Holiday Letter from the Snyder Family

> Snyder Family Holiday Letter 2020
> Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Snyder family in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Like you and yours, we’ve had a year at Casa Del Snyder where the only constants has been the constant turmoil, upheaval, uncertainty and change. We’ve managed to make it through the year relatively safe and unscathed. Our love, our prayers and our hearts are with those who haven’t been as fortunate. >
> Sarah’s school went into distance learning mode; an interesting challenge with her kindergarten class; and I began working from home too. We were soon giving each other a crash course on how to use Zoom. The adjustments and changes came on a daily basis for both of us. It was soon apparent that this was going to be the new “normal” for a while. >
> Besides both of us working from home, my clinical trial went into remote mode as well. This meant my scans and bloodwork would be done here in Albuquerque, the medicine would be shipped to me, and we’d consult with my doctor via Telehealth. >
> We’d been begging for this change for years because the travel for treatment was sending my fatigue levels off the charts. Thanks to a pandemic, it finally happened. And we adjusted easily enough to remote life and working from home; another longtime dream come true thanks to the pandemic. Talk about mixed blessings. >
> The personal downside was travel restrictions also meant our planned trip to Germany, celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, had to be cancelled; as did our trip to our timeshare in Winter Park, along with planned weekend trips to see Nick. >
> We did get to Santa Fe for the actual weekend of our anniversary in August. We stayed at the Inn of the Loretto, the same place we celebrated 25 years, and had an amazing four days getting spoiled and pampered at one of Santa Fe’s best resorts. It was a great way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and toast the blessings of our lives together. >
> Despite the turbulence of the year, we had many other blessings to be thankful for as well. After finishing his training in avionics and armament systems for the US Army’s Apache helicopter, Nick was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, a four hour drive from Albuquerque. While numerous weekend trips were cancelled because of the pandemic, he has made it home for Christmas. >
> Nick has done well in the Army. In August, he was recognized as the hero of the week for his exceptional work managing the refueling and rearming of the Apache helicopters during field training exercises. His hard work and initiative was highlighted by the award and greatly appreciated by the aircrews and pilots he worked with. He has since been promoted from Private First Class to Specialist-formerly called Corporal. His next step up, which should come in the spring is Sergeant. We couldn’t be prouder of him or happier for him. He has definitely found his niche. >
> Stephanie continues to amaze and impress everyone she is working with at Eye Associates of New Mexico. Her patients love her. The doctors on staff often request her help with specific procedures. And she does well with her coworkers. She has achieved certification as a certified ophthalmology technician. Her next level after a few more years experience is the equivalent of nurse practitioner within ophthalmology. She’ll be able to see her own patients at that point. She is doing amazingly well and we are very, very proud of her. >
> For Sarah and me, it has also been a year to remember. Since I could work remotely, I was spared the cutbacks and layoffs that so many have had to endure. Sarah was able to retire from teaching and stay home several years earlier than we’d planned. It was a nice surprise and blessing for both of us. >
> My clinical drug trial continues to go well. My lung tumors are completely stable. My leg tumor is growing slightly, but at a very slow rate. It’s been a godsend doing the scans and lab work here in Albuquerque and then doing a Telehealth visit with my oncologist in Denver to discuss the results. They send my meds via overnight shipping. I’m still getting great care, but without the fatigue and stress of travel. We’re praying this change in my care protocol is a permanent one. >
> As 2020 becomes a memory, we’re trying hard to focus on what’s been good about it. And we’re looking forward to 2021 being a better and brighter year. Plus, we’re hoping the cancelled travel plans can be rescheduled for the coming year. So here’s to everyone’s year being brighter, happier, and filled with love and laughter. >
> Finally, whether you say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Frohlich Weinachten, Feliz Navidad, or simply Season’s Greetings, may the peace, joy, love, and happiness of the season be with you and yours. >
> Mike, Sarah, with Nick and Stephanie
> and Lizzie-the world’s cutest dachshund