Friday, January 29, 2010

University of Miami helps survivors in Haiti

How wonderful to see that the University of Miami physician staff is still jumping up to the plate to help so many survivors in Haiti.

To improve continuity of care, medical volunteers heading to Haiti to work in the Miller School’s rapid response hospital or elsewhere are being asked to serve at least five days. By mid-February, they may be asked to stay at least a week.

The longer deployments come as the UM Global Institute’s Haiti Relief Task Force, the tireless cadre of doctors, administrators, staff, and volunteers who are working non-stop to coordinate the massive medical mission, settle in for the long haul. On Tuesday, the task force was moving from the Lois Pope LIFE Center to new quarters at the Medical Training and Simulation Lab.

Though University of Miami/Jackson physicians, nurses, and other personnel have helped save hundreds of lives since Barth Green, professor and chair of neurological surgery, led the first medical team to the devastated capital a day after the January 12 quake, tens of thousands of survivors still need immediate and long-term care. The threat of widespread secondary infections and other epidemics from unsanitary conditions also hovers on the horizon.

At the group’s daily briefing, Green ticked off an ever-growing list of needs at the urgent care hospital the University opened last week at the edge of the Port-au-Prince airport. Among them: a multi-slice CT scanner, dialysis units, and crutches and prosthetics for the countless Haitians whose limbs were crushed by collapsing buildings and have endured or will undergo amputations.

“Children and adults are dying every day because there are no dialysis machines in Haiti,’’ said Green, who co-founded Project Medishare to improve health care access in Haiti after a medical mission to the impoverished country in 1994. “In Haiti, if you can’t walk, you can’t get anywhere.’’

He also said the University is helping set up interim camps for hundreds of post-op patients no longer requiring acute care. Even if they are stable enough to be released, many have nowhere to go, nor any idea if their families are still alive, complicating the many challenges at the hospital.

Likewise, the University is working with Haitian orphanages to place post-op children without known family and is enlisting U.S. hospitals outside Florida, which has received the lion’s share of survivors brought to the U.S., to accept spinal cord and burn patients.

“The hospitals are willing to take them,’’ Green said. “We just need ways to fly them directly.’’

While some of the Miller School’s orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons have been dispatched to the U.S. Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, to treat trauma patients there, the University has few nurses to spare, especially Creole-speakers able to communicate with frightened Haitian patients.

To ease the burden, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order on Monday allowing licensed nurses from other states to work in Florida for the next three months. Sought by nursing, hospital and union officials, the temporary measure is designed to help South Florida hospitals accommodate the many Haitian nurses on staff who yearn to return to their homeland to render assistance but, due to the ongoing nursing shortage, are unable to obtain leave because their skills are needed here. The out-of-state nurses would temporarily take the place of nurses who want to follow their hearts to Haiti.

“With that kind of plea I don’t know how to say no, so what I’m going to do is sign that order and to thank these wonderful people for their… kindness and their willingness to share their talents with our neighbors,” Crist said at a Monday afternoon news conference at Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Center.

In addition to health care professionals, especially Creole-speaking nurses, who can assist in Haiti, raising money for the UM Global Institute to support the University’s doctors, nurses and students in Haiti remains a priority. You may make an online donation directly to the Global Institute or send a check made out to the “University of Miami-Global Institute” to P.O. Box 248073, Coral Gables, Florida, 33124.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Personal blog from Cindy will be coming soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

University of Miami Opens up Hospital in Haiti

The University of Miami Leonard School of Medicine continues to help many families in Haiti.

Conditions improve but challenges remain as the Miller School opens a 300-bed hospital in Haiti

Adult and child patients now rest in separate and more spacious wards, their flimsy cots no longer crammed tight. Two operating rooms boast anesthesia machines and surgical lights. A pathology lab is opening and, finally, an imaging center is enabling orthopedic surgeons to quit repairing shattered bones with visual inspections and touch alone.

The University of Miami’s hospital in Haiti would hardly meet U.S. standards, but the four-tent compound at the edge of the Port-au-Prince airport is a vast improvement over the makeshift clinic the Miller School’s Global Institute/Project Medishare began operating a day after the Jan. 12 earthquake left Haiti in ruins.

