By: Chris Figliuzzi

8 months. That’s how long it’s been since I was forced to give up everything, or at least the one thing I thought I wanted more then anything. I had been working as a Morning Show Host/Music Director in Wainwright, Alberta. Not the ideal setting, but I was doing what I loved and receiving recognition for doing a good job of it.

Then I got sick. Nothing to major at first, but things took a turn and I was propping myself up on a coffee table to be able to breath enough to sleep at night, throwing up after every meal, and wasn’t able to do a flight of stairs with out instantly having to find a bathroom. This was enough, this was the point where I took myself to a hospital and found that my kidney, which I had transplanted in 15 years ago, was failing.

I was sent to Edmonton, and it was there in a bed at the University Hospital that I made my peace with my run being over. I had spent my time enjoying it. I travelled, saw and lived out experiences others might only dream of. I had nothing left to pursue and only the painful and unimaginable treatment process left in front of me. I accepted my fate and was forced to move back in with my mom and wait things out.

Something changed though, something I hadn’t counted on. I had an out pouring of support from friends and family, many that I hadn’t seen or spoken to in years. Sure we had occasionally stalked each other on Facebook, or sent the required “Happy Birthday” messages but that was about it. Yet these people took time out of their lives, and in many cases their family’s lives, to check in on me and help me keep my head up. I can’t express how much that propped me up. It helped me reignite my fight.

I have now been in treatment for 8 months, with a very optimistic future in my eyes and a new outlook on what’s important in my life. I share this story with you now as many of you are at the beginning of your career path and at a point where your focus may be starting to single in on where you want this path to lead. It is important though that this does not become your sole focus as it did for me. A career does not make your life, no one ever sits on their death bed wishing they worked more…trust me I was there.

Make sure to surround yourself with family and friends. Yes, both you and them will become more and more busy with school, work and families, but these are the people that make life exciting and worth it. At the end of the day these are the things that will give you something to look back and smile on, not the time spent obsessing over some title or who got the promotion. Enjoy your time here because you don’t get much of it.

Photosource: Dreamstime