Monday, December 2, 2013

Jungles, turtle doctors & secret treasure!

This weekend I traveled to the jungle, made friends with snakes and flying beetles. I helped find Momma bear and saved baby bear from a giant tree. I ate Popsicle found in a secret treasure chest and made treats in an imaginary kitchen. We danced to music only we could hear. I learned to sing like Snow White and I welcomed a beautiful princess into my castle. I had a turtle doctor give me a shot and played Mickey Mouse to the most adorable Minnie Mouse.

My little cousin Claire has the most amazing imagination. I had so much fun playing pretend all weekend with our stuffed animals and just about anything she could get her hands on. She taught me how to enjoy the little things and just play! So many times through the weekend Claire would come up to me and say, "Just play Brianne, just play!" I hope she never loses her sense of adventure. She is going to grow up to be the most amazing women, but I hope she doesn't grow up to fast. 

Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful one. 
I love having all the family around and together.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Never Alone We Go"

On a winding road I go.
Dark and cold is this road.
The shadows grow and the whipping wind whistles,
Which way should I go?
Straight and narrow road I go.
Peace and love fill my soul.
No path is easy, no path is clear.
Crack and bend under pressure I fear.
Follow the brightness, let the happiness guide each step.
Whispers of encouragement
breathed so gently never holding us back.
Love and spirit fill those cracks,
 making us stronger, giving us strength to fight back.
Never alone on this road you go. 
On this road, we call life, never alone we go.

- Myself, Brianne (:

The Tell-Tale Heart

If you're a fan of poetry, stories, Edgar Allan Poe, or Mr. Matthew Gubler you should take a few minutes to listen to this!! Matthew does a reading of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." It's AMAZING! Seriously.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Doctors, Dragons and Life

It's been an interesting week for me.  After weeks of being exhausted and just not feeling well I finally made an appointment to see my doctor. I assumed I had a little cold and was just feeling extra lazy about homework, but to my surprise my O2 sats were really low and my PFT's were, in the words of my doctor, terrible! Since I wasn't feeling as terrible as my numbers were we decided to give oral antibiotics 10 days to get my numbers up before turning to IV's. My sinus CT was also apparently a disaster, because my CF doctor called my ENT to move, my already scheduled, appointment up a few weeks. 

So despite feeling like poo, being exhausted and having dumb sinus headaches I've been out and about as usual. I HATE spending time in resting because of CF. It's not something I do easily. I've been extremely blessed this semester to not have needed any antibiotics, actually I've made it 5 MONTHS without antibiotics!! Even now being so sick I've managed to get A's on everything! This last week was a rough one though. I'll never get use to seeing such low numbers when I'm sick, so on top of that, being so tired, and being discouraged by how easily I was out of breath I was in some serious need of cheering up. Lucky for me that was gonna happen all week long! I had two people tell me, after talking about my current health state, that I hide being sick so well. Sounds like a silly compliment, but for anyone who has CF or any other person who spends a lot of time sick, this is a wonderful compliment!! I was told by a friend, the day I had my doctors appointment, he had no clue I had been feeling so sick, cause I had seemed so happy and well the week before. I had my bishop tell me he was so impressed with how well I manage having a life and having CF at the same time, and that if I had never said anything he would have never known I had CF to begin with. This just made my week!! I will always talk about my CF. I want people to be aware, I want people to feel comfortable asking questions about it, but I also hope the more they learn the more they understand when I'm to tired to go out or cancel on them it's not cause I want to it's cause of my CF. However, I will never ever let CF define me! I won't let my illness become who I am. Sure I may have a down day after a not so great doctors appointment, and I realize I need to take some time to myself, but I will bounce right back from that. I will continue to be happy, I will continue to live my life and pursue my dreams. I will push the limits and have some fun! Having conversations like I had this week just go to show I'm doing a wonderful job at not letting CF run my life.

The other day on Criminal Minds there was a quote that's been on my mind all week:

"Fairytales don't tell children that dragons exist; children already 
know they exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed." 

I feel in love with this quote the moment I heard it, how true that is. We already know there are dragons in life, but as we work hard, rely on Christ, our family and friends we quickly see that those dragons can be killed. How grateful I am for that!

