About Me

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I'm Amber... Born July 15. I was born with a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF is a progressive disease of the lungs and also affects the digestive, reproductive, and endocrine systems. All my life I have been a fighter. I've had to fight for something most others don't even think about, to live and breathe from the day I was born. I'm stubborn and I can be a huge handful. I'm very strong willed, but easily pleased. I love putting a smile on peoples' faces and making them laugh. I believe in second, and sometimes third, chances. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I tend to trust too easily. My family and friends mean everything to me. <3  I try hard not to judge people because I hate when others judge me. I am who I am and that's all there is to it, but that doesn't mean I always like who I am...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Bucket List- 100 To Do's Before I Die

This is my bucket list. 100 different things I want to do before I die. I am working on completing the list and I'm sure I will end up adding more at some point.
  1. have a baby
  2. get married
  3. go skydiving
  4. visit all 50 states- in progress
  5. take a road trip
  6. do something people will remember
  7. grow my hair long enough and donate it to Locks of Love- in progress
  8. dine at a 5 star resturant
  9. get dolled up just to dance in the rain
  10. drive through a cornfield in the middle of the night
  11. go scuba diving
  12. go on a cruise
  13. visit the Bahamas/Caribbean
  14. get a poem published
  15. give motivational speeches
  16. go hang gliding
  17. go para sailing
  18. plant a garden
  19. shower in a waterfall
  20. learn to drive a clutch-DONE
  21. learn to shoot a gun-DONE
  22. go hunting
  23. experience zero gravity
  24. get a tattoo-DONE
  25. go white water rafting
  26. see a cure for Cystic Fibrosis
  27. pay for the stranger behind you at the grocery store
  28. ride shotgun in a convertable
  29. cover someone's car with post-its
  30. draw funny faces on all the eggs in the fridge
  31. visit Four Corners
  32. be someone's inspiration
  33. have a photo shoot
  34. own a motorcycle
  35. send a letter to a soldier
  36. watch the sun set on the ocean from the beach
  37. go cliff jumping
  38. visit the Grand Canyon
  39. be in the audience of a Steve Wilkos show
  40. write something in wet cement
  41. kiss under water
  42. be retweeted by someone famous
  43. find a four leaf clover
  44. go bungee jumping
  45. send a letter to a random address and see if they write back
  46. win $100 or more on a scratch off
  47. make a hand heart with him-DONE
  48. go shopping and spend more than $500-DONE
  49. throw a drink in someone's face
  50. have a paint fight 
  51. sleep in the bed of a pick-up truck, under the stars with him
  52. visit the bridge in Paris where I can hang a lock with my name and his
  53. lay in the road in the middle of the night
  54. ride in a limo-DONE
  55. smash a pie in someones face
  56. donate blood
  57. go to a country music festival
  58. pay for a strangers gas
  59. visit 20 state parks- in progress
  60. pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch-DONE
  61. attack someone with silly string
  62. leave an inspirational message on people's cars at Walmart
  63. prepare a three course meal for my family
  64. be in a play
  65. learn to play guitar
  66. learn to play piano
  67. learn archery-DONE
  68. learn how to figure skate
  69. earn a black belt-DONE
  70. join a church choir
  71. take belly dancing lessons
  72. ride in a helicopter-DONE
  73. ride a machanical bull
  74. take a canopy tour (zip lining through trees)
  75. ride the largest roller coaster in America
  76. go on a cross-country motorcycle trip
  77. go to Mardi Gras
  78. see the Northern Lights
  79. walk through a rainforest
  80. take up photography
  81. learn to make pottery
  82. learn magic tricks
  83. learn how to juggle
  84. paint my bedroom blue
  85. learn calligraphy- in progress
  86. make a scrapbook
  87. read 100 novels- in progress
  88. graduate high school-DONE
  89. get a degree- in progress
  90. be in a newspaper-DONE
  91. join a big brother, big sister program
  92. donate children's books, arts and crafts, and games to a children's hospital
  93. write a children's book
  94. write my story- in progress
  95. spend a week at a spa
  96. win big at a casino
  97. start a blog-DONE
  98. find the love of my life-DONE
  99. milk a cow
  100. live life to the fullest- in progress
I have so many dreams and hopes for the future, and I used to think because I had CF that I wouldn't be able to do those things; however, I now know I can do what ever I put my mind and heart to. I have CF, CF does NOT and never will have me. My blessings out weigh my problems.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Resolutions, Making Life Beautiful, and Giving Thanks

Yes, I know we are still a little over a month away from New Years, but I want to get a head start on my resolutions that way I can get used to it before the new year, 2014, arrives.

My first resolution: I NEED to take better care of myself. I need to stay on top of my therapies and medications for sure. I also need to get in tune with my body a bit more. When it says, "I'm tired," I have to listen. I have a tendency to push and push and push until I can no longer push. And I am so blessed to have an amazing man (along with many others) in my life who cares enough to help me stay on track.
My second resolution: I am going to make my life beautiful. I will do my very best not to judge others. Positivity is a huge factor in my physical health. When I feel good mentally, a majority of the time I feel good physically. Taking time for the simple things is something I want to improve on as well: Watching squirrels play, children play, leaves blowing. So from now on, I am going to do everything I can to continue on a positive path.
My third resolution: I want to start doing something to benefit the community. Since I can't work due to frequent hospitalizations and illness, I want to find something that can occupy my time. I do so much better with structure. I want to start volunteering. Animal shelters are at the top of that list. Maybe shelving books at the library or doing projects for the elementary school. There are so many possibilities in the world of volunteering.
My fourth (and final) resolution: I want to be a better person. There is ALWAYS room for improvement there. Kindness goes a long way and it isn't hard at all, yet most of us seem to be too busy with our own self-indulgence to notice that we aren't being who we should. One of my favorite quotes goes like this: "A little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someone's day."

