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 8, 2014

Figuring Out Life

Hey y'all! I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far! I am sitting with three awesome kiddos while their parents are at a dinner party. They're watching funny videos right now and its so fun to see how they think and interact. It reminds me just how badly I want to have kids someday!

Since my last post I have been back to clinic for a post-hospital follow-up. I was pretty nervous about how that appointment would go, but it turned out to be pretty ok. My PFTs were stable! Weight is down again. They want me to try getting my tube feeds increased again to help me gain more weight more quickly. Being under 100 pounds is definitely not something I enjoy and its not healthy for me in the least. Having low body weight can affect lung functions and does not allow the body to fight off infections as easily. Before leaving the doctors office, I was given an xray and labs were drawn to check my CBC and metabolic panels. My xray showed slight improvement and lab work was a little off so they want to recheck next week to make sure I am stable. Overall, it was a fairly satisfying appointment. 

Last night, I was blessed to enjoy a bon fire with some friends. It was a good time and I am even more blessed to be able to do the same tonight after babysitting. I feel so fortunate to be able to experience the company of some very wonderful friends! 

I have also been so thankful to have been able to spend some much missed time with my little brother, Lucas! I am so happy he's come down to North Carolina to stay with us for a short period of time. And now since I have the approval, I can let everyone know I am going to be an AUNTIE! Lucas is going to be having a son sometime between the end of February and the beginning of March! Lucas and the baby's mother, Kristen, have chosen the first name Bentley and are still thinking about a middle name. 

There's been a lot of stuff going on in my personal life that I am needing to make some big changes/decisions about. I do not feel that I can go into much detail at this moment, but I will definitely let y'all know when I am comfortable with those changes or decisions. I can tell you that I am going to be doing some soul searching and thinking hard about what is in my own best interest. I've always felt life quality is more important than quantity and I need to be sure I am doing everything I can to keep myself happy and healthy so I can enjoy life. 

I hope everyone has a good night and I will update again when I can! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

This Life I Live

Do y'all just ever have a downer day for what seems like no reason? I have every single reason to be up beat and excited right now, but I feel like my world is being rocked. 


Blood transfusion while in ICU
I just got out of the hospital yesterday. I was in for two and a half weeks. Initially I was admitted for lung function and weight, but ended up in ICU for GI issues. There was nothing more that could be done for me in the hospital so they sent me home and are keeping a close eye on me. I have a clinic appointment with PFTs and lab draws on Thursday this week to check up. We'll see if I need further GI follow up at that time. 


Things with marriage are going so great right now. Justin and I have definitely had our issues, but lately things have been wonderful. I am so relieved to have him by my side right now. I really don't think anyone else would be able to handle my health issues and my mood swings like he has. When so many others would leave, he's stayed. To be completely honestly, I often wonder why, but I am so thankful. 

Life is looking good in so many ways. I am working on getting my health insurance straightened out. Family life is great. I really don't have anything to feel depressed about, yet I still do.

Maybe its seeing so much loss via social media. Over the last month alone so many people have passed from the same disease I fight against every single day. Some of them are here one day and gone the next. Its a huge shock at times... 

These are a couple of my recent Facebook statuses:








































Losing fellow CFers is not easy whether you knew know them on a personal level or just through social media or maybe not even at all. Its never easy to see someone else has gained their angel wings fighting the same thing you are fighting. It never gets easier. Sometimes you become numb to the thought of losing another, but in the end it cuts just as deep. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjt4mRaI554 Morgan does an amazing job describing CF from a Cystic Fibrosis sufferer's perspective, not the medical definition, but the emotions. 

I don't really know why I've been feeling the way I am, but I know I just need to breathe and leave it to God. He will always provide. He always has the right answers, I just need to listen. <3


Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's Happened???

It's definitely been a while since I've updated here! So, I'll try to recap everything that's happened since July 16...