“Now we’re going to be able to use more modern medicine,” a weary Eduardo de Marchena, associate dean for international medicine reported Friday. “This is the most inspiring effort I’ve ever participated in. I really don’t think there’s ever been a university that has put together a working field hospital in an emergency situation like this.”

In addition to two operating rooms, which are expected to double the Miller School’s surgical capacity to about 50 operations a day, the 25,000-square foot air-conditioned compound includes two carnival-like, white tents to store medical and other supplies, and provide sleeping quarters for the nearly 200 volunteers from the University and beyond who have been toiling around the clock to stabilize and save lives. It has been dubbed “UM Inn.”

But as welcome and impressive as the UM hospital is, it will barely make a dent in the enormous medical needs of a country with hundreds of thousands of dead, gravely wounded and homeless people.

“There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of patients on the ground who will require this level of care and they require it as soon as possible, if not now,” de Marchena said. “There will still be many, many more who will die in the next few weeks and this is before we’ve even started with some of the secondary infections and epidemics we’ll see.”

Transported by volunteers and Chilean and Argentine U.N. peacekeepers, patients began arriving at the new field hospital on Thursday from the crude clinic that Barth Green, M.D., professor and chairman of neurological surgery, established about a half-mile away after he led the first medical team to the ravished capital a day after the earthquake struck. There, doctors were amputating limbs by flashlight, on slabs of concrete outside.

Along with Arthur Fournier, M.D., professor of family medicine and associate dean for community health affairs, Green co-founded Project Medishare 15 years ago to improve health care access in Haiti. Their longstanding commitment and deep ties to the impoverished country facilitated the University’s quick and expanding role in the medical relief effort.

But even with the larger, cleaner, better-equipped field hospital, de Marchena noted, many other obstacles remain. Even patients who no longer need acute care present major challenges. After all, many have nowhere to go and no idea if their families are still alive so the UM clinic is, and the hospital will almost surely become, a de facto refugee center.

Yet, de Marchena said, the rewards of helping people in such desperate need make up for all the hardships, challenges and images of misery that will haunt him for a long time.

“There is such beautiful humanity down there you feel enriched,” he said. “You feel like you’re a more complete human being for having been there.”

As the Miller School continues to expand its medical mission in Haiti, the need for translators, anesthesiologists, surgeons, critical care nurses, surgical nurses and specialists in infectious disease, and family and internal medicine remains.

If you are willing and able to assist in Haiti, please send an email to Include your name, contact information, including all phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and list your availability, language fluency, skills, specialties, title, affiliation with UM, or an external organization, and your country of citizenship, with your passport number and expiration date.

To support the Global Institute’s health care mission in Haiti you may give to the United Way/UM through “Operation Helping Hands,” make an online donation directly to the Global Institute or send a check made out to the “University of Miami-Global Institute” to P.O. Box 248073, Coral Gables, Florida, 33124.
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Courtesy of e-veritas


Friday, January 22, 2010

Candlelite Vigil on University of Miami Campus

Eye on Haiti

Posted on 21 January 2010

A community forum and candlelight vigil on the University of Miami campus drew attention to the plight of Haiti’s quake victims and addressed strategies for the country’s recovery. Students observe a moment of silence during the candlelight vigil that drew hundreds.

Students observe a moment of silence during the candlelight vigil that drew hundreds.

After the quake had subsided, Arielle Duperval and her two University of Miami classmates cautiously stepped out of the car in which they were passengers and began to walk the streets of Haiti’s capital city, witnessing horrific scenes of death and destruction.

“Take everything you’ve ever seen on CNN and multiply it by infinity,” said the 19-year-old Duperval, describing what she saw after last Tuesday’s devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of Port-au-Prince.

But amid the chaos, she also saw scenes of courage: men and women running fearlessly into buildings on the verge of collapse to rescue children trapped beneath the rubble.

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Duperval was one of several speakers who addressed an audience of hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members who gathered on the UM campus Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil honoring Haiti’s quake victims. She and her two classmates, Kristina Rosales and Austin Webbert, were in Haiti as part of Assistant Professor Louis Herns Marcelin’s initiative to establish community youth centers in the country when the earthquake hit.

All three, as well as several other UM students who were in the country on intersession courses, made it back safely to the U.S.

