When I was sick, really sick, not simply this recent cold that has me dragging a bit, when I had cancer there were people lining out the door and around the block to try and help. No, there was not an actual line of people surrounding my house but had I asked for one I'm sure that would have been there. Our line was slightly more amorphous and consisted of countless phone calls, emails, letters, and cards all asking if there was anything that they (the sender) could do to help us. It took some time to learn to say yes to these offers and even more time to learn to ask for something specifically.
If I had to do it over I think I might do some things differently:
I would have sat down all the meal makers and told them about the foods that we, as a family, really enjoy. I would have told them all to coordinate with each other so that we wouldn't worry that lasagna was coming on back to back nights.
I would have asked people to yes please, empty the dishwasher and no, don't worry about where anything goes...except the cups they go here. And when I'm thirsty because I am borderline dehydrated I need to be able to get the cups quickly.
I would have given up worrying about what the tub looked like and let other people scrub it shiny!
I would have said yes more when someone offered me their seat even if I didn't feel that tired. Sometimes its more important to take the seat than not when it comes to making the other person feel a little good too.
I would have asked more people to read aloud to me. After chemo treatments I often couldn't watch tv or read a book but could listen.
I would have written about more of the journey, or maybe asked others to write about their part of the journey.
These are all things that I, as the patient, could have asked for more of. If you are a patient what would you ask for? If you are a caregiver or family member or friend what would you offer?