Justin was FINALLY discharged from the Army! July 25, 2014 was his last day. There were definitely a lot of mixed emotions that day. Joy, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, relief. Much of the decision for him getting out was made because of my health status. There's definitely benefits and drawbacks to being in a military family. I always felt like I got a two for one deal when Justin and I got married. I, of course, got to marry my best friend, but I also feel like I married the army as well. Waking up to the sound of artillery booming and my windows rattling at 7am wasn't always my idea of a pleasant wake up call. Hearing the phone ring on his day off, calling for Justin to be on post in an hour for formation in uniform. So many new things you, as a military spouse, have to get use to.
Stephanie and me taking selfies!

I was so blessed to be able to have flown to Minnesota at the end of August to catch my little sister, Stephanie's, 13th birthday! I planned on stay just a week and a half; however, I ended up being in MN for just under a month as I get too sick to fly back to North Carolina without having a tune up first. I was admitted to the U of MN with extremely low PFTs and O2 levels. My weight was also very low. I was running high fevers and very dehydrated. I spend about a week and a half to two weeks in the hospital up there before leaving to come back home.

Its was a bittersweet goodbye to my baby sisters, my baby brother, and my foster parents. I may have shed a few tears after Jennifer pulled away from the curb at the airport drop off. The time that I was able to enjoy up in MN was full of love and laughter. I loved watching the girls ride at their horse shows and going to the state fair with everyone. It was great watching Ryan compete at the fair with saddle club. On a positive note, we were able to convince my younger brother, Lucas, to come back to Carolina with me. :)

Lucas and me at the airport, waiting to board.
Let's see... what else has happened... I can't think of any other major events that have taken place since.

Currently, I am in the hospital. I was a direct admit from clinic on Friday (a week ago). My lung function, O2, and weight are all down. I was still running low grade temps upon admission, but they have now subsided. I am also having some more severe GI issues as of today. My doctors are consulting with the gastroenterology doctors on Monday. I'm hoping to still be able to get discharged by Friday.
Reading to Diesel :)


The fur babies are both doing well. Mator and Diesel are two peas in a pod. Diesel is a "monkey see, monkey do" kind of dog. Always trying to copy Mator. Both are big bums and will curl up next to Justin or me anytime there's an inviting opportunity.

That's about all I've got for everyone this evening. Hope to update y'all again soon!





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Love this Crazy, Tragic, Sometimes Almost Magic, Awful, Beautiful Life...

So, I am FINALLY 22! I made it another year! I'm still kicking butt! Neither Cystic Fibrosis nor depression has stopped me yet, and it isn't going to! I've been through and overcame quite a bit in my life, starting from birth.

When I was born and diagnosed with CF, my parents were told that I wouldn't live to see 18, but I did!
The first time I was hospitalized, I was in first grade. I made it out alive.
When I was 10, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes. I'm beating it.
At age 11, I was granted a wish to go to Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation because my doctors didn't think I would see my 12th birthday. Guess what, I did!
When I was 12, I was placed in a foster home with a nurse due to medical reasons. It was my last hope at living. It worked! My foster family remains a HUGE part of my life and I love them like they were my biological family.
I began rebelling against EVERYTHING that had to do with CF and isolated myself from almost everyone around age 14. I was diagnosed with major depression, PTSD, and anxiety. It got worse throughout high school. I spent more time in hospitals/therapy my entire 4 years of high school than I did in the classroom, but I still managed to graduate (with a lot of help and support from my school counselor and teachers) with honors. My long battle with self-harm was discovered somewhere throughout all of that. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at 18, Bipolar Disorder and selective OCD at 20, and though no one really diagnosed it, I struggled horribly with food. I'm STILL fighting AND beating all of these!
At 18 years old, I celebrated. No, not just because I was a legal adult, but also because I was ALIVE!
Life got tough from there, and at 19, I didn't care what happened to me. I didn't care if I died. I actually tried to help the death process along, but I had an angel with me that dark night. I survived.
A few months later, on October 1, 2011, I began a relationship with a man I hoped was the "one." March 6, 2013, he said he needed to talk to me an wanted to go somewhere special. We drove out to the lake, which was still snow covered and frozen. It was cold and windy and I was complaining and wondering why on this entire earth he had to bring me here to talk! Then he began to speak. Only a few sentences into it I knew what he was going to do... I had tears streaming down my wind bitten cheeks, and then he asked me... He had to repeat the question three times before I could stop crying long enough to answer. "Will you be my wife?" "YES!"
A few months later, I was excited to be planning my wedding and thrilled to be turning 21! I was now able to legally buy and consume alcohol, yes, but that's not why I was so happy. I was blessed to be defying the odds, to be proving doctors wrong and to be alive and healthy (from a Cystic Fibrosis standpoint).
January 21, 2014, I married Justin in North Carolina by a Justice of the Peace with plans to have a "real" wedding when he got out of the army.
I came back to Minnesota shortly after to get one more round of IV antibiotics at the U of MN before packing my things to move down to North Carolina to begin a new life with my new husband and soldier. I was released from the hospital and ended up back in the ER a day later with an extensive DVT (blood clot). I was immediately started on a Heprin (blood thinning) drip through an IV and transferred back to the U of MN. I was completely devastated and thought I would never get to go back to North Carolina. I was discharged from the U of MN 3 days later and left on the 19 hour drive straight from my hospital room. My parents had the van packed with as much of my things as they could fit, including my 130 pound Mastiff, Mator. I was FINALLY getting to start my new life!
March 5, 2014, Justin and I, with the approval of Mator and Diesel (our beagle/hound mix Justin got me for somewhat of a wedding gift), signed the lease to our first home together!
And yesterday, I turned 22!

