Real People, Real Stories

Bone cancer survivor

Erica Plummer

Most high school seniors have a lot on their plate: applying to colleges, looking forward to Prom and getting ready for the next chapter of their lives. For 17-year-old Erica Plummer, her life plan did not include cancer, but one day in the fall of her senior year, Erica discovered a lump on the back of her neck. More than one doctor told her it was nothing to worry about, but she decided to have it removed, and it tested positive for Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. She began chemotherapy the very next day and spent the next six months in the hospital undergoing treatments.

“I cried when they shaved my head,” Erica remembers. After some thought, she figured, “why be upset about losing my hair when I should worry about staying alive?” For Erica, the secret to getting through it was to take one day at a time. She went through six rounds of chemo, every other treatment being worse than the last, but by taking it one day at a time, she finally made it to her last session. Two days later, Erica went to her Senior Prom.

Erica became a CanCare volunteer in February 2008. “I wanted to help young people with cancer,” she says. “There was never anyone my age to talk to when I was going through treatments… it was always someone older. I get the opportunity to make them feel better and encourage them, and I’m able to give them the support I wish I’d had.”

CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990.  All services are confidential and free of charge.  To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.