Really, this is not my story to tell; but, because I feel this story is not being told I will take this opportunity to share what I see from the outside.  And I ask you to please listen, please see, please hear and support; because, behind every patient is a care-giver, a partner, a loved one.
She is the cancer patient and she is seen so clearly.  She is doted on, celebrated, adorned.  She is championed and bolstered.  She is highlighted and praised for her bravery. She is thankful, so thankful for this but please see him…
He is the caregiver.  See him.  He is the partner, the spouse.  See him.  He is the one who is left to process what life may look like if his loved one dies.  See him.  See him and give pause here.
Give much pause here because he gives much pause here, without notice. 
Please notice.
 As long as she, the patient, is alive the spotlight shines bright on her.  The loved ones, the supporters, the caregivers get lost in the struggle of attending the needs of her, the sick one.  Her needs are urgent and beckon immediate attention…..
Amongst the busy commotion is him.  He is left to contemplate a life of single-fatherhood to a young and oh so needy family.  He is left to at the same time contemplate a life of losing a lover.  And it is gut-wrenching for me to think of.  But he is living this!
She is lavished with words and gifts and overt love.  He gets the left-overs.  And at the same time he is called to be strong for her, because she is the sick one.
The Battle
It’s like he is in the battle, just as she is: but without armor.  Without reinforcements. 
(The attention for him comes only after she dies and she is no longer there to steal the spotlight.
And by then, he’s so worn out and battered —remember he had no armor.)
My petition
I suppose this is my petition.  Do not forget him.  In general terms do not forget the caregiver, the spouse.  In specific terms.  Do not forget Ryan.  Please, however my battle unfolds do not forget my husband, I beg you.  As I needed SO much through that first year I was blind to “the forgotten battle”, Ryan’s battle.  I was blind to the exhaustion and drain and stress of his situation.  And now as I see glimpses of the forgotten battle I am compelled to announce it.  As I fiercely love my husband and also know that my kids desperately need a healthy father, I ask you: Remember Ryan.  Remember him in your prayers and in your encouragement.  See him and all that he is doing!  And when I can no longer ask and when so much is demanded for my care, don’t forget him.  Please don’t forget him.  As he loves on me, love on him.  (remember, he’s a man, he probably won’t even realize what he needs  — take a look and if you see a need ask if you can fill it.)
And Thank You.  My utmost and sincere gratitude and thanks.
I’ve been given the unique situation of being a patient with a grave disease who still has her voice.  This is a gift.  With this gift I’ve been given I want to say with my “patient’s heart” to all those lost in the forgotten battle, Thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.
As I mentioned, I really feel this is not my story to tell.  So when caregivers speak up, when people voice their forgotten battles, listen.  We need to hear their stories.  They comprise the rich other half of the survivors’ stories.
And thank you Ryan, for warring beside me with all your might.  There’s no one else I’d rather be in battle beside.  I love you.