Dancing Women

QUEEN SURVIVORS
You Are Not A Victim 
YOU ARE VICTORIOUS!

If you are a Queen Survivor and have a story that you would like to share, 
let me know and I'll post it here.

FAITH

HOPE

COURAGE 

STRENGTH

40936.jpeg
FB_IMG_1607841388537.jpg

SURVIVING COVID-19, MY LIFE, MY FAMILY, MY STORY!

My name is Elaine Harrison from Somerset New Jersey, I'm a CNA at a nursing home in N.J. I've been taking care of the elderly for almost 30 years and although my job is demanding, emotional, and exhausting, it's always has been a wonderful experience for me throughout the years. My job is very fulfilling and I love helping and taking care of them while meeting some great and loving people along the way, it has impacted my life in a profound way. However, due to Covid-19, 2020 has been one of my least favorite years yet. This has become our new normal and not in a good way. Caring for the elderly and watching them get sick and then die from it, makes me feel helpless and the sadness I feel for them and their families are unmeasurable. My heart aches as I prayed for them but no matter what, I press on to take care of them. At the same time, I'm always praying that my family and friends are safe and well. However, the virus is rampant and out of control so needless to say, my family and friends were infected and affected as well. I say affected because even if they weren't infected they all were like everyone else in the world, affected by this pandemic in some shape or form and none of us could ever fathom that something like this could happen so close to home. When I say close to home, my mother was infected.  Yes, my beloved mother.

 

Rewind to the past. My mom was and still is suffering from dementia, and my family and I had to make the heart-wrenching decision to send her to a nursing home, for her safety and to receive the proper care that she needed. We were not successful with placing her where I worked but we did find an alternative that we were happy with.  Fast forward to the present.  One day, we received the dreaded call that she tested positive for the virus, we were scared but we also had faith that she would recover from it.  So many senior citizens in nursing homes have passed away in N.J. but we had hope and we stayed prayed up and by the grace of God, she recovered.  During this time, the hardest part of all; was knowing that she was alone and without us because we were not allowed to visit.  They had banned visitations due to the threat of spreading the virus. Understandable but also debilitating, there was nothing we could do about it so we just patiently waited and put our trust in the Lord, the staff, and the Doctors. 

 

After she recovered, we were still unable to visit but relieved to know that we could do a video chat.  Just to see her beautiful face and that infectious smile, was all we needed.  Nothing but tears of joy, for such a priceless moment but I must say, the whole experience was bittersweet because there's more to this story.  My aunt, my mom's sister, was in the same nursing home as my mom.  Matter of fact, she was there first.  Covid-19 was still on the rise and widespread amongst staff and patients, so they were evacuated and transported to different nursing homes.  Sad to say, they separated them. Looking back, years ago my aunt suffered from a stroke and never recovered from it, and just like myself and my siblings, her children had to make the difficult decision to send her to a nursing home as well.  Despite her illness, she was a firecracker, always full of life.  Seeing both of them together was always a happy moment for us.  We loved their love for each other and their bond was unbreakable.

 

However, those moments are now forever embedded as memories. The separation did more harm than good. My aunt passed away within a couple of days of being moved. We were completely shocked and devastated because she was just fine before the move, and we were surprised to find out that it wasn't because of the virus.  To this day, we believe she died of a broken heart from being separated from my mom, her beloved sister whom she loved very dearly. God rest her soul.  The virus changed everything, the way we mourn and the way we attend funerals.  My story is not over yet, the most shocking moment of all is that I also was infected.  If I didn't know before, I know now that no one is exempt from catching this ugly virus, not even me a CNA!  I thought I was so safe, I was being so careful and because of the stay-at-home order, I didn't leave the house for months except to go to the store and work and back.  I thought I was doing everything right, even after the order was lifted. Honestly speaking, I still had some doubt but I still eased back into society because I needed some type of normalcy but I guess it wasn't the right time because unbeknownst to me, I still ended up getting the virus.

 

Funny because I can recall the very moment where it may have happened. The good news is, I fully recovered but looking back at my experience with covid-19, it was like no other illness that I've ever had in my life. I had severe aches and pains throughout my body, I coughed a lot and couldn't breathe at times, I was always sleepy and would sleep every half hour. It was very scary and nothing like flu symptoms and to this day, I still have lingering symptoms! I also quarantined for 15 days in my guest room, while my wonderful husband took care of me day and night. God bless him and I'm so thankful for him.  It's great to have survived this and without any hospitalization. FYI: Please go to the hospital if you need to, my case was not severe enough to go but please go if you are having symptoms beyond your control.  The takeaway, even though I would love to forget, I'll never forget this horrible experience. My message to you today is, you can never be too sure or too trusting of the people or places around you. Always be safe out there, no matter where you're at or who you're with because it can happen to you too!! Lastly,  just know that we are all in this together and we will get through this!

FEARLESS

FIGHTER

received_458274658151329_edited.jpg

SHERRY GILLUS
HER STORY of Domestic Violence
And
Health and Wellness

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

By the Grace of God

Because God wanted me to know what it felt like to be truly and unconditionally loved by a man, He created a MAN just for me!  That man was (William) and we married in 1991. Eventually, our careers began to flourish, we purchased our home, began eating good, and ultimately, the happiness ‘weight’ landed on the lower half of my body. By 2010, I was my heaviest to date and needed to do something. After working out on my own, with little success, I hired a personal trainer. With Earl’s guidance, over the course of 8 months, I looked and felt great. By September 2011, our time together had come to an end, but another client mentioned Tadda’s Fitness Camp to me. I found LaTasha’s (owner of T.F.C.) location and with that, my forever fitness home. Through T.F.C., I was introduced to running. Twenty-twelve was the year I participated in my first 5k race. Since then, I have run many 5k’s, several 10k’s, 2-15k’s, a few relays, and 3-half marathons.