I am still fighting and still conquering! I have learned a lot and I have so much more to learn. I've experienced some heart breaking events; however, I have also made some incredible friends along the journey I call my life. And I am more than blessed and thankful for all that I have.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

100 Truths About Me :)

When we got married
100 Truths About Me: 
(I was really bored so I came up with 100 different things you may or may not know about me and my life.)
1.       My full name is Amber Rose Walker.
2.       I was born July 15, 1992 at 3:00pm.
3.       I’m married to Justin Walker.
4.       My maiden name is Zitzloff.
5.       Our anniversary is January 21, 2014.
6.       I’m an army wife.
7.       I have Cystic Fibrosis and Diabetes.
8.       I have two biological brothers, a foster brother, and three foster sisters: Nick, Lucas, Ryan, Stephanie, Hannah, and Kassy
9.       I was in foster care for six years.
10.   I have two dogs and a mini potbelly pig: Mator, Diesel, and Bacon
11.   I love anything artsy and creative.
12.   I earned my black belt March 8, 2008.
13.   Music is my life. Country is my favorite.
14.   I am Bipolar and I have Borderline Personality Disorder.
Mator sleeping on my lap
15.   I love to collect inspirational quotes and sayings.
16.   I like to read and write poetry.
17.   Pretzels are my favorite snack.
18.   I eat Mild Cheddar Cheese off the block.
19.   I pray to be able to have children one day.
20.   I love taking pictures and photography.
21.   Animals are my passion.
22.   I have 4 best/close friends.
23.   Facebook and Instagram are my addictions.
24.   My phone is my life line.
25.   I have a bucket list of 100 things I want to do before I die.
26.   My blood type is O Positive.
27.   I’ve had numerous blood transfusions.
28.   I’ve never traveled outside the United States.
29.   I am a very picky eater.
30.   My phobias are spiders and clowns.
Bacon sleeping with Mator
31.   Blue and Purple are my favorite colors.
32.   I am 5’3”.
33.   I prefer country living over city.
34.   I want to get a horse.
35.   I love to sing.
36.   2010 is my graduating year.
37.   I went to Annandale High School.
38.   I have two tattoos and hope to get more.
39.   I’m naturally a strawberry blonde.
40.   I was born in Minnesota and lived there for the first 21 years of my life.
41.   I moved to North Carolina in March 2014.
42.   I have an insulin pump.
video
43.   I used to be affected by self-harm. I have been cut free for 3 years!
44.   I love crime shows.
45.   My most addicted to games are 2048 and Candy Crush.
46.   I have had a feeding tube since I was 10 years old.
47.   Creating patterns and designs interest me.
48.   I’ve never met anyone famous.
49.   Mountain Dew is my “must have” beverage.
50.   At 6 weeks old, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
51.   I love tattoos and piercings.
52.   My beloved grandmother passed away November 20, 2012.
53.   I am a Christian.
54.   I am mostly an introvert.
55.   I graduated with honors.
56.   I am very passionate about the people and things I love.
57.   I’ve traveled to/through 28 out of the 50 states.
58.   The family dog has flown with me on an airplane.
59.   I’ve flown over 20 times.
60.   I cannot stand to wear matching socks.
61.   I’ve been trying for years to grow out my hair, but usually end up cutting it.
62.   I love to text message and type.
63.   Laughing is sometime I love to do.
My foster parents: Chad and Jennifer
64.   I’ve spent three Thanksgivings, two Christmases, two Valentines Days, a New Year, an Easter, and four birthdays in the hospital.
My first tattoo
65.   The entire 21 years I was in Minnesota, I only resided in one county, but four different cities and multiple different houses.
66.   I always sleep with my fan blowing.
Diesel <3
67.   Amby is my most used nickname.
68.   My zodiac sign is a Cancer.
69.   I write with my right hand, but do everything else with my left.
70.   I had a major abdominal/intestinal surgery done in August 2009. 
71.   My first family vacation was taken in2003 to Disney World, Florida.
72.   I’ve been in dance, gymnastics, baseball, karate, winter guard, and color guard.
73.   My junior year of high school, I rolled my dad’s pickup truck off a freeway bridge in a sleet storm.
74.   I like spontaneity.
75.   I don’t like excessive loudness.
76.   I am shy/quiet around new people or in larger groups.
77.   I love to make other people happy.
78.   I have a difficult time telling people no.
79.   I can be a sarcastic smartass.
80.   I’m sassy.
second tattoo in remembrance of grandma
81.   I love creative writing.
82.   Disney movies are my favorites.
83.   Cooking is not something I enjoy.
84.   I am OCD about certain things.
Me, Stephanie, Hannah, Kassy
85.   I hate making more than one trip when carrying or moving things.
86.   I love to shoot my bow.
87.   I have the iPhone 5s.
88.   Genetics/forensics is very intriguing to me. 
89.   I love babies.
90.   Juliana is my Goddaughter.
91.   Sometimes I tend to ramble when I talk.
92.   I often feel more strongly than I should about things.
93.   I tend to be overly self-critical and a perfectionist.
94.   Colorado is my favorite of the states.
95.   Addison Grace and Payton Ryan are the girl and boy names I have picked out for my children.
Juliana: my beautiful Goddaughter
96.   I am very opinionated when I have an opinion on something, otherwise I am extremely passive.
97.   T.V. rarely holds my attention.
98.   Death does not scare me at all.
99.   Reading is a favorite of mine.
100.  I love doing DIY projects.