I know that anyone can leave this earth at any time, whether they are ill or not, but I think the outlook of people with a progressive, terminal, or chronic illness is different than those who are "healthy." I am currently working on my bucket list (which I am going to try to post on here soon). There are so many AMAZING things in this world and I am going to do as many of the 100 things on that list as I can before my time here is up. I used to think that because of my Cystic Fibrosis I couldn't do many of the things I dreamed of doing, but I realize that is in no way true.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That

PFTs today showed some improvement, although not as much as I would have liked to see. At least we are going in the right direction. I was transferred to TCU(Transitional Care Unit) today because I am not "sick enough" to be in the hospital.

I was lucky enough last night to get a visit from my brother, Lucas, his girlfriend, Bri, and my boyfriend, Dan. We had fun and shared some good laughs with each other. I feel so blessed to have Lucas as my brother. I know I can go to him with anything. And he can come to me with anything.

Mom was also down yesterday morning with Nick, my older brother, and Tiffany, Nick's friend. I spent a majority of our visit helping Nick with his Algebra homework and playing with Buddy, our family's dog.

I am very excited about Thursday. Its Thanksgiving and Dan, his parents, and Isaiah are all coming down to visit me! If I could I would skip tomorrow and go straight to Thursday.

I know in a previous post I mentioned that I would tell you all more about Dan later on. Its all still new with him. Our one month will be on Thursday and, unfortunately, I will be in the hospital, but at least I will get to see him. :) He's just an overall sweetheart. I feel good when I am with him and he's always reminding me that I am beautiful. I tell him he's crazy every time.

I've never been good at accepting compliments, especially ones I don't think I deserve. I still struggle with self-image and self-worth. I'm a lot better than I used to be though. And I am in much better control of my emotions than I used to be, as well. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but I think I'm doing a fairly good job.

Well, I think this post turned into more of a rambling session, but oh well. I hope you all have a wonderful night and I will post again soon!

Thankful For Days Like These :)

I am so thankful for days like these. These are days I don’t need to fret about where I put my rescue inhaler. These are days I can laugh without coughing until I vomit. I can walk up my four front steps without having to take a break. I am able to go to the store and not have to wait for a closer parking spot. These are the days I can play with my little sisters, days I can goof around with my brothers. I am not constantly thinking about where the nearest bathroom is just in case I need to throw up my lunch. On days like these, I don’t get people telling me I look tired or asking me if I need to sit down for a while. I don’t have strangers coming up to me asking if I need a cough drop or telling me I should stay home with a “cold like that.” I have energy and ambition to do things. I don’t wake up gasping for breath all night or wake up the entire household with my coughing fits. These are the days that I don't need to ask others for help. I don't have to worry about overdoing it.
So many people take so much for granted. Most don’t give a second thought to some of the things I think about every second. They don't have to force 4000 calories down their throat just to maintain their already low weight. They don’t need to think about where they’re going to do their next vest therapy when they’re out and about. The thought of having to take 50 plus pills everyday has never been through their mind. They don’t spend weeks or months in the hospital away from family, friends, and pets. And there’s no thought of IVs, oxygen, feeding tubes, needles, toxic medication, or surgery.
Life is beautiful. Enjoy it. Don’t take what you have for granted. Don’t ignore the blessings in your life. There are people who would do nearly anything to live a healthy life. These kinds of days are days that I don’t get to experience all that often, but even in the middle of a bad day, a rough week, or a difficult month I am still blessed to have amazing people in my life who care so much about me. Without them, I don’t know if I could keep such a positive outlook. Yes, I do have my negative moments, but someone always knows just what to say or do to help me pick myself back up, dust off the dirt, and get going again.
Being sick doesn’t have to control your life, but that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't have a bad day. Lord knows I have them more often than I'd like; however, it is the attitude that you have through these hard times that matters. Always remember blessings are greater than struggles. Be thankful for the good things in your life and pray for resolution for the difficult things.
I hope everyone has an amazing day today! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Did You Say Crazy?

Got a little behind on updating again. (Sorry) 

My last update was in August when I was having major hemoptysis, which has now resolved. Since then life has been kind of hectic in both good and not so good ways. Unfortunately, I am no longer engaged. And, I'm sorry, but I won't go into detail out of respect. I am quite happy that I have been able to spend more time with my brother, Lucas, since the break up. I have not been able to bond much with him the past few years as we've both been kind of busy with our own things so being able to sit and talk to him and just hang out is something I've been treasuring. (He even let me drive his diesel, 6-speed truck!)

I am in a new relationship now, and I am very happy. I'll write more about this later.

This past week has been kind of difficult. The 20th was one year since my beautiful grandma received her angel wings and yesterday would have been her 71st birthday. I am so thankful to have my own personal angel looking out for me.

I am currently in the hospital. I was admitted via ER with chest tightness, shortness of breath, and low O2. Tomorrow will one week. Doctors are suspicious of a new bug growing in my lungs, called Mycobacterium, because of something they saw on my chest CT. Now we're just waiting for the cultures to come back. 

I will try to get back on and update more soon. I have visitors coming so I need to get ready. :) I hope you all have an incredible day!