Plants What's your symbol?
- age: 36
- year of diagnosis: December 2011
- survivor years: 3.5 years
- current city: Meriden, CT
- type of breast cancer: ER+/PR+, HER2-, BRCA-
- profession: Registered nurse
- children: Dog, Zoe, aka "Zo-masterflex"
- After watching a television show on breast cancer awareness, Erica, a nurse found a lump, which led to her diagnosis. After a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation, she “hit the ground running, starting a foundation called Promise to Feel ‘Em to encourage women to “actually DO self-exams through wearing and sharing of the PTFE lapel pin.” Erica said, “People say that everything happens for a reason. But I like the quote from a boy who had cancer multiple times: ‘Things happen and then you find a reason.’”
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- Patience. (Especially when waiting for test results!)
- When and where were you happiest?
- I am the happiest right now. Although life has taken me down an unexpected path, it has allowed me to see how far just one voice can really reach.
- What is your biggest fear?
- I would be lying if I didn’t say that my biggest fear is that of re-occurrence. Although as the time passes it’s easier to tuck in the back of my head, that fear never completely vanishes.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- The women who have gone before me in the fight against breast cancer are the real heroes. They are the ones who have participated in numerous breast cancer trials, taken experimental drugs and partook in research so that I could have an effective treatment plan and live to see another day.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life?
- My husband, Ben, has been my ROCK. Instead of planning for a family like we had imagined, he was by my side going to chemo and radiation appointments.
- How has having breast cancer changed your outlook on life?
- Have you heard of the saying, “When you make plans, God laughs”? That about sums it up.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- To be multilingual.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
- Going back to get a second bachelor’s degree in nursing. It was taxing but worth it because I do what I love.
- What was your brightest hour?
- Pulling my wig off in my hospital’s (Yale) “Looking Forward” fashion show fundraiser in front of 400 people. It symbolized that I had won. I got a standing ovation! (Take that, cancer!)