O! I'm Positive!

Blood Type: O Positive
Hey y'all! I'm still in the hospital. I received a second embolization on Monday after major bleeding over the weekend which required a blood transfusion. The first embolization I had (last Monday) was successful; however, there were a few areas that were overlooked/missed which is why the second one was necessary.

Right after my second embolization
So far, I have not had anymore blood! Today I will begin slowly reintroducing my nebulized medications. If that goes well and does not promote hemoptysis, I will try a less intense airway clearance. Then we'll go from there. Ultimately, the goal is to have zero bleeding and having me return home either Thursday evening or Friday.

Justin came to see the evening
of my embolization.
I am hopeful that once I am feeling better, I will be able to have better control over my blood sugars again. Currently they are all over the place! I will have a sugar or 375 and a few hours later it'll be down to 30. I had a 26 two evenings ago. That was probably the worst feeling I've experienced in quite a while. I was extremely weak and tired, it was difficult to hold up my head, and on top of it all I was so nauseous that just thinking about putting anything in my mouth made me gag. I had to be given an amp of D50 to bring my sugar back up to 98.

I cannot wait to get home! I am so homesick this admission. I miss my puppies and my piggy SO MUCH! I miss sleeping in my own bed. Falling asleep and staying asleep are both extremely difficult in the hospital which makes me extremely tired throughout the day. I'll be most excited to get this IV out of my chest so I can take a LEGIT shower without worrying about getting my dressing wet!
Word I associate with
summer 2014
I love quote pictures.
Just doodles
Stencil Trace
To pass the time lately, I've been doing a lot of drawing and doodling. I've done so many things that I now need to replace all of my fairly new drawing pens. I'm waiting to see if my local craft store will have the ones I am looking for before I decide to order them off of Amazon. I also need to get another binder to hold my creations as the one I have is overflowing! It usually takes me a while to fill these binders up because I tend to be very self critical and somewhat of a perfectionist. I often times will make, what I feel, is a tiny mistake and then decide to start over completely even if I am nearly finished.
I don't really have one specific style of art that I stick to. I like to experiment with and practice other forms of art. Many times my works tell a story or describe an emotion. I've used art as a coping/distraction tool ever since I was little to ease boredom and work through my depression and mood disorders. I like to fill my hospital walls with my art work that I complete while inpatient. Most of the time I create inspirational quote pictures when I am in the hospital. My pictures at home are different combinations of quotes, emotions, and stories.

Another stencil

If y'all see anything you like or would like me to do something for you or someone you know, send me a message or comment below. Making things for other people is my favorite! Also, if you would like to see more of my work let me know as well. I can dedicate an entire blog post to things I've completed or that I am still working on. (This would also give me the push I need to organize the pictures I have shoveled into my art binder!)

