How a Disney Princess Helped Me Discover My New Normal

I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the Fall of 2013. The news was shocking and sobering, especially considering I knew very few people who thrived with it. Scared beyond comprehension, filled with sleepless nights and worries dancing through my head, I thought I knew what that diagnosis meant. At the same time, publicity ramped up for Disney’s “Frozen,” but I didn’t pay attention. The movie opened Thanksgiving weekend and after the holidays, the world knew it was not only a box office hit, but the key to a young girl’s heart. I didn’t realize, it would be to mine, as well.

As the world was singing “Do you Want to Build a Snowman, ” I was anxiously awaiting my first set of scans after being diagnosed. My mind was filled with wildly ranging thoughts:

Was this the calm before the storm? Would the results show tremendous growth and I would only have a few months or years left?

If so, would my child really know me? Should we tell him or not?

Will my new treatments debilitate me? Will I feel like myself? Will I be myself?

Pretty Wellness Small Steps Challenge 2018

Happy New Year. We’re excited to launch the Pretty Wellness Small Steps 2018 Challenge. Each day, our team will share wellness tips and thoughts to help inspire you to make a few healthy changes this year. As always, our content is aimed to assist you to find ways to add healthy habits to your life easily.

2017 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

I love bright lights and shimmery glitter. I love finding reasons to celebrate. And I love to be LOVED, which is why I absolutely cherish the holiday season. Beyond the parties, presents and dressed up people, what truly makes the holiday season special is the positivity that radiates. People come together to celebrate the season and enjoy each other. For all those celebrations and gift-giving events, we’re back with our fourth edition of the Pretty Wellness Healthy Holiday Gift Guide. Truly thoughtful gifts warm the hearts of both the giver and receiver. This is why I love sharing my favorite holiday gift ideas that promote wellness.

50 Thoughtful Gift Ideas & Gestures for a Friend in Need

You get the phone call or email that a friend has just been diagnosed with [insert crappy diagnosis here] and you don’t know what to do. Do you call? If you call, what do you say? You opt not to call because:

1. You aren’t sure you should know.
2. You don’t know what you would say because you haven’t been in their shoes.
3. Or your friend must be swamped and you don’t want to bother her.

So, how then do you help a sick friend?

Tips for a Recently Diagnosed Cancer Patient

I’ve had cancer for over a decade. While there has been many roller coasters along the way, the first few weeks after a diagnosis were the most stressful and mentally draining. Through my cancer journey, like my business career, having role models and mentors were critical. I had many people look out for me and so I believe in doing the same. While I never wanted to be “Caryn with Cancer,” if my stories and learnings can help someone else find a little ease with this disease, then I want to share them all. When it comes to the initial diagnosis, unfortunately you can’t bury your head in the sand for long. You have to make several decisions in a short amount of time. Below are some tips that worked for me when it came to handling those first few weeks.

Tips for a Healthy Road Trip & Family Vacation

Have you ever come home from vacation nearly 10-pounds heavier than you were before you left? Did you give yourself the “I’m on Vacation” approval to eat anything at anytime? I’ve been there and done that. Ate gluttonously for weeks, then returned home with little motivation to eat better and exercise. Now my daily diet isn’t about losing weight and looking pretty, it’s about being well. Nearly four years ago, on my first real vacation after I started eating clean, I challenged myself to enjoy my vacation while maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I also gave some thought on how to help my family indulge, just not excessively.