With the Haitian national flag displayed on the stage at the vigil and a small choir performing inspirational music, some people in the crowd shed tears. Others embraced or held hands. All were deeply saddened by the recent events.
At Wednesday's candlelight vigil, President Shalala reiterated UM's commitment to helping Haiti recover.

At Wednesday's candlelight vigil, President Shalala reiterated UM's commitment to help Haiti recover.

“Tonight we remember and pray for the Haitian people, for their families and friends here in the United States, and for all the caregivers who are trying desperately to get help on the ground to the people in Haiti,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala, calling the tragedy “unprecedented.”

UM, Shalala said, has made a commitment to help the impoverished nation, noting that leaders from the Haitian Student Organization are working closely with the Butler Center for Service and Leadership to initiate donation drives and mobilize community support. Many other student organizations are organizing aid drives, such as concerts and auctions, the specific details of which will be announced in the coming days.

The University also hopes to donate phone cards that will help Haitians in the quake zone communicate with loved ones in the U.S. So far, the institution has raised more than $2 million for Haiti quake relief—the largest amount raised by any university for Haiti relief, Shalala said.

Shalala saluted the efforts of Miller School of Medicine physicians Arthur Fournier and Barth Green, who were among the first doctors on the ground in Haiti. The two are co-founders of Project Medishare, a Miami-based nonprofit that has worked to improve health care in the nation since 1995.

Arielle Duperval talks about her experience in Haiti when the quake hit, as fellow student Austin Webbert listens.

“As a student of Haitian descent, it warms my heart to see the amount of support the University community, City of Coral Gables, and the world have been offering to the victims of this tragedy,” said Student Government President Lionel Moise.

Donations will ultimately play the largest role in helping Haiti recover, agreed many of the people who assembled at the community forum, “Coming Together as a People of Haiti,” held in the UM Fieldhouse before the vigil.

Hosted by UM’s Center for Latin American Studies, the forum gave the audience of mostly faculty, staff, and students the chance to “share their concerns, pains, sadness, hopes, and ideas in the face of this tragedy,” said CLAS director Stephen Stein.

“I haven’t stopped crying since last week,” said Haitian-born MarieGuerda Nicolas, an associate professor at UM’s School of Education who has several relatives still living in the Caribbean nation. Four of her cousins died in the quake.

Stein said the center is organizing a series of upcoming symposia on Haiti, including a roundtable discussion that could lead to initiatives on the reconstruction of the country.

But before the rebuilding process begins, the treatment and care of the injured continues, with the Miller School taking a “rapid responder role in providing medical care for the people in Haiti,” said Steven Falcone, executive clinical dean for the Miller School’s regional campus at Florida Atlantic University and chief medical officer for the school’s medical relief efforts in Haiti.
With the Haitian flag behind him, physician Steven Falcone gives details on the Miller School's medical relief efforts in Haiti.

With the Haitian flag behind him, faculty physician Steven Falcone gives details on the Miller School's medical relief efforts in Haiti.

Falcone said that since the quake struck the school has been organizing three to five flights daily in and out of Haiti, supplying physicians, nurses, surgeons, and operating room technicians who work out of an airport-based urgent care center that has treated and triaged hundreds of quake survivors.

“They are not great conditions, but we’re going to improve them shortly,” he said, noting a 300-bed tent hospital that is now up and running, and equipped with two operating rooms, dialysis and X-ray machines, and telemedicine capabilities.

He said achieving consistent and reliable communication remains a challenge, and that while many pharmaceutical companies have given drugs, the medications that are needed most are sometimes not the ones that are being donated.

“This effort will take weeks and months, and many hands will be needed,” Falcone said. “This has been an unfortunate disaster. But it’s shown us how we can pull together as an institution and as a community to provide important resources for the survival of the Haitian people.”

Her voice shaking and her eyes nearly coming to tears, Duperval issued a challenge to the audience at the forum: “We all need to work together,” she said. “Haiti’s been through so much and will go through so much more before it can realize it dreams.”

It truly is amazing when something tragic happens how people come together. Thank you all for your continued support and for reading Cindy's Blog Talk!

Wishing you all a nice weekend.

Cindy Papale

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Uncovering a Common Mutation

Very interesting information:

In a study published online in the Annals of Human Genetics, Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., John T. Macdonald Professor and director of the Miami Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, searched for small genetic variants associated with ASD.

