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.

A Conversation on a Creative Life with RA

February 11, 2024
Two women headshots side by side on a purple background with the caption reading: Living a Creative Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

In December I had the pleasure of chatting with Cheryl Crow, creator and host of the Arthritis Life Podcast. We discuss living a creative life with RA, how to honor the present, the power of saying “no”, and the importance of recognizing your own self-worth. Cheryl is an occupational therapist living with RA. She is a passionate advocate, helping people live a full life with programs and tools designed to navigate the physical and emotional challenges of living with arthritis.

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Looking Back, Moving Forward

December 19, 2023

I look back only to go forward. I take strength from my accomplishments, washing my failures away like dirty water down the drain. There will always be setbacks, especially when living with a chronic condition, but they don’t hold power over me anymore, and there is always a win to claim in every moment, even if I don’t recognize it right away.

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Arthritis Awareness Month: Managing What You Can’t See

September 24, 2023

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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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.

Write What You Want: A Simple Meditation

April 8, 2024
A notebook and pen on a sunny patio table with a mug that reads Have Fun Writing.

When I force myself to write something that’s not really in my heart, I will ultimately fail. The goal is for me to keep working on the projects that fill my soul. And it’s okay if I don’t have them ready at the exact moment a submission call goes out. If I continue to work on them, in my own time, they will be ready for a future call.

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Keeping It Real With Arthritis: A Review

June 7, 2023

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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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.