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The Old Lady in My Bones

The Show Must Go On…

“My passions are who I am. They are written into my DNA. They are my sustenance and my lifeline, and no amount of growling from RA is going to stop me from pursuing them. I will always find a way to shape my creative life around chronic illness, whether it’s on the stage or on the page.”

I have been a performer for many years. I danced, I acted, and I dabbled a bit with the written word. I established a comfortable world where I naturally fell into the same rhythm every day. I never thought about doing anything different. I never thought I’d have to until RA stole the spotlight – and while a new challenge with chronic illness changed the shape of my life, it didn’t change my dreams and desires. It did, however, push me to find a new way to continue to pursue them.

I stepped away from the dance studio and the stage for a time, but I was still able to follow offshoots of the artistic life I had built. I changed my focus, turning my time on the stage into words on the page, but I never doubted that I would find my way back. It took time, work and patience, but as long as I knew the direction I wanted to travel, I was more than willing to take that time.

My distractions, my hobbies, my family, my friends, my work, my loves, my desires and even my aversions can pull me out of the mire of chronic illness. I won’t let RA decide the life I should lead. I pulled my dreams into the boundaries that chronic illness created, and I watched those dreams stretch the lines a little more every day. It’s those dreams, those passions, and all the little things that make us who we are that will save us.

My latest post on Creaky Joints is all about how my passions sustain me, allowing me to escape from RA for a little while…




About J.G. Chayko

I am a writer living on the beautiful West Coast in Vancouver B.C. I am a poet at heart but also write prose, fiction and creative non-fiction. In my thirties, while working for a Rheumatology clinic, I was diagnosed with early Rheumatoid Arthritis. I created " The Old Lady In My Bones" to share my experience living with this disease and to create an awareness that arthritis touches people of all ages, not just the elderly.


3 thoughts on “The Show Must Go On…

  1. I think one of the greatest victories over any chronic disease is not allowing it to steal who we are. Beautiful post.

    Posted by Carla Kienast | April 30, 2017, 1:39 pm
  2. Well said.

    Posted by Herminia | May 1, 2017, 7:33 pm

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