 

Because I now have arthritis in both knees, my doctor has strongly advised I retire from running races and running on the pavement altogether. The words concerning my long-term prognosis devastated me, but in the winter of 2019, I was introduced to weight-lifting. I know when something is removed, God allows something else to fill the void left open. I can now say, the passion I had for running, has been transferred to lifting weights. However, there are still days, weeks, and months I struggle to eat right and exercise regularly. The beauty is that each day God blesses me to wake, I get another opportunity to try to be better than the day before. Being broken spiritually, physically, and emotionally takes time, work, and dedication, to heal and become whole again. Currently, I work at a shelter for homeless women and children. April 2016, I became a Widow.  To date, I use my voice and platform to motivate others and I never hesitate when asked to speak and share my Journey. By the grace of God, I am so blessed!

My name is Sherri, known to my childhood friends and family as Sharon. I've gone through many life-altering situations, yet, I’m still holding on and am here to share pieces of me, with you. Why am I sharing portions of my journey? Because out of my brokenness. God can, and God will use me to make someone else whole. Back in the mid to late ’80s, I experienced what is known today as TDV – Teen Dating Violence. Because I witnessed my mom and grandmother being abused and never spoke against it or their abusers, when the first time I was slammed to the ground, kicked, punched, and beaten as if I was a formidable opponent who stood a chance against the young man who days earlier had professed his love for me.  

 

I had no idea when he allowed me to get up from the ground and told me to leave his backyard, I was supposed to do just that and never look back nor come back.  Life had a way of teaching me lessons I refused to learn the first time around. After 3 years with “Dre” and support from family and good girlfriends, I walked away from him and into the arms of “Steven”. The abuse inflicted by “Dre” was verbal, emotional, and physical. With “Steven” it was 90% physical and lasted a year.  Through those tumultuous years, I knew that many people knew what I was enduring.  Knowing that, I often thought; what man would want me? The answer was - the one sent by God himself!

The Old Me and The New Me

received_455123658338625.jpeg

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR QUEENS

This was me

result_1588362011633_edited_edited.jpg

Eleanor Davis
I Always Knew It Was Coming

Most of the women in my family as far as I can remember from my great grandmother to my grandmother, my mother, and aunts was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed during their fight! My diagnosis was at the age of 50. By accident I hurt my shoulder at work so my Dr. ordered me an x-ray when she realized I haven’t had a mammogram; she suggested I do both while I was there. My results showed a mass and I had to go back for further testing.  That's when my Dr. informed me that the mass was cancer.

I Am A Fighter!

I knew right away that it wasn't going to be a death sentence for me. My faith in God has always been strong and since he brought me through it, I knew he would see me through it.

PSFix_20191029_170024.jpeg
Image by eskay lim

During this stage, it undergoes a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis.  It then becomes a colorful and adorable butterfly that’s ready to share its beauty with the world. The process of metamorphosis relates in many ways with our own growth process and moments of transformation.  Like these brave women, I invite other brave women to share their stories here. Empowered Women Empower!

We must always trust in the process, even if sometimes along the way things seem uncertain or nearly impossible. The butterfly has one of the most fascinating life cycles of all creatures. The butterfly starts life as a tiny egg that hatches to form a caterpillar. As soon as the caterpillar is done growing, it forms itself into a pupa, the resting and changing stage.

The new me

SmartSelect_20200501-143641_PicsArt_edit
SmartSelect_20200501-143641_PicsArt_edited_edited_edited.jpg
IMG_2189_edited_edited_edited_edited_edi

It's a New Day, It's a New Dawn and a New life and I'm Feeling Good!

At this point in my life, I changed my way of eating and I work out daily.  I started documenting and I post videos on vegan and vegetarian meals on a page I created called Live, Love and Laugh; spiritual food for your mind body, and soul.  God's Mercy and Grace have kept me! I’m not only a survivor but a warrior!

IMG_2175.PNG
30693_edited.jpg

In June 1992 at 47 years I was diagnosed with right breast cancer. After careful study of my case it was decided by the oncology team of physicians that I would be given several weeks of Radiation treatments. Despite the fact I was told I would become very fatigued from the treatment I was able to tolerate the treatments very well and continued working on my job without any side effects.  In June 1993 the breast cancer recurred which was very devastating. The anxiety and the unknown were very apparent to me and my husband. So, there we were again facing the same crisis only more intense: “right breast mastectomy with reconstruction” which involved rigorous amounts of testing, MRI’s, X-rays, and Acupuncture which pinpointed the exact location of the cancer, five hours of surgery, and finally chemotherapy and not to mention because the Radiation treatment had burned my breast so badly at the surgery site it was not healing properly, because of that problem I was scheduled to have skin graft surgery and the skin was used to repair the area on my breast that was burned so badly.

 

Several weeks later I started chemotherapy treatments because my veins were so small there was a port inserted into the left side of my shoulder and the scar is still there today my husband calls it my “ battle scar” but as you can imagine I became very, very ill, and suffered many severe side effects along with an open wound that needed to be washed with a Saline solution twice daily, extreme nausea, loss of hair on every part of my body, darkening of my skin, weight and appetite loss, also an acute sense of smell. I can’t explain it, but I have developed a nervous agitation to this day. But God and prayer brought me through. I have now been healed of cancer for 27 years. I give all the Glory and Honor to God. I thank my beloved husband and children as well as Eternal Life Christian Center my faithful Pastor and special friends for all the prayers that went up for me.

Pink and Black Butterfly_edited.jpg

Mary Ann Neely

30692.jpeg