A two-time breast cancer survivor, Caryn Sullivan, spent nearly 20 years working in the world of sports and entertainment, largely at Disney, ESPN, and the Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx. She performed well in an intense environment fueled by Diet Dr.Peppers and endless bags of baked chips.
“It has taken me several years to publicly write about my stories. While I love to talk, I never wanted to be “that girl with cancer.” I was proud that I gracefully smiled at surgery, chemo, and hair loss in 2005. But, even more delighted that I jumped back into the corporate race and performed extremely well in an intense work environment without many knowing that I had overcome breast cancer.
While I learned a lot about cancer in my 30’s, my 40th birthday marked a new era of learning about wellness. As most of my friends organized great vacation escapes to celebrate the new decade, I, on the other hand, spent our celebration money on a full-day doctor’s appointment at the Princeton Longevity Center. After a physical exam, EKG, bone scan, CAT scan, and doctor’s meeting, the summary was that I had the body (heart) of a 29-year old (yippee) and a suspicious lesion on my sternum. Fast-forward one month and the conclusion – stage IV, metastatic breast cancer – the same one from 2004. It was then that I realized I needed to embrace my cancer life, not just look to get past it.
This diagnosis shook us and I knew I couldn’t live in “what-if-bad-things happen to me” land. So, I put graduate school on hold to focus on getting and staying well. With full love and support from my husband, I utilized my resource-driven, organizational business skills and got to work figuring out my cancer life plan. Pretty Wellness is our brand that represents research, experiences, meetings, interviews, observations, thoughts, and goofy moments on the journey towards wellness.
The good news is that my treatment is working. Whether it is the conventional treatment, vegan diet, hot yoga, daily walking routine, or positive mindset, the cancer isn’t growing. My stage IV isn’t typical and my doctors tell me “I’m exceptional,” for those who know me, you can insert a laugh here). My cancer may go away, or may not, but I’m hoping to live a long life with or without it.”
Caryn has been seen on The Doctor Oz Show, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, The Wendy Williams Show, and is a regular wellness contributor to WTNH-TV. Caryn has inspired thousands to embrace wellness through her motivational speeches throughout the country. Her book, Happiness through Hardship, a guide, and journal for cancer patients and caregivers, was recently released with proceeds donated to metastatic breast cancer research. A podcast with the same name was launched in 2020 sharing inspirational stories of people who have found happiness through their own hardships of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infertility to COVID-19, parenting, job transitions, and more…
Caryn now lives in the Northeast with her husband and 11-year old son. She loves power-walks on the beach, green juices, and going to Major League Baseball games with her family.
(Disclaimer: This webpage may contain general information relating to various medical conditions and their treatment. Such information is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified health professional. Patients should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health or fitness problem or disease. Patients should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice or information about diagnosis or treatment.)