This one is from a few months ago
Well, I guess that's about all I've got for now. I hope y'all have a blessed and fantastic day!

Amber

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's One Helluva Life

Hey y'all! Just updating on my current health status. After being discharged on IV antibiotics May 30th, I was admitted again via ER on June 5th due to massive hemoptysis. I was in ICU for 2 days and I am now on my regular "CF" floor. Over the past week, I have had several CT scans of my chest, ultrasounds of my arms, shoulders, neck, and legs, chest and abdominal x-rays, and a Bronchial Artery Embolization.
Justin and I a few hours after my BAE

Results:

  • CT scans showed two new Pulmonary Embolisms (PEs/blood clots) in my lungs.
  • Ultrasounds showed old and new clots and something the doctors need to wait for the radiologist to look into more. (I'll update about this when I find out)
  • X-rays showed two tubular objects in the lower left side of my lungs, possibly mucus plugs, and abdominal film looked fairly good.
  • Bronchial Artery Embolization stopped the hemoptysis! I'm still pretty sore from this procedure though.
They are repeating CT and x-ray later this week. PFT are dependent on how I feel.

Bacon sleeping with Mator
On a happier note: We got a PIG! Oink! ;) Bacon (Justin chose his name) is our miniature potbelly pig. He is absolutely adorable! He LOVES Mator and Mator is very tolerant of Bacon's piglet nature.
Bacon is 6 weeks old. He was born April 27. He weights about 4 pounds and eats 1/2 cup of food a day.
He is potty trained to either go in his litter box or to go outside with the dogs. He was the fastest potty trainer EVER! It took just a single day to train him!
Its rather comical to watch him as he follows Mator or Diesel around the yard, his tail wagging. He thinks he's a dog! Bacon loves to play with the dog toys as well!
We'll ask Mator, "Where's your piggy?" And he'll immediately jump up and start looking for Bacon.


 Unfortunately, we no longer have Dixie. She is better suited for a one dog home. Her new family is with a younger couple and their 18 month old son. We were sad to see her go, but also happy she is with a good family!

Diesel at 5.5 months
Diesel at 3 months

Baby Diesel is doing great! He just hit 6 months old this month! He is growing like CRAZY! His last weight was 44 lbs! And he likes to be a lazy bum. We have to push him a little sometimes to get him going, but once he's outside playing fetch he'll go for hours! He's still getting use to his BIG feet and often trips over them when he's running after the ball, but that doesn't stop him!


Me and Lucas 2009




I also want to say HAPPY (early) BIRTHDAY to my baby brother, Lucas! He will be turning 20 on MONDAY! No longer a teenager! Lucas and I have always been really close, and I am so sad I cannot be with him on his birthday this year! <3


That's all I've got for now!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beaches, Zoos, and UNC

Its been a little over a month since I last updated. So, here's what's been going on in the Walker world!

I was discharged from UNC last month with some pretty awesome PFTs! :) I was able to go home without IV antibiotics. At home, Justin has been doing more hand CPT/BDs in place of the vest. I feel like the vest isn't as effective as the pummeling. I am able to cough and get more junk out.

