Off the Top of My Head: The Hair Transformation

 Without further adieu….. A photo library of my hair transformation from long to gone.

The process of “Letting Go” … MY WAY

  mommy and bella

So this is me, with my Sidekick. As far as most can see, from appearance-sake alone, I am the typical

All-American Sandra Dee.

Well, one gift that my diagnosis of breast cancer has given me is a confidence that  I never had to try things I’ve always wanted to do and unleash the inner rebel that, if you really know me, has been so much of my spirit since birth. (Hence my 3yr old, “Firecracker“)

As a wife and a mother of 5, and previous kindergarten & 1st grade teacher,  I can’t help but focus on the psychology of transitions and change for kiddos.  So, we phased into what could have been a very scary balding situation.  We made a plan and enjoyed every moment.  I found a few looks I liked and then  let my hairdresser have fun with some edgy looks and just kept on going from there.  Why not?  If I don’t like it,  we’ll just shave it anyway! How often do you get to say that?  So, here’s a glimpse as to how that went.  I pray that no one ever has to go through this; however, if you do, this went about as perfectly as possible.  We really had fun, it eased us all in,  and my rockstar dreams have been fulfilled!  So here it goes…






nice little wedge with some razor cuts in there

(nice little wedge with some razor cuts in there)


…My Sister-in-law, Janice, was the bomb to get this all set up for me (she always knows the real priorities in life for me, like …. my hair!) My fabulous hairstylist, Felicia, generously came to me for a special house call.  Too kind. I needed a “feel-good” day, and I was beaming.  Fun, fresh and invigorated!  I also really wanted to do the whole “LOCKS OF LOVE” thing, which made it even better!  Starting off on the right foot.


Feeling fresh and renewed


My hair stylist is AMAZING!!!!

My hair stylist is AMAZING!!!!

I looooved this cut!!! It was fun and funky, I could wear it straight, messy, flipped out, spikey, you name it.  Super fun. And, logisitically, it became the perfect “do” as my hair started thinning (Just before my 2nd round started. Literally one day, I could tug on it, next, it’s coming out in clumps).  I could brush this easily back to front and do it all sorts of ways to still feel fun and energetic, even when my body was wiped.  Yes, if you know my mom, I know I look just like her here, and I take the compliment.  I had to really convince people that I was my own fun and funky self, not just a mini of my mamma.  Which is probably what helped me go for my next deepest desire to fulfill…..


Take it away, Koolaid!

Take it away, Koolaid!


my tribute to Jem and The Hollograms.. and the Misfits!

my tribute to Jem and The Hollograms.. and the Misfits!

In the 6th grade, me and my buddy, Eva,  BEGGED our moms for blue hair for me, and purple for her.  They said “No” (insert eye roll and preteen deep exhale/gasp).  I never stopped asking. I was totally jealous of another bud, Duckie, in college, who died his whole head blue!  So… the “it’s just a phase” mentality that my mamma had, wasn’t so, I guess.  Welp.  Now nobody can stop me, and here I am.  Rockin the blue, with a little hot pink (pink for breast cancer, pink for Jem and the Holograms, and just cuz it looks awesome next to the blue!)  I know we all think of Jem from the ’80s, but… the bad gurlz on the show were “The Misfits” and they rocked the big blue hair and animal print leggings.  I secretly wanted to be a Misfit…just with Jem‘s earrings! 😉  Clearly, the rebel had been unleashed, which inspired this…


Rock on!!!!

Rock on!!!!



Diggin it

Diggin it


Sounds sooo cheesy, but I was feeling so empowered!  That’s not a phrase I normally use. But, I can’t describe it any other way.  My friend, Regina, and I sat there with the kids, my mom, and my hubbie watching, and I went for the mohawk full throttle!  We all loved it so much and were having so much fun with a crazy dance partaaaayy downstairs after that we didn’t want it to stop.  Why rush?  Why not enjoy the mohawk and the kickin bangs for another day or so???  When else can I do this?  So… I kept it.  I rocked my look in the infusion suite at the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for a few days.  Like one of Marley’s best, I got to “Stir it Up“.  So fulfilling. So fun!  For all of us!



