BLONDIE’S MAKIN A COME BACK

DO BLONDES HAVE MORE FUN?

Hmmm.  Well, I feel like I can answer that question.  I mean, now that, between my real hair and my many crazy fun wigs, I’ve had quite the variety of color, length, and shiny bald looks to weigh out my answer.  The truth is, who has more fun really depends on the person themselves and how they choose to handle their day and open themselves up to the graces available to do enjoy the day no matter what cards have been dealt … what the heck kind of hair they have.  Don’t matter what ya look like, Honey. It’s what’s inside that counts.  How cliché, I know.  But it’s so very true.

Eye roll. Right?

Seriously though.  The thought of me losing my hair, as I’ve said many times before, was what made my kids hit the floor when I announced my diagnosis to them.  My long blonde locks were my identity (at the time) to them.  How quickly we all changed our tune.  How quickly they looked into my eyes and saw that hair or no hair, my eyes could always watch them grow. Hair or no hair, my lips could always kiss them.  Bald or not, I could always smile at them, laugh with them, hug them and tickle them.  My hair never kept me from loving them.

we should not be defined by the way we look

And what’s even better is that my baby, my adorable “Snuggles” always knew it was me.  Every morning, she knew me when I went in to get her out of her crib. She knew it was me whether I came in bald, with a beanie, with a pink wig, afro wig, or a sombrero!  She never flinched once.  That blue eyed babe simply lifted her arms up with a smile the second our eyes met with a great big, “MAMA!” every. single. time.  That’s love.

To answer the question…

I’m pretty sure I had fun with every single color, style and length.  And I absolutely plan to continue to do so!  I cannot stop “pinning” ideas of the endless styles out there for me to try as my hair grows out.  I’m like a kid in a candy store.  In fact, I bought a box of “Gypsy stix” (colored hair chalk) from Amazon just the other day to surprise the kids with my BLUE HAIR when they got home the other day after they’d noticed my health seeming to decline and pain increase with radiation side effects. I needed something to cheer us all up, and fast! We needed a splash of color!  Much to my dismay, they’ve been desensitized by my antics and seemed unimpressed.  Hence my desire to kick it up a notch this week.  So, I tell ya this,  I don’t believe that blonde’s necessarily have more fun,  I just think that I’ve been there done that, and the blondie little girl in me that was there for 35 years, since birth, had a pretty good time rollin in the mud and climbing trees and made me who I am today.  And now, after celebratin’ my 36th b-day with a phony blonde wig at my party, which I regretted from the moment I walked into the restaurant.  And I swore I’d never do that again.  Why? Because,  I like the real deal.  I just wanted to be back.  I missed that little blonde girl when I Iooked in the mirror, even though I knew my heart was the same.  I couldn’t help but miss that chick.

ready for change

Underneath these amazing beanies that I’ve been so blessed to have, thanks to the “oh so fashionable Angelle Albright” (my high school cheerleading coach, my friend,  my mentor, cancer survivor, and founder of ChemoBeanies), I finally have enough hair to just cover my head. Kinda like Sinead O’Connor!  However, what most don’t realize is that, at least for adult patients, when your hair grows back, once again, God has quite the sense of humor.  First of all, it grows from back to front, having you look like an old man for quite a while, with the back much thicker than the top, still now.  Once you have it, it’s also not quite your real color that it will be permanently.  As I was told by many other survivors,  it comes in much like the down of a duckling.  It’s very, very soft and greyish.  I can dig the soft part.   In fact, my kids pet me all the time and call me their little “kitty cat” while they watch t.v.  However, the brownish, blondeish, greyish, “can’t decide what you really are shade” just wasn’t working for me.  Not when you are already self conscious of having such a small amount of hair, itchy all over as the hair follicles are just trying to work again for the first time in a long time, yet also so ready to not have anything on my head while spring time gets so quickly into a smothering heat in Louisiana in the early spring!   I can only think how blessed I am of the timing of my diagnosis to have lost my hair in the fall and to be getting it back in the Spring.  In fact, I fervently ask for prayers for the many many women whom I never ever knew of before and will think about all summer that either have no hair or will be in the uncomfortable in between stage and will struggle greatly this summer.  Please, pray for those women.  Offer up any moment for them  that you think, “Ugh, I’m having a bad hair day.”  Be thankful.  Trust me.  It could be worse.  God bless those ladies.  My heart bleeds for them.  God has been too good to me.

I know that. Every. Single. Day. I am very much aware. I have been greatly blessed.

….

So here I was yesterday morning, ready to kiss my beanies good bye and thank them for the time that they’ve served me well and turn over a new leaf.

