go about doing this was different.
In May of this year my younger sister Neroli was diagnosed with Fibromyxoid Sarcoma, fortunately for Neroli her treatment only involved have
surgery to have the tumour removed and to this day she is in good health. This was certainly a surprise to our family for two siblings
to be diagnosed with a Sarcoma. During the later months of 2012 myself and my mother had an appointment with the Genetic Clinic
at Southland hospital to determine whether there is any possibility my cancer and Neroli's cancer could have been inherited.
I have had several relatives such as my Nana and Granddad who both died of cancer, it appears most of my relatives who have had
cancer are on my mothers side.
My thirteenth check-up with Kate Bayston took place in October. My weight has now climbed over 90kg, I believe this huge gain in
weight is due to my change in employment where I am spending more time sitting down in an office instead of doing physical work.
I have had to cut some foods out of my diet to try and bring this weight back down to a more acceptable level.
My ideal weight is around 80kg.
My fourteenth check-up took place in October. A decision has been made that I will have just one more check-up before I am completely discharged.
This check-up will not be for another two years which will be 2015. I am however to report to the hospital if I present any concerning symptoms
at any time.
I was expecting this checkup to be my very last checkup ever however was surprised to find Kate would like to see me again in a year. I attended this appointment with my new
girlfriend Abi and her oldest daughter Gracie. During 2015 I ended up getting really sick over the winter months with myself missing several days work and having 3 visits to my GP. Kate was able
to look up my records and confirm that I had Glandular fevour over the winter months this year. There wasn't really anything new to report at this checkup however I
requested another fertility test, the last test I had in 2009 revealed I had a low sperm count. The results came back in December revealing I now have a normal sperm count.
There was just one event this year that stood out, after being single since the end of 2011 I started going out with Abi. We met online using the NZ Dating website
however after getting to know each other online we found that we both had known each others families since our childhood days. Abi's family used to live across the
road from my Nana in Edendale and my Nana actually used to look after Abi as a preschooler. Abi's family moved away and apart from Abi and her mother attending my
Nana's funeral in 2000 our families didn't have any further contact until Abi and I met in 2015.
Abi was 26 years old when we met, making her 10 years younger than me, and has 3 preshcool children from her previous marriage. Our relationship has been a real challenge given
that we live in different towns and also this has been a new experience bonding with Abi's children. We also managed to make time for ourselves and go away
together including a train trip on the Taieri Gorge train.
Abi and myself visiting Edendale church. A place I attended as a child when I stayed with nana and Abi and her family regularly attended.
On January 11 2016 I received the most surprising and welcoming news, for the past 10 years I have believed that I would never be able to father any children due to the cancer
treatment. After arrivig home from work this day a very stressed Abi asked that I give her a call, after calling Abi I received the news that Abi was pregnant with our baby to
be due around September this year. Our first scan on the 20th January gave us a due date of around the 21st September but as Abi will be required to have our baby via C-Section
it is likely baby will arrive late in August. We made the announcement in March after Abi reaching the 12 week point of the pregnancy, we found out at the 20 week scan in April
that our baby will be a girl.
20 week scan for Blair jnr.
The news of Abi and I about to have our first child lead to us both making some fast decisions given that at the time we were living in different towns, we weren't
planning on moving in together until at least the start of 2017 but given that a baby was on the way we had to bring this date forward. I also looked into whether we should find a
more suitable house to live in as we had discussed moving into my house and found we would have needed to make a lot of changes before Abi and her kids could move in, changes such as
fully fencing the property. Moving into Abi's house in Gore did not make financial sense as she rented her house and the cost of driving between Gore and Invercargill every day would be too much.
So I made the rather big decision to put my house on the market and look for a more kid friendly house. After just a week of looking at open homes
we found our perfect property that would be suitable for us both, this house had an office at the back where I could lock my computer away and sit down there if needed and a large driveway and
grass areas where the kids can play and ride their bikes and the garage which I can potentially turn into a man cave.
After 3 weeks of looking at multiple open homes I put an offer on this house and after having my house on the market for a month
I managed to sell the house. On the 1st July Abi, the kids and I moved in together into our new home.
Abi and myself at St. Bathans in Central Otago.
Abi at about 33 weeks pregnant.
Samantha-Hazel Howden was born in September weighing 6lbs, 6oz and 49cm. The name Hazel was chosen in memory of my nana Hazel who died in 2000 and was like an auntie
to Abi when she was a child.
Abi and Hazel an hour after Hazel was born.
My Final Checkup:
I was originally expecting my final checkup to be in 2015 however Kate decided I should have one more in 2016. This time Abi attended the checkup with Max and Hazel. The reaction from Kate when
I mentioned the birth of Hazel was priceless. Kate actually took Hazel down with her to the ward and showed the other oncology nurses the miracle baby that we all thought would never be. Kate had
said many times the chances of me being able to father a child naturally weren't that great.
Overall the check up went well, my parting advice was to ensure I kept myself healthy by eating good foods and getting regular exercise. I am to see my GP on a regular basis for checkups to ensure I am
in good health and let the hospital know if I have any concerning issues.