Breast Cancer: My Search for Answers

Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2024 and she is sharing her story of survival at Check out her website,

Are you aware that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? That’s a sobering statement, but one that you may not really connect with unless you have a personal experience with breast cancer. I am the one in eight.

I have to admit that I was like most people, I heard about breast cancer, donated to the cause and sympathized with anyone that was diagnosed. However, I never had a personal experience with it in my family or any close friends, until I was diagnosed. My husband’s mother passed from complications from breast cancer, but that was long before we even met. Now, my outlook and my reaction to hearing that a woman has passed from having this disease is totally different. It hits me deep in my heart.

Let’s do a little experiment that will help you see how my outlook has shifted. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down all the women you know including your mom, sister, aunt, best friend and even yourself. Don’t leave any woman out that you have come in contact with, especially the random women in your life like your son’s math teacher or the nurse at your doctor’s office.

Try to come up with at least 20 names to make this experiment more impactful to you. Once you’ve finished, go down the line and put a number beside each name. Start with the number one and end with the number eight, then start the sequence over again until you reach the end of the list. Once you finish this part, go back over the list and for each name that has the number eight beside it, circle it.

Each of the names with an eight beside it could (according to the statistics) be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. As random as your own lists are, that is how random breast cancer seems to strike. I am not a scientist, doctor or researcher. I’m just a women, fitness enthusiast and coach who has embraced a healthy and fit lifestyle for over 20 years who was diagnosed, seemingly out of the blue, with breast cancer.

In my search for answers as to why, I have found none, none that make any sense to me, anyway. I did all the things “they” said I needed to do to reduce my risk, I not only preached, but lived what I preached and still, I was diagnosed. All I know is that I am number eight.

Also Read Carol’s other installments on her breast cancer journey:

Reflections on My Fight with Breast Cancer

Time to Prepare for Chemo

Breast Cancer Isn’t What’s Going to Take Me Out

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