Tuesday, August 26, 2008


even though my hair has been somewhat of a trademark for me, i thought i was mentally prepared for the time when the chemo would cause it to fall out.

i was not.

i braided my hair this morning, and as i separated each side into three sections, i noticed that quite a bit more hair was coming off on my fingers than usual. had the Day arrived? i went for a walk with my mom afterwards, and i could feel myself becoming more and more uptight and less and less tolerant of...everything. i was suddenly anxious to get home and deal with this hair issue. as soon as we got back, i went into the bathroom to shower and wash my hair, knowing that that would be the real test. as soon as i closed the bathroom door behind me, the tears started. i thought i was being so brave, but as soon as a few extra hairs started leaving my head, on came the waterworks. suddenly, i felt exhausted and fed up and i didn't have the desire to deal with any of the challenges of having cancer, particularly forcing myself to wash my hair and not knowing if i'd have any left afterwards.

ej knocked on the door. after some hugs and a good cry, i felt better able to step into the shower. the shampooing went pretty well, but it was the conditioning and detangling that proved that i had not been imagining things. my hair was thinning at a remarkably fast rate. i made a pile of hair at the far end of the shower and when i was done, i still had some left on my head. hurrah!

i asked my mom to cut my hair short. somehow it seems that short hair would make the transition to baldness a little easier. my mom separated it into little ponytails, per the instructions on the "hip hats with hair" website. (i think i'm going to order the "scarfabulous". thank you, hanna, for discovering this!) of course, each step was documented with photographs.

this is the pile of hair i left behind in the shower. it looked as if some animal had crawled into the tub.

before the cutting began.

the ponytails

the first cut. am i laughing or am i crying? it looks like someone slipped something into my drink. or it looks like i need a drink.

luckily, i started out with plenty of hair, so even after the massive thinning, there was still plenty to cut off.

the Half and Half

the Harvest

cleaning it up

the Scarf Look.
i wouldn't mind keeping it this length.
let's see how long it lasts.


Cindy T. said...

I'm so sorry mija that you have to go through this... In the words of one of India Arie's songs, remember...: "I am Not My Hair".


And remember, even brave girls cry. You ARE a brave girl, and I love you! Take care, and keep working on those nalgas. ;)

Ylse said...

I just received the note from your wonderful sister. And from one sister to another I LOVE YOU MIJA!!!!!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts & pictures...like your other friend said, I'm sorry you're going through this--going through---and I love you and I must say...you look so...beautiful with that short hair!!!!!

yes, you cry mija, and you go for walks