Uncovering a Common Mutation

The symptoms are gradual and insidious. An infant or toddler begins to withdraw from social interaction and to take refuge in solitary, often repetitive behaviors. As the months and years pass, the child becomes increasingly difficult and unresponsive—and another family is devastated by the effects of autism.

Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect an estimated one in 150 U.S. children. While rare genetic mutations are known to increase the risk of such conditions, UM researchers recently identified common gene mutations that could also play a role.

In a study published online in the Annals of Human Genetics, Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., John T. Macdonald Professor and director of the Miami Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, searched for small genetic variants associated with ASD. Data gathered from 438 families with autistic children were validated with findings from another 487 affected families. The multi-center study included investigators from more than a dozen sites and more than 10,000subjects.

Assembling the Autism Puzzle

The findings from the breakthrough study, published online April 28 by the journal Nature, may implicate a gene involved in forming the connections between brain cells.

As many researchers continue to do more research about Autism, we continue to know more as time goes on.

Cindy Papale

Bascom Palmer Eye Inst. Restores Woman's eyesight

This is truly an amazing story.

An unusual procedure performed at UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute restores a blind woman’s sight—and makes ophthalmic history in the U.S.

Sharron “Kay” Thornton describes her joy over being able to see again. Victor L. Perez, M.D.

An Extraordinary Strategy:

Blinded by a syndrome that severely scarred her corneas, Sharron “Kay” Thornton saw only shadows for nine years—until she regained her vision at UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, thanks to a complex and highly unusual series of procedures known as modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (MOOKP).

Developed in Italy and proven effective as a solution to end-stage corneal disease, MOOKP had never before been performed in the United States. “This procedure ‘of last resort’ implants the patient’s tooth in the eye to anchor a prosthetic lens and restore vision,” explains corneal specialist Victor L. Perez, associate professor of ophthalmology, who performed the surgery. The interdisciplinary team also included Yoh Sawatari, assistant professor of clinical surgery at the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry at UM’s Miller School of Medicine.

Rediscovering the World

“Through the work of Dr. Perez’s team, patients in the United States now have access to this complex surgical technique,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, chairman of Bascom Palmer, which has been rated the nation’s leading eye hospital for six years in a row by U.S.News & World Report.

For Thornton, the surgery marked the successful conclusion of a long medical odyssey. Now she is excited about seeing her three grown children and nine grandchildren, as well as rediscovering simple joys like watching clouds and playing cards with friends. “Without sight, life is really hard,” she says. “I’m hoping this surgery will help countless people.”

What an amazing story. Medical technology certain has come a long way.

Cindy Papale

Update on Help to Haiti victims Courtesy of U of M E-Veritas

Update: Courtesy of University of Miami E-Veritas News:

Donations to crisis-hit Haiti began to flow from University of Miami employees through a special Web site launched just a day after the devastating earthquake killed tens of thousands in the island nation. The initiative is just the beginning of a series of relief efforts under way at UM as students and faculty return this week after a month-long winter break.

UM officials have met regularly since the quake hit, discussing relief efforts to aid victims and planning events such as a “Coming Together as a People of Haiti” forum and candlelight vigil, both of which will be held Wednesday night on the Coral Gables campus. The University is also working to facilitate the return of students who were in Haiti on intersession courses when the quake hit, assisting South Florida’s large Haitian community, and sending much-needed aid, especially the medical expertise of Miller School of Medicine physicians, to the country.

Money is what’s needed most, UM officials say. Employees can still make donations via the ’Canes Helping Haiti Web site, which includes extensive information on how to help and updates on upcoming programs and events related to the disaster and relief efforts. At tonight’s men’s basketball game against Boston College, which starts at 9 p.m. in the BankUnited Center, the Department of Athletics will be collecting monetary donations in support of the UM/United Way “Operation Helping Hands” initiative, which supports the UM Global Institute and the work of its doctors, nurses, and students who are working directly with quake victims.

Other UM initiatives are also under way or in the planning stages as student organizations, schools and colleges, centers, and institutes mobilize resources

The School of Law’s HOPE Public Interest Resource Center was among the first to respond, launching a Web site that includes information on how to send aid, campus-wide relief efforts, upcoming fundraisers, and resources for families affected by the tragedy.

The Rosenstiel School’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, a satellite receiving and analysis complex in southern Miami-Dade County, is supporting the U.S. Southern Command and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency with imagery to aid their rescue efforts in Haiti.

Counselors have been made available to students through the Counseling Center, and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is aiding employees in need of help.

The Miller School has sent medical equipment, supplies, and teams of specialists to Haiti to provide lifesaving treatment to survivors.

A medical team led by neurosurgeon Barth Green, cofounder of Project Medishare, an initiative dedicated to improving the health of the Haitian people, arrived in Haiti a day after the quake, treating critically wounded people within five minutes of landing at the airport in Port-au-Prince.

Emergency personnel at the University of Miami/Jackson Ryder Trauma Center have admitted patients evacuated from Haiti. The Ryder Trauma Center is coordinating with other South Florida medical centers, including Jackson North and South and University of Miami Hospital, to handle the large number of patients anticipated.

On Wednesday, January 20 at 8 p.m., a candlelight vigil will be held at the University Center Rock.

We continue to keep the victims of friends and family in our prayers.

Cindy Papale

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help still needed in Haiti

As I watched CNN on TV show the devastation in Haiti, it makes me want to hug everyone that I love because you never know when they will be taken from you.

The earthquake in Haiti saddens me beyond is not only the collapse of buildings, but the collapse of cities, villages, families and lives. Please help by sending a $10 donation by texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999, to the American Red Cross, funds will go to support the relief effort in Haiti. Please pass this on to others, and text to support the Red Cross.

Thank you,

Cindy Papale

Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting Old and Managing to Still Be Married!

Today is finally Friday and I am looking forward to a fantastic weekend of networking at a great conference on Saturday. I love meeting people and networking is a one of many ways to meet them.

My title today is "Getting Old and Managing to Still be Married." Some people may see getting old as depressing. I visualize getting old as being happy and healthy. I like to look at one side of a coin with a happy face, and the other with a sad face. I choose to take the happy face. After all they say a smile is a frown turned upside down. The married part I'm not to sure about yet.

Some people are afraid of getting old and being put into a nursing home or an assisted living home. Many actually are. Ever go into a nursing home? I'm sure some of you have at one time or another. Is it depressing? Do you see happy faces or sad faces? I suppose it depends on the nursing home. Let's just say not all assisted living facilities are like the movie "cocoon."

I took a walk the other day and saw the cutiest couple walking and holding hands. I would say they were in their late 70's. They were walking slow and talking together. I wondered how they lasted so long together. I wondered how many children they had, and if they traveled a lot. I continued walking around the complex passing them by two laps. By the third lap I decided to smile at them both. They looked and smiled back. On the next lap I smiled again and once more they both smiled. My next and final lap I decided instead of smiling I would say hello and ask them how long they lived in the complex, and also how they liked it. I felt this would be an ice breaker to begin with before I ask anything personal, like how the hell does one grow old and stay as happy as they are?

As I turned the corner on my final lap there they were, the cutiest couple walking hand in hand talking away. When we got up to each other I introduced myself and asked if they lived in the complex. Sometimes people just visit so you never know. The man turned and introduced him self as Max and his wife as Sylvia. Max told me he lived in the complex for 20 years and loved it. I shared with Max and Sylvia that I just moved into the complex and have been here for 3 months. I told them that I really liked it better than where I used to live.

Max began to ask me where I worked. I also told him that I am a breast cancer survivor/advocate and that I wrote a book The Empty Cup Runneth Over, which was available at Barnes and Nobles and on my website. He told me that he would love to read my book and also asked if I would sign it if he bought a copy. I told him of course I would.

Max then asked whether I lived alone or was I married. MARRIED!!!!! Now there's a lead in to my question whether they were married and how did they manage to get along and still be together. I told Max and Sylvia I was married for 20 years and that I had been divorced for 3 years. Then it was my turn. I asked politey and you two? Max smiled at Sylvia and turned to me and said well, we just got married about a year ago and while we known each other since we were kids, that he said they were considered newlyweds. I stepped back and never laughed so hard in all my life. I told Max and Sylvia that I was just wondering how they managed to get to a wonderful old age and still be happily married. Max said you marry when you get older. OMG, the joke was on me. It never crossed my mind that Max and Sylvia were newlyweds.

It was at that moment that I learned a great leason, which is one should never judge a book by its cover. I know that's an old saying, but it definitely appropriate in this sitution. Max and Sylvia were newlyweds. But the nice thing is that they new each other as kids, respected each other, and now they were finally married. The best part was that they managed to stay out of nursing homes.

Well,time to get ready to work out again. Maybe I will run into Max and Sylvia again!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

University of Miami Relief Efforts Have Begun

Courtesy of The University of Miami E-Veritas:

At the University of Miami, relief efforts have begun, with President Donna E. Shalala sending a University-wide e-mail letter explaining how students, faculty, staff, and alumni can aid quake victims and the launching of a Web site, ’Canes Helping Haiti, that details UM’s assistance activities.

Meanwhile, in a move to provide immediate assistance, UM’s Miller School of Medicine is mobilizing its resources in Haiti, which include Project Medishare and its community health project in the country’s Central Plateau as well as a family medicine training program for Haitian physicians in the city of Cap-Haitien. A UM medical team led by Barth Green, who co-founded Project Medishare, departed for Haiti yesterday, bringing with them much-needed medical supplies and equipment.

As international agencies and rescue workers continue to assess the disaster relief needs for Haiti, UM officials have said the University’s initial response is just the beginning of its efforts. Working with the Haitian Student Organization, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership, and schools and colleges, UM is continuing to provide information on the various ways to contribute to its coordinated relief efforts.

It is wonderful to see all communities come together to help others at a time when it is needed. As I know how painful it can be to loose someone you love suddently, my heart and prayers go out to all the families who lost loved ones in Haiti.

Cindy Papale

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Glorious Day!

Hi all, Here I am again, another gloris day, however freezing. South Florida hopefully will be warming up soon. It was 43 degrees outside this morning. Farmers are worried about their crops freezing limiting our future OJ. (orange juice for those that need to know that it is orange juice and not OJ Simpson LOL)

American Idol is on AGAIN tonight. It's a two hour special, and can you believe Simon Cowell is leaving the show. Oh boy, I need to get a life! However, Ellen DeGeneres is going to be on the show this season. It should be interesting how she interacts with Simon. It's only for one season,gosh, hope it will be fun? Let's see how they both interact on Ellen's first season. I also was told that the show is fixed. (LOL)

Life is rather exciting right now. I am looking forward to continuing writing my movie screen play and second book. I love writing and blogging helps me get into the mood. I am looking forward to a net working conference this Saturday, January 16th at the Signature Grand. I'm also having a book signing on Sat, Jan 23 where I will be speaking on spiritual matters. This event will be filmed for a possible HBO series. I will let everyone know of course.

Wishing everyone a great day, and I promise my blog will get more interesting! Cindy

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another cold day in South Florida

Well, here it is Monday, January 11, 2010 and we are going on our second week here in South Florida of cold weather. This morning it was 33 degrees and with the wind chill it was 25. We even had some snow down the street at the Town and Country Shopping Center. Incredible!

I am still working on my movie screenplay and second book. My first book, The Empty Cup Runneth Over - is doing well, and I just found out this weekend that it made the top ten best seller list with my publishing company. Great way to begin 2010.

As I sit here at my desk at work, and planning my new year. I will begin looking for a better job. I cannot express how difficult that is for me as I have been at the U of M for 27 years. Many cut backs have been made and I was one of them. I took a huge bullet, $23,000 pay cut! I am no different then many others who lost their jobs. Some are in worse shape then me. I know this too shall pass. If I survived breast cancer I can survive this right? Need encouragement from you all.

Met many wonderful people on Facebook and Twitter. I am up to 5,200 on Twitter and over 2,070 on Facebook. What a great way to network and communicate with others. Don't get me wrong, I had to block at least 40 people since I have been on Facebook this past year. But I had to. It amazes me how people just don't get it when you let them know in the beginning that you are on their to net work and NOT date!!! Okay, I admit there have been so good looking guys on Facebook that I wouldn't mind getting to know. So there you have it, double minded!!

Well, until next time. Wishing everyone a great day. Hopefully, I will have more exciting news to blog. This is my first blog. Therefore, I need to get with the program!

Cindy Papale/author of The Empty Cup Runneth Over/breast cancer survivor