The Old Lady in my Bones

When I was in my thirties, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I started this blog to share my experiences living with RA, and how I live my best life in the face of chronic disease.

Arthritis Awareness Month: Managing What You Can’t See

September 24, 2023
A rocky bank over the ocean, with a silver-gray sky and a figure standing on the rocks.

Most people are aware of the pain and damage arthritis causes, but one of the biggest factors with living with RA is what cannot be seen. On the surface, it looks like I have a very active life, and I do, but what isn’t obvious is the phantom lurking underneath, ready to knock me off balance with a storm of unpredictably.

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Water and Land: Summer Exercise with RA

June 25, 2023

Summer days invite me to be more active and enjoy the outdoors again. My husband and I go for walks around the seawall and explore beaches and parks. We sometimes take our bikes out for a spin around the neighbourhood. In the summer, I begin most days with an early morning swim. There’s nothing like swimming to get the body moving and the blood flowing, and in the morning there’s a certain kind of peace that is not present at any other time of the day.

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Keep On Dancing

April 26, 2023

I have spent most of my life on the stage. Ballet was my first love, but I adored all forms of dance, and I learned as many different styles as I could – salsa, ballroom, belly dance, flamenco, swing. From dance I twirled my way into acting, and that became my new focus, but I always returned to dance – and then a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis changed my choreography.

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RA-solutions: Nothing is Final

February 12, 2023

I have been busy preparing for new changes– the end of one job, the continuation and further development of a career. I’ve been thinking on how to navigate these changes and the goals I’d like to work towards. I don’t make resolutions per se – it’s in the word. Resolution. It sounds so final, and I don’t believe that anything in life is final – finality means the end and while there’s still life, there should always be room for growing and learning.

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Corkboards and Coffee Houses

Welcome to my coffee house. This blog is about my writing life - the challenges, the success, the creative process and pushing through the blocks. This is my catapult to inspiration, a space where I can strengthen my writing muscles and share some insights on my process. So get comfortable, grab a hot cuppa, and let's talk about writing.

Keeping It Real With Arthritis: A Review

June 7, 2023
A picture of a book Keeping It Real with Arthritis.

Why do we write books about chronic illness? Books like this are written to educate, support and encourage people to live their best lives in the face of chronic illness. They are written to connect to community and to give a voice to patients and caregivers living with and treating these conditions. They raise awareness and show us just what it takes to live with a chronic condition that has no cure.

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This is Writing

May 5, 2023

Writing doesn’t always look the way we think it should. Most writing takes place while engaging in other activities away from the desk.

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On Writing Newsletters

February 25, 2023

I don’t have a book to promote (reader, I’m working on it) and while I have some publications, I wasn’t sure they were particularly newsworthy – in other words, I wasn’t celebrating my accomplishments as a writer.

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Crime Wave 2: Women of a Certain Age – A Review

August 20, 2022

One of the many things I love about writing is reading the work of my peers and occasionally being asked to review it. It is a pleasure to review Crime…

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If You Like What You See

Some people have inquired if there’s a place to donate on my blog. This is for those who would like to offer extra support for my work and I thank you for this.

A bigger thank you to all my readers who offer ongoing support simply by stopping by for a visit. I enjoy writing and interacting with you.

About me

J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.