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I was ready to go Rocker blonde!!! I had been Rockin radiation, so why go a little blonde? Go big or go home, right?

Ok, Let’s face it, maybe that part of me that grew up watching SNL and still stays up late to catch up on all the best sketches and reruns wanted to be like this crew…

CALIFORNIANS

(The CALIFORNIANS… Yet another Kristen Wiig fab sketch)

or I just wanted to be a totally (excuse my “French”).. BAD ASS mama who’s kickin cancer’s butt and doesn’t want to WEAR a hair do, but ROCK one.  Yup. That’s it.

So, I went to the best of the best over at Paris Parker in Mandeville.  Been goin’ there since I was in college.  My girl, Rhonda Cavaretta, has been doing my hair and chatting with me for years now and we’ve gotten pretty close because of it.  So when I called her and told her what I wanted to do, she jumped o the chance and made the day just perfect.  Heidi Fisher, another fab friend and stylist even went out of her way to call around to have extra Team Buna shirts brought over from old highschool pals (Elizabeth and Nick Icamina- thanks y’all!!) the night before so that I walked through the salon doors to a room of stylists all wearing my shirts! Talk about catch me by surprise! My shoulders dropped down about 4 inches after being practically stuck in my ear canals the whole ride over!  Seriously.  I nearly called and cancelled 5 times over the weekend.  Thank God for my sister in law, Janice, for agreeing to come with me and be by my side the whole day. Because,  as far as I was concerned, “Who am I to think I should be sitting in the middle of such a place with my 4 cm long hair in the midst of gorgeous tan women with their long, thick, gorgeous manes?!?”  I felt so silly… until I saw them there smiling and waiting for me in there shirts.  I felt like I belonged there.  They did that for little ol’ me and I can’t possibly repay them for that moment.

Without further adieu… the BIG REVEAL.

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It’s a major change, but I did it.  They did it for me and I cannot possibly thank them enough.  Thank you, Rhonda!  The very moment that she even just showed me one little peek at the tiny speck of my hair starting to take to the blonde dye so quickly, I gasped… and I cried.  After all the messages I’ve been getting from everyone telling me to go ahead and cry, well  there ya go.  I cried.  And of all moments, it was when I saw my blonde hair again.  Why?  Because it was so very symbolic for me.  It meant that truly “every little thing was gonna be alright“.  Just that LITTLE bit of blonde.  Just that little bitty lock.  It was a little part of me.  Like the little olive branch being brought back by the dove to Noah after the great flood.  It was a sign of life and rebirth.  It meant, to me, that I am coming back.  It may seem so silly to some people.  I know that it’s just hair.  Just a  said earlier, it doesn’t define who I am by any means.  If the docs said that I had to lose it all again to save my life, I would surely oblige.   But, if I can see it just for a moment today, it feels so good.   Even if only for a moment.  It feels good to see the light!  And boy is it LIGHT!

(I mean, I went really really, like Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers kinda light blonde… and I looooooooove it!!!!!!!!!!!)

Best part yet?  My kids were totally surprised.

And they haven’t stopped smiling yet.

#MommysBack

life is better blonde

At least today it is.     NOT BECAUSE BLONDES HAVE MORE FUN…    BUT because in our house….

BLONDE means Mommy is getting better!

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9 thoughts on “BLONDIE’S MAKIN A COME BACK

  1. Your journey and willingness to share it in such a public way is inspiring and, I hope, helpful. Usually, I can’t wait for the end of a story. In this case, I hope to never get there.
    Tom Bagwill

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    • Wow, Tom! I’m always one to think that no one remembers me or think that I’m a babbling brook (just ask Jason, it’s my quirky little complex) ! … to put myself out here in a blog is pretty major. I appreciate these words more than I can express to you. God bless ya.

      Like

  2. Awww, you’re beautiful no matter what, Elise! You’re not afraid to be “real” and a great example of faith & courage & perseverance & hope & love & joy for all of us. Thanks to you and your mom for “Godspell”. I know it was a lot of work but more of a labor of love for y’all to the kids who were in it & to all of us who attended. God bless you and your lovely family! Happy Easter!

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    • Those kids, the families, and all who were a part of “Godspell” were such a gift to me as well. They’ve been an extension of my family these past few months as I auditioned dancers and designed costumes during the last 2 rounds of chemo, taught dances the week before my mastectomy, and worked with all the dancers and ensemble choreography as I healed from my surgery as well as most evenings after daily radiation. Seriously… that theater was my home away from home. It was the craziest thing I’ve done, and the BEST. God worked through all of us. I felt very called to be there for such a beautiful show and message carried in its teaching. So thankful.

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

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