While times may get tough, I have these wonderful and beautiful people in my life to get me through life and help fight the dragons. How I ever got so lucky I don't know, but I sure am counting my blessings! (: These are all pictures from my last 5 months of no antibiotics and healthy fun living!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Progression; a mean and nasty word... sometimes!

For most people the word progression is a positive word. For the average person it typically means they are moving forward, growing, or progressing. At times that word holds those meanings in my life as well. However, for a person with a chronic illness, like myself, progression can often be a mean and nasty word. Awhile back I wrote about my thoughts on CF progression and control, but lately the progression of CF has been on my mind in a completely different way then it was at the time that I wrote that post.

When you're at the lake, swimming and tubing, and you come to realize swimming out to that tube more then once leaves you breathless; when once, only a few years back, you could spend all day out on the water swimming and tubing. When not to long ago you could dance the night away in your cowboy boots, but now after only a couple of songs you find yourself breathing harder and completely exhausted. When everyone is wanting to go hiking and you're scared to join in on the adventures because you just don't know if you'll even be able to make it half way. That's when progression turns into a scary word.

I can honestly say that is one of the hardest things about having CF. I don't mind the treatments. I don't mind my port and doing IV's. I don't mind blood draws, doctors appointments, x-rays, surgery's, hospital stays or whatever else a life with CF entails that the typical 22 year old doesn't. Sure those things are time consuming and at times can get rather old and in the way of life, but progression can be a heart breaking reality at times. It's not something I think about often till it hits me square in the face that something I'm struggling with now wasn't so hard just 6 months ago or even 3 years ago.

I hate being negative and down on life, but sometimes reality catches you by surprise and it takes you a moment to regroup and do something about it! Earlier this summer I was feeling very fed up with the state my lungs and body were in and I started walking a mile 3 mornings a week. Unfortunately almost 2 weeks into that we had fires on our mountains and the smoke in the valley was terrible. As I sit here tonight I want to recommit to walking a mile 3 days a week, no matter how tired or sore I get I need to do something to make my lungs and body stronger! I won't sit down and let CF take my life away. I'm not okay with being exhausted and out of breath after 2 line dances, I'm not okay with getting winded walking to my car or playing games in the pool.

Tonight I may feel frustrated, heart broken and defeated, but tomorrow I will pick myself back up and recommit myself. A steady 4 treatments a day and walking a mile every other day. I need to do something. Not just for myself today, but for the future me! I have plans and dreams and there's no way I'm going to let CF's progression take those away from me!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

...that's why it's salty when we kiss.

"I said it's hot outside let me go swimming in your eyes....
 I could never ask for nothing better than this. 
It's just tequila and the beach, that's why it's salty when we kiss."

Okay so maybe there was no tequila or kissing, but I really couldn't ask for anything better than this. If I could bring the beach to Nevada I would in a heartbeat!! My singles ward took a weekend trip to San Diego, and after years of not being to California I fell in love all over again! The weather, the green, the beach... everything! 

We left at 3am Friday morning on a bus full of some of my favorite people. Our first stop was the San Diego temple. The temple I've always dreamed of seeing. It's beauty is breathtaking! Next stop was Old Town to check out the Mormon Battalion visitors center. Having an ancestor, Edward Bunker, in the Battalion it was amazing hearing their stories! Finally we headed to the Boy Scouts camp in Balboa Park. Sure camping in the middle of downtown San Diego was a little weird, but it was so much fun!! After a night of food, fun, s'mores and campfire singing we headed to La Jolla for a beautiful day at the beach.

I honestly couldn't ask for a better group of friends. My ward family is the best! Everytime we travel together it reconfirms this to me. Nobody is ever left out, the guys in our ward are such gentlemen, our bishopric knows how to have a great time, laughter and happiness radiat from so many, and there's never a dull moment. I am so grateful for the good examples those in the North Star ward set for me, and I'm so grateful for the trips that so many put hard work into planning. 

I love Southern California, I love the temple, I love the beach and I love my friends!

Panning for gold @ the Mormon Battalion

Singing hymns and making s'mores

La Jolla: Perfection!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A whirlwind of wonderful things!