And now it was time.  We made the most of every moment.  Carpe Diem all the way in this house.  But, I could only adjust my “do” so many times to hide the patchy spots and deal with the achy, itchy feeling of my scalp wanting to shed, shed, shed.  We were all ready.  The whole fam came upstairs to my bathroom.  Each family member (kids, mom, & hubbie,) got to take the scissors and cut a lock of my mohawk, saving my pink and blue in a bag for my baby book that mom’s always wanted to complete! 😉   Then, my pal, Reg and I closed the door, put “The Best of Marley” on repeat, and slowly buzzed away at what was left.  We were surprisingly ok with it and ready for it.  We laughed and cried.  We even laughed so hard we cried at one point when I seized a perfect opportunity to do my best ever “Fire Marshall Bill” impression (Jim Carrey on Living Colour back in the day).  I mean, it was spot on!  And then, with a hug, a sip of wine, and one last buzz, we were done.  We told Marley “good night” and turned off the tunes.  Took a deep breath to gather the courage to walk out of the door (the moment I’ve had spinning in my mind since my diagnosis) and head down the stairs to my kids, first with a beanie on, covering my still patchy bald head.  (Not allowed to shave quite to the scalp yet, so it’s not the smooth pretty head I’d like.  A little discombobulated.  Its as good as it can be right now.  It will have to do the rest on its own.  I guess that’s consistent, right?)

I let each child reach their hand up under my beanie to feel it first.  Then we slowly lifted the beanie off and each of them, without prompting, hugged my head and even kissed it.  They loved me all the more!  I gave them a stack of paper and a bunch of crayons.  As we sat down for our night time family prayers, my hubbie and I asked them to each draw Mommy now and show me what they see that’s most beautiful, and what they love most. Then, they were asked to write a prayer underneath.  We could barely get them to stop.  They’re pictures were so detailed, so touching, so beautiful.  That’s what’s so amazing.  We are transforming beauty over here. A few weeks ago, we added a  link to a friend’s store, “Transforming Beauty” on the right hand side of my blog, because I know that’s what we are doing here, too. Beauty is being redefined for me, for my girls, and for my family as a whole. We’re learning what’s really real and true. It’s a chance to heal.   It’s a good thing.

It’s a tough morning to wake up itchy, patchy, and maybe not like the fun rocker that I was yesterday.  But,  there’s something bigger going on now, and I’m ready.  I think we all are.



34 thoughts on “Off the Top of My Head: The Hair Transformation

  1. You’re a rebel for Christ, lady! Thank you for sharing this and these crazy awesome photos. Your beauty is just as complete as when you started, and even more so! Prayers are still coming and won’t stop!! God bless you and your awesome beautiful family!! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its been a loooong time since we were neighbors in Trinity but you are still the same beautiful Elise I remember. Hair or no hair. Every ounce of you is GOREGOUS! Wednesday is my prayer day for you, every. week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As we read your post, we laughed with you, we cried with you and we REJOICE WITH YOU! You have always been a beautiful person, no matter the “do”. We continue to pray for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. God is smiling as you model for all of us how to face adversity with Grace and courage 😇 you Rock!
    Prayers for you each day and for Team Buna,your sister and brother in Christ Diane & Rich

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You and your family are a beautiful light in this sometimes dark world! Beam on and continue to light other fires (just not always in Fire Marshall Bill style)!

    Our prayers are with y’all!


  6. Thank you, Elise.. for your strength and beauty and transparency. You are inspiring me in so many ways. Mostly, its the little things— are the things I’m starting to SEE now. The silly moments, the ones we overlook 1,000 times a day. A glance at my husband across the room, my child’s grin as I enter the school cafeteria to have lunch with them. I am slowing down. I am enjoying the day. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of all things “family”, big or small.
    Jaime Nolan Dawson


  7. That was the most beautiful blog I’ve read in a very long time! I am inspired by your words and strength! Sending love and hugs and a ton of support for a full recovery! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just cried like a baby. Missing you guys! Rebecca and I send our love and our prayers. The entire Dominican mother house is praying for you 😀


  9. Elise,
    Your brother, Beau, is our pastor, and some of my daughters are friends of yours or your family: Kitty Cleveland, Connie Lenneman, Beth Maillho, etc. Just want you to know that my husband and I lift you in prayer by name nightly and will continue to do so until you are completely healed and don’t need our prayers anymore. We ALL long for that day. Thank you for your beautiful spirit and courage. You are an inspiration. God bless–Joey (Cleveland) Caruso


  10. #1 – there was always that misfit that really had a good heart . . . you could see her inner “hologram”. #2 – I love you. you are showing your daughters not only what beauty really is but true grace and unbelievable bravery. your super fun family is always on my heart and in my prayers.


  11. Pingback: Fighting the Fight…My Journey | Team Buna

  12. Pingback: ROCK THE RUNWAY: Grab Your Tickets TODAY!!! | Team Buna

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