Cancer Survivor and Thriver!
Tinley Park Woman Overcomes Another Life Crisis Thanks to Silver Cross Cancer Team
Ericka G. Moore of Tinley Park has been giving seminars on empowering women for nearly a decade, sharing personal details of how she overcame bullying, temptation of suicide and tragic losses in her family to become a successful and ultra-positive businesswoman and motivational speaker.
Dressed in a Superman shirt and cape, Ericka Moore of Tinley Park flew into her final radiation treatment at the UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital in mid-May and rang the bell to symbolize the end of her cancer journey. Erika with her caregiving team.
During the past year, Moore had to put that message – her faith in God and a lot of prayer – to the test once again as she faced breast cancer treatment at the
UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.
“In February 2021, I felt a bump under my left arm,” Moore said. “My primary doctor said since I work out a lot, it could be a blocked lymph gland.”
At 44, she had her mammogram, her first, in early December. It showed nothing on the left side. The bump was gone at that point, but the test found a mass on her right side.
Moore went to the
Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health for an ultrasound biopsy. The results came back on Dec. 29 as cancer, specifically, invasive ductal carcinoma, often successfully treatable when caught early.
“It was Stage 1, so that was great. But I was scared. I’m thinking, ‘How could this be happening to me?’ I take good care of myself. I eat right. I work out,” she explained. “I did also make a decision that I was going to fight back and beat the disease.’”
Surgery was scheduled in February 2022 to remove a lump and several spots that surrounded it on Moore’s right side, as well as a sometimes hard-to-locate atypical, but benign lump on her left side, and four lymph nodes.
“There was no cancer in the lymph nodes, so that was a relief,” said Moore. “Then, it was time to schedule radiation treatments, as well as physical therapy two times a week at the
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross Hospital.
Although Moore was initially reluctant to do physical therapy, she added, “I’m so glad I did. The area around the surgery was so sore to move. At first, even the massages hurt, but it got better. The therapists there had me do all types of arm stretches, which also hurt at first. But that got better, too. I started feeling more like myself, joking around with them. As I did my final therapy session, they said, ‘Do you have to leave? Can’t you come back to see us?’”
Moore flew into her final radiation treatment May 13 as she was dressed in a Superman shirt with a cape and rang the bell symbolizing her journey had come to a happy end and she was now cancer-free. She carried a sign saying, “I overcame breast cancer. What’s your superpower?”
“I’m always upbeat,” Moore explains. “A lot of this has to do with a positive attitude. That’s what I tell people who attend my seminars or read my book. It doesn’t matter how you started out in life, what challenges come your way, or mistakes you have made, you can overcome.”
Moore also points out, “My middle initial stands for “Glorious. That was my grandmother’s first name. I didn’t make it up!”
And when she gets back to presenting her programs, Moore will make sure to let the women in the audience know they need to take care of themselves physically as well as emotionally.
“I never thought about a mammogram,” she admitted. “I consider myself a healthy and active person. But even though I finally had health insurance, which I never thought I needed anyway, I wouldn’t have gotten that mammogram if I didn’t feel that lump.
“Women need to get annual exams, including mammograms. The mammogram and the staff at Silver Cross helped to save my life.”
Use Silver Cross
SCHedule NOW to book your screening mammogram online at silvercross.org/schedule.