I am currently at UNC again. I had a pretty major drop in lung function in the past month. My doctors think it is a combination of the MRSA infection and the different types of allergens here in NC versus what I was used to in MN. They gave me a central line in my chest because my veins are pretty much non-existent now and because they are more than likely going to send me home on IV antibiotics. (YAY) I've also gotten my G-tube tract fixed while here! So I will probably be doing some more tube feeds at home for a while. I've been having extreme nausea/vomiting for the past 6 days which has prevented me from eating. I've also been running fevers the last few days. Docs aren't sure what's causing it. All my lab work is coming back normal so far.

We were able to make it to the beach two weekends ago! It was beautiful! I just wish we could have stayed longer! The boardwalk was really cool. There were tons of cool shops and they had a FUDGE shop! I got a 1/2 pound of smores fudge... it was almost gone before we got home!

The zoo was also a fun trip that same weekend! We visited Carolina Zoo for the day! As most of you know, animals are definitely one of my biggest passions in life. I would definitely own my own zoo, if I could!

That's about all I've got for now. Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Day We Met Dixie :)

Justin and I when he came up to visit at UNC
Hey y'all! Its been a busy couple of weeks for me!

I am currently admitted to UNC for the first time here in Chapel Hill for a lung infection and excessive mucus buildup. I am now growing a new bacteria in my lungs called Staph or MRSA.
Today is day 13 of the admission and I AM GOING HOME TOMORROW! I had PFTs yesterday. My lung function is AMAZING! Better than I've seen in a few years! I am so blessed and so thankful that I have such an amazing family to motivate me to do my therapies and take my medication. Since I've been down in North Carolina, I have been doing so well taking care of myself! I've rarely missed treatments or medications and I have been much more active with taking the dogs for a walk several times a week.
Currently, I am looking into some sort of volunteer opportunities in my area. I have found one that I am EXTREMELY interested in. It would be helping out at the Aloha Safari Zoo near my house.
ASZ is for rescued animals. All, or nearly all, have been rescued and brought to live here as they would not be able to survive in their natural habitats. I am going to be contacting them as soon as I am discharged.
You can check out ASZ here----> Aloha Safari Zoo
Since my last update we have also added a new member to the family. Dixieland, Dixie for short, is our 10 week old Shepard, Pittbull, Mastiff mix. Justin made the mistake of leaving by myself at a flea market in Fayetteville and during the 5 minutes I was alone, I saw a man carrying a puppy and asked to pet her.
Dixie, the day I got her. 
He asked me if I wanted her, that he was giving them away for free!!! Of course, I said, "YES!" Then asked Justin for the car keys when I found him talking to someone about some tools. He handed them to me without looking and I went and waited in the car for him. We were halfway home before he realized I had Dixie, and by then it was too late to give her back! But now she's Justin's "little baby girl" and he spoils the heck out of her...

I guess that is all I have to say at the moment. Y'all have a super week! Much love to you!

Amber Walker

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Doing the Life Thing :)


Holy bananas!!! It's been a long, expensive, stressful, yet rewarding month! Justin and I now have our first house together!  We've been married for TWO months! I could not have asked for a better husband. It doesn't matter how rough things get, he's always there to hold my hand and help me see that there is something worth hanging on for.

I posted this to my face book page on Friday, which was our exact two months together:
"Today, I have been married to my best friend for two months! We've come so far together and have overcome many obstacles hand-in-hand. No, our relationship is nowhere near perfect. We have our fights, arguments, disagreements, and on occasion we both can use hurtful words; however, we've always gone to sleep without anger in our heads or hearts, "I love you" being said, and a goodnight kiss. Apologies are said and hugs are shared as often as we need them to be and sometimes more. We have learned that we both have our flaws and issues, but we know when to ignore certain things, when to lend a hand or hug, and even when to give each other a reality check. We both make mistakes, but love is not at all about the mistakes or flaws. It's completely about compromise, sacrifice, and wanting more for your partner than you want for yourself. By no means do either of know everything there is to know about love or one another because those are two things we will continue to learn throughout our lives together, and I cannot wait to spend forever beside the man who gave me his last name.

