My Dad in the hospitalThis is my first blog post in nearly a year. Last September, my 74-year-old father was hospitalized for what turned out to be pancreatic cancer. (Those last two words kinda give away how this story is going to end.) I immediately flew out to Washington, DC to be with him.

Over the next seven months, in two hospitals and two nursing homes, he battled like a prize fighter. He endured two surgeries, four “procedures,” five trips to the Emergency Room, four trips to the Intensive Care Unit, feeding tubes, catheters, delirium, multiple infections, a concussion (thanks to the negligence of one of the nursing homes), and a stage 4 bed sore. (Whatever you do, do not—I repeat, DO NOT—do a Google image search for “stage 4 bed sore.” You’re welcome.)

Throughout this excruciating ordeal, I was by his side every day, doing everything in my power to help him survive. Several times over the course of those months—when he was struggling and suffering the most—I asked him if he wanted to keep fighting or if he wanted to just quit. Each time he said, “Let’s keep fighting.” So we did.

And that’s why you haven’t heard from me in so long. I didn’t blog, I didn’t tweet, I didn’t do any sales or marketing. I just focused on my dad. Talking with him. Changing his dressings. Learning all I could about his condition and care. Applying creams, ointments, and powders. Feeding him ice chips. Holding his hand.

If you know anything about pancreatic cancer, you won’t be surprised to learn that my father didn’t make it. But if I had to do it all over again, I would. In a heartbeat.

Because, DAMN it—he was worth fighting for.

And that’s my question to you: What are you willing to fight for? Your family? Your business? Your clients? Your idea? Yourself?

Whatever your answer is (and it can be more than one thing), put everything you’ve got into it. Don’t half-ass it. You may only have one shot.

There are never any guarantees in business or in life, but as long as you’re willing to fight—and willing to give it your all—you will always have a chance at success.

Thanks for everything, Dad. Love you.