I've been wanting to blog for awhile now because it's been so long! I miss writing. I just haven't had all that much to say. My life has been an amazingly beautiful crazy story over the last few months. I finished spring semester with a 3.8, fell in the love with the kids, and the work, in the resource room at Diaz ES, my best friend got her mission call to the Philippians, we had a tragedy in the family but we were able to come together to support & love those who were hurting the most, my bishop and his counselors are amazing and make you feel like you're on top of the world, I ran walked a 5K and had a cousin and his wife get baptized. I love my life! I just finished a month of IV's and a round of steroids, and feel fabulous! I've started a workout routine to get my lungs function in the 50's & hopefully staying there longer than 2 or 3 months at a time. I decided that when or if the time comes I need a transplant I want to know I did ALL I could in my power to keep the lungs God gave me strong & healthy for as long as possible. So I set aside my laziness, and hate of working out, and got off my butt. I may HATE the summer heat, but I love how much healthier I am this time of the year, and I love the warm nights I get to spend with some of my favorite people!

The joy I feel in my heart is unexplainable. When we take the time in our daily life to see the good in the world around us, and surround ourselves with beautiful loving souls you can't help but smile! Don't get me wrong these last few months haven't all been happy smiling breezy easy days. I'm human, you're human, we have bad days, we cry, we make mistakes, we get overwhelmed and frustrated, we let ourselves down and hope to never let those close to us down. However, the only way to rise above the bad and darkness is to draw nearer to God, find the beauty around us and surround ourselves with amazing people. That has been my "mantra" over these last few months in life.

I'm hoping to have more time to blog some of my thoughts now that it's summer time and I have more free time with school out. However, I may be out living my amazingly beautiful crazy life instead of sitting at a computer. Until next time: smile, know you are loved and find the little specks of light in this crazy sometimes dark world.

With lots of Love,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Today vs. the Future... How do you live life?

Last weekend I had a friend from California in town that I hadn't seen for 2 years. Lucky for us he had a free hour Saturday afternoon for us to do some catching up and talking. We were talking about my reactivation in church, and how he just doesn't understand, he isn't a huge fan of religion in general. We were also talking about him ending things with a friend (long story). Anyways it got us talking about the today vs the future. He was telling me he lives for each moment, he doesn't like to think about the future he just enjoys and makes the most out of every day. He finds his happiness there, satisfying his cravings and just loving life in general. Now at first I thought about this in a "church" frame of mind, but as I thought about our conversation later that day it got me thinking about his statement in a "CF" frame of mind.

As a person with CF I cherish every single day I've been blessed with. Especially the days that I am well and healthy, because in all honesty, I don't know how long I have till I get sick again, or how long I have till my baseline drops or when  transplant will be on the horizon for me. See, even just then it was my future I was thinking about! I can't seem to stay in the today. I do all that I want and love and I am so grateful for everyday I have, but with the uncertain future that comes with a chronic illness your future is something that is always on your mind. I plan for a healthy future of course! A future with a husband and kids. A future as a college graduate and a special education teacher. A future full of happiness, love and peace. I plan future vacations, right now we're planning a trip to California with friends for the summer! Within the church aspect I live my life according to God's commandments to plan for my salvation. I make great and wondrous plans! However, on the other hand I must prepare for curves life throws me and detours to those plans, because CF is so incredibly unpredictable I never know what lies a head of me, not even day to day honestly. So I might plan to live to be 80, but I know that there is possibility my time to return to my creator might come earlier then that. I've thought long and hard about that, but then that brings in my planning for salvation for my life with God and my long past ancestors. I prepare myself for the idea of being dependent on oxygen, I can easily be a teacher at an online school when the demands of being a teacher at a physical school may become to much for my disease ridden lungs. I know one day I may be faced with getting a lung transplant. I've done my research I know how I feel, and I know someday in my future I must face it! I have to prepare  for the thought that maybe if I have a family one day I might not be able to see my own kids grow up and get married. Those are all just possibilities, those are some things that may or may not happen in the future. Things that run across my mind time to time.

Some may say that's morbid or negative thinking, but anyone who knows me will tell you I am a very positive person. Nobody's life is certain. Anything can happen, but as a person with a chronic illness you are faced with those possibilities very early in life. I've already outlived the life expectancy my parents were given when I was diagnosed! My future is bright. I will never stop working hard to reach my dreams, and I will never stop cherishing everyday I'm blessed with. I will battle through the hard times, and I will smile and laugh everyday. So while I do live for today, I must take care of my body and be ready for whatever my future throws at me. There is an infinite possibilities waiting out there for me, and I can't wait to find out what they are!