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Edition 17 – Navigating the “New” Normal

Heart of HOPE

April 13, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

Everyone across the world is now living in a different time. Many people are experiencing different types of emotions on a daily basis, myself included. The emotions are similar feelings associated with grief: anger, denial, acceptance, etc. Grief is a process and your emotions can change from day to day. I believe that I am now accepting of what is going on around me, which makes things easier for me to live my day to day life. I do not have control of what is going on around me, but I can try to control my emotions as best as I can.

The global pandemic that we are experiencing can also trigger emotions from our past. I know that the global pandemic has made my feelings resurface stemming from my breast cancer diagnosis. That was a major event in my life that I had no control over. All I could do was ask God, “WHY?”. I would say that that experience has made me the person that I am today. I want to help others that have been in similar situations as myself and help them to not feel so “lost”.

When I received chemotherapy, my oncologist encouraged me to stay as healthy as possible. Often times, that is easier said than done. Every action you take requires thought, strength, and being germ-free. Many people are taking the same actions today as a person that is receiving chemotherapy treatment takes, especially those with a compromised immune system.


Amsterdam Adventures: Edition 14 – HOPE

March 19, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been thinking of all of you and HOPE that you are staying healthy!

Personally, I do not feel this post deserves the title, Amsterdam Adventure, but I wanted to keep things consistent. In all honesty, I keep asking myself, “Is THIS really happening?”.

I originally planned on flying to Texas on March 31st for my 6th month check-up appointments at MD Anderson. When Tom and I heard of what was going on, with the corona virus (cv), we quickly changed my flight to leave on March 3rd. I also updated my paperwork to have Macy fly with me. Tom decided not to change his flight and was going to stick with the original plan and fly with Moxie later this month. My flight was cancelled. Tom and I are going to regroup and decide what we are going to do in a few weeks, we should be able to fly into Dallas. When we arrive in Texas, we will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. We are basically self-quarantined now, except for a quick trip to the grocery store or when we walk the dogs. The Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, stated that all of the restaurants, schools, cafes, coffee shops, and sex shops were to close on March 15th at 6:00 P.M. The last time a Dutch prime minister directly addressed the Netherlands on television was in the 1970s during the oil crisis.

Amsterdam has so much more to offer than the coffee shops and sex shops. I know that before I moved here, I thought that was really all that there was in Amsterdam, which is a shame because Amsterdam is a very unique city.