So glad you found your way to my minute slice of cyberspace.
I’m Juliette, one of those people who believes life is a precious gift. You can put it up on a shelf to keep it safe and intact, but I prefer to rip it open, share it and enjoy the heck out of it. I am just passionate about life.
I love any and all things creative – from theater arts to paper-arts. Top 3 pastimes on my list – dancing, writing, sewing – in that order.
I get kick out of traveling and exploring. Hiking a new nature trail in the local park – just as fascinating as traversing a glacier in the Canadian Rockies – well . . . almost.
Teaching is more than my profession, it is my vocation and for the last 36 years it has been as much a part of me as the nose on my face.
Friends may describe me as quiet, patient, resolute – close friends would toss in ‘mischievous’ – my husband would tack on CRAZY – I’m a Gemini.
Unfortunately, my life is not all ‘unicorns and rainbows’ – particularly in recent years. Did I tell you I have autoimmune hepatitis. Bummer! It’s been dogging me since I was 13 years old. In 2005 my liver finally decided it had had enough and quit on me. Then a major miracle happened — a life-saving liver transplant – twice! (Click here for my full story)
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a relatively rare disease. When I tell people I have AIH, there’s usually that fleeting look of panic, then a forced smile, “Is that hepatitis A, B or C?” It’s none of the above people. I am not contagious. Calm down. You’re safe.
In 2015 I developed further medical problems, among them colitis and type 2 diabetes, and eventually became too sick to work. A diagnosis of colon cancer followed in February of 2017. Current status: Life is complicated – which brings me to the reason for this blog.
So my first reason is to help raise awareness about ‘invisible illnesses’ like mine. It’s time for me to do my part and spread the word, let people know about the others like me – our challenges, our needs, our feelings. Let them know that they don’t have to be afraid of us and that our normal is often far different from their normal.
Life with autoimmune disorders is a roller coaster of soaring highs when I wonder “am I really sick?” and depressing lows – days when just sitting up in bed is the highlight of the day. Sometimes we just can’t keep up and life moves on without us. Then feelings of isolation can creep in.
So my second reason for this blog is to join the online community of those experiencing chronic illnesses and those who care for them. I want to contribute and share in the hope that my experiences can benefit others.
My third reason is very simple. I love to write! Writing for me is like opening a pressure release valve. After the renegade thoughts and confusing emotions spill out on the paper I feel so much better.
Why Living in the Sunshine? Because life is so much brighter when the sun is shining – and I mean that both literally and figuratively. It is as if the sun can bleach misery out of the most challenging days.
For me, sunshine symbolizes life and hope. That, above all is what I want to share with you.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;
and to do so with some passion, some compassion,
some humor and some style”.
Updated September 2017