Carol Duncan

Carol Duncan

About Carol:

Carol was diagnosed at age 46 with stage 2 ductal carcinoma. She had been getting yearly mammograms because her grandmother had breast cancer. She attributes her stamina and tolerance of her treatment regimen to the “excellent support of my husband and step kids. My co-workers were phenomenal. They allowed me to remain dignified while I lost my hair, shaved my head and shuffled along due to extreme exhaustion. . . .” Carol has chosen to share her experience with everyone she meets in order to create more awareness of breast cancer in young women. She also helps to see new legislation passed to provide worker protection to those going through any kind of cancer treatment. Carol considers herself lucky in that “cancer showed me that so many people are inherently good and extremely supportive when they experience it along with you. It is when you are only a number or a statistic that shows in a report that desensitizes people to what the human impact really is.” She asks that if “you see a woman out there shopping and she is wearing her cancer wig or cancer scarf or hat or regaling you with her bald head . . . she is usually having one of her “good days”. Smile at her, give her the dignity she deserves, the acceptance and the support that she needs to feel normal again as she tries to get “back in the saddle again”.”

Carol’s Chair: “Back in the Saddle Again”

Carol chose to do a desk chair because she went to college to be an art teacher. The thought of all the kids who had used the desk was irresistible. She kept the look rustic and “left the gum that all those students stuck to the under carriage knowing full well that they were told to get rid of it by their teachers.” “The wonderful crazing of the finish made me think of an old time, well worn, leather horse’s saddle.” This idea is a good analogy of her life now. Having recently hit her 5 year survival mark she has been trying to get “back in the saddle of my former life before cancer.” She acknowledges the worry will always be there but for now “I’m working on getting back on board with my new normal.”