Knock Knock

I have to talk about visitors and emails I have received.

When word gets out about cancer, it spreads pretty quickly and the reactions are pretty interesting.
Emails always start with the person thinking of us all the time and either praying for us or sending us health vibes. Some go on to say they wish they could help out in any way or how they wish they lived closer to come and help out which is interesting because these are friends who live 2 towns over. Emails saying if I need anything to call anytime. This is appreciated.
When John is in the hospital
Instead of saying you want to do something-SHOW UP. Come over and help. Bring a bag of groceries or some cleaning supplies and clean a room. Take the kids outside for an hour. Don’t ask me if I need anything. Don’t tell me you would love to see us. Don’t send me {{{HUGS}}}. DO IT. Don’t call to schedule this, I might not pick up the phone. I might tell you I am fine-don’t believe me. Just knock on the door. I will answer it. I won’t be able to sit with you and talk about things and I am not expecting you to stay long. Even just dropping things off is enough time.I will appreciate that you will be in the moment with me and help me.
When John is home (here is a real twist)
We get people who want to visit. These are the ones that think they can hang out and sit and talk. It’s not a hang, dude. It’s seeing someone be sick and in pain. John can’t talk about the music scene or the CD that is being worked on. He will need to take the urinal and pee while you are in the same room. He goes to sleep in mid sentence and half the time, doesn’t make sense.  Bring groceries or dinner  for the family because I can’t cook for you. I don’t need a plant or flowers. I can’t take care of them right now. Don’t spend all day. Don’t spend a couple of hours. Just an hour or less because this is our family time and you will be taking that away. Kids get confused as to why so many people are showing up and when you leave, there is the emotional aftermath of your visit and why you never came over when he was well. Please understand this and if I tell you it’s not a good time or that you cannot come to visit, respect this.
When John is in the hospital
This is your best time to visit and even then, call me and plan this with me. Again, this is not casual hang time. It’s a sick person getting care with tubes in his nose and arms. Doctors and nurses need to come in and he might have a roommate so the noise will be off the hook. Don’t just sit there, help him. Smile at him. He needs that more than anything and limit your visiting time. He is tired. He needs to rest.

Visiting with a sick person is shocking and it’s a lot of work for everyone so really think about what you can give in this type of situation and really, what you will be leaving with.

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