In recent months, I've definitely become more aware of my health status. Not that I've not been in the past; however, I've become more mindful of the effects it has on those around me and the people I love and care for. I have began to post a picture on FB for every time I do a vest/neb. I'm sure it may annoy some people on my page, but I am doing this for me. It holds me accountable and I know most of my friends on FB love seeing that I am doing what I should be! I have deemed Friday to be "Four Vests Friday" for myself, and I am so blessed to have some Cysters and Fibros who are joining me as well as so many others giving me encouragement to stay on top of all my therapies! The day I deemed "FVF" I posted this along with a photo: 
"Ok... I am deeming today four vests Friday! I REFUSE to let CF take over. So I'm going to kick it in the butt and suck up the extra half an hour for one more vest on Fridays! Hopefully working my way towards four more often in the following weeks, but it's one step at a time! 
I WILL win! I AM going to be here to watch my baby sisters and brothers get married and have children. I WON'T make my parents have to bury me because I'm going to live until I'm 90! I WON'T give up and I will NEVER allow myself to lose faith that God is right beside me along with all of my wonderful friends, my incredible husband, my two amazing sets of parents, my sweet little sissies, my awesome brothers, my guardian angels in Heaven, my babies of the canine kind, and my inspiring & strong cysters & fibros who are fighting the battle with me!
I am 100% determined to live life to the fullest! I want people to think of me as the girl who fought and WON the battle. And I want more than anything to give back to everyone who has pushed me to stay positive, everyone who has never lost hope in me even when I'd lost it in myself. I want to give my husband and best friend the one thing I know he's wanted from the start, a child. I want to give my parents a grandchild and my siblings a niece or nephew. In my 21 years, I have never been as determined as I am now! 


All the IVs, vest therapies, nebulizers, oxygen, coughing fits, puking, gasping, needles, and sadness, despair, anger, frustration, and self pity, I have learned to smile through the tears and laugh through the pain.
So much of my strength has come from watching my most beloved angel, my grandma JoAnn. She's flying high now, but in the short 21 years I knew her she NEVER gave up, never complained, never let anything shake her faith in God. Through every battle with cancer, every course of chemo & radiation, every round of dialysis, all the days of breathlessness, weeks and months spent in the hospital, surgery after surgery, blood transfusions after blood transfusions she NEVER let herself be negative. Never left you without a smile or a laugh. She is one of the most inspiring people I've ever known and ALWAYS will be my hero.
I have so much to live for. So much to accomplish in life. And I'll be damned if I let the monster inside beat me. CF is NOT who I am. I am Amber. I have CF, CF will NEVER have me.
I know it's going to be tough getting myself to do it all when I'd rather be doing something fun or when I'm not feeling well, so any and all thoughts, prayers, reminders, and encouragement will be VERY appreciated!
(& if I would have been smart, I could have started and finished my 3rd vest while writing this... But no, I'm just starting it now)
"

My Will to Continue to Fight Stems from These Guys

My brother, Lucas! <3
 Although there are many more, I don't have photos of them all. My mom, my older brother, some of my best friends/ friends, cysters and fibros, etc.
My foster siblings legally, but they will be mine no matter what! 

My angel... My grandma, JoAnn <3 My hero
My daddy <3


Summer of '13 with my lovely sister



My BEAUTIFUL sisters (latest photo with them)
My AMAZING foster parents
Mator <3

My #1 baby... ALWAYS & FOREVER <3 Mator
My two BEST friends and their daughter (my GODDAUGHTER)
Baby Diesel :)




All these people/pets have been amazing support for me over the years. Through everything I've gone through at least one or all of them have been there to encourage me to push forward and to remind me that things will get better. My heart is overwhelmed with joy and thanks to them. I couldn't do this without you! And to everyone who continuous stops by my FB page to leave me a loving/hopeful message or comment, those of you who pray for me whether it be once or on a regular basis, the people who send me random text messages "just to say, 'I love you,'" and to everyone of the healthcare professionals who've taken care of me throughout my life. If I could I would thank every single individual, personally, who has played a role in keeping me alive and feeling loved.

Many blessing to you all! <3

Amber Walker