AUGUST 2015
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With Robert Riggs, CEO of the Scleroderma Foundation at the 2015 Patient Education Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hi Friends,

Whew, July was a very busy month for me! Scleroderma Foundation Opening Keynote in Nashville, nonprofit board training in the Florida panhandle and LOTS of packing at home. In an ideal world, August would be a time to kick back, put my feet up and relax, but this year that's just not the case.

This August my husband and I move to a new home. Yes, we leave behind our home of 32 years, but we look forward to this new adventure. We will be staying in Tampa, still near family and friends, but in a different neighborhood. I'm looking forward to new sights on my morning walks and meeting new friends and neighbors (including the four-legged variety).

Hope everyone is having a nice summer!

Hugs, Cindy
featured article | Change is Never Easy  

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance." 
~ Alan Watts

Growing up in Florida, the long (and hot) days of summer vacation were spent playing with friends in the neighborhood. As the end of August neared, I would usually get a little bored and feel ready for change. Having shopped for new school clothes, notebooks and other supplies, I can remember being filled with excitement and anticipation the night before school started. Later in life, as a teacher and an educational nonprofit executive, I got to experience those first day of school feelings of excitement all over again. August has always felt like a month of change to me.

And this year is no exception, though the change is a bit more complicated than buying the new outfit for the first day of school. This August, my husband and I will begin packing up our belongings (minus all those I've donated) and move to a new home. After thirty-two years in our current home, this is a tremendous change. Although the location is only a few miles away, the effort to accomplish this change is no less daunting. It is amazing how much stuff can be accumulated in three decades of living. It has been kind of fun going through everything and reliving lots of good memories (thank heavens those will suffice and some of the objects can find new homes). Although living with chronic illness has made me somewhat of an expert on adapting to change, we all know that it can be challenging even when (unlike the lupus) it is something I have chosen. It has always amazed me that people are often more willing to stay in a difficult situation than go through change. I believe it is because we are more comfortable living with what is known, even when challenging, than risking what is unknown. (>>continue reading)
Patient Advocacy |Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program
I am one incredibly fortunate individual! I'm often given the opportunity to bring the patient voice and perspective to the table alongside brilliant researchers and scientists. One of these opportunities has been to serve as a Consumer Reviewer for the U.S. Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).
 
As a consumer reviewer, I've reviewed grant proposals and attended meetings in Washington, DC to help select the most worthy applications for potential funding. Mind you, these are VERY technical applications of over 100 pages each, so this is no easy task as a patient. I am thrilled that patients like me, whose lives may depend on this work, have been given this opportunity to directly communicate the collective patient perspective on the impact these grants will have on patients and their families, if funded. To top it all off, my story is featured on their site! shiny-orange-header.gif
 
Where's Cindy? | Appearances
Hope and Optimism: Cindy during a patient keynote
Hope and Optimism:
Cindy during a patient keynote (video clip)
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With conference attendees following my patient keynote in Nashville last month.
____________________________
I would love to speak to
your group!

Simply contact me at
 cindy@cindyconey.com
and we'll work out the details.

"To change one's life:
    1. Start immediately.
    2. Do it flamboyantly.
    3. No exceptions"
~ William James
books |What Cindy's Reading
I was more a student of science and math than history, but I love historical fiction. If history had been taught to me through characters and stories, I'm sure I would have enjoyed the study of it more and better remembered what I was taught.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Although fictional, The Nightingale is an amazing story of resilience. Written from the perspective of two French sisters during World War II, the author did an incredible job of painting pictures with words; I could see and feel what these young women, who had to be brave and strong despite very difficult challenges, were living through. I highly recommend this excellent book.



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Since I'm in the process of packing up to move, this book is a timely read. I'm not sure I would describe tidying up as "magic" or "life-changing," but can tell you that reading this book helped me part with some unnecessary possessions that might otherwise have made the move to our new home.   

 

 

14th Deadly Sin (Women's Murder Club) by James Patterson

 

This is one of my "strictly for fun" reads. Sometimes in the late afternoon or early evening (because I fall asleep if I read any later), I enjoy an hour or so of mindless reading. I enjoy mysteries and stories told from a woman's perspective, so this Women's Murder Club series from author Patterson meets my criteria.

 

encouragement
Read Cindy's latest blog entries Visit our blog
07-27-2015 

I've been thinking about the language that is used in medicine; in particular that doctors are described as practicing medicine [cont]...»

 

Embarrassed/Amused? 

07-20-2015 

I adore the show I Love Lucy. Yes, it is old. Yes, it is in black and white. But who cares? Situations Lucy and Ethel find themselves in just make me giggle. I think I love it because [cont]...»

 

Letters, Words & Smiles 

07-13-2015 

Busy Brain woke up this morning thinking about the way we arrange letters into words. You know that I long ago stopped trying to corral her thoughts, [cont]...»

07-06-2015 

The other day, my husband and I were out for our weekend walk when we had the most interesting discussion. Our weekend walks are my favorite time for conversations, [cont]...» 

"Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge." ~ Eckhart Tolle

ABOUT CINDY CONEY Nationally recognized keynote speaker and resiliency educator Cindy Coney has assisted thousands in moving beyond "coping" with limitations to recapturing joy, balance and freedom through her speeches and pioneering educational training for patients and healthcare professionals. Diagnosed with lupus in 1980, Cindy has traveled the globe to share her story of thriving after a chronic diagnosis. Read more.