It is one thing to be sick yourself. A cold you'll get over in a few days is easy to handle. When someone you love is sick, you help them through the same cold by bringing them soup or making sure they have cold medicine to take. The game changes a little bit when the sickness is something growing inside of them.

A little over a year ago, I found out my stepdad had cancer. We were very optimistic because it was only in his neck. After weeks of his initial treatments, they found he had more tumors. It had spread to various parts of his body including his bones. We remained optimistic because the original tumor had shrunk so much. More treatments and scans went by and here we are now - still sick and still fighting.

When someone you love is sick you check in on them, not everyday but often. When someone you love is sick you make sure they take their medicine and help them with what they need. For us it was help with feedings through a tube, replacing patches for pain, and making sure he had company for his treatments. The treatment is hard to cope with. He's lost his hair, his energy, but he holds onto hope. His hope has lifted mine and as a family we are still working through his sickness.

It is hard to watch someone you love when the things they used to do easily become harder. It's hard to watch them in pain. It's hard, but you stay along the way and help as much as you can because they need you.

My stepdad has been one of the strongest, bravest people I've ever known through all of this. Even now, as we receive more news that leads us down a path opposite of what we wanted - he is staying as strong as he can for those around him. I'm proud of the battle he has fought and whatever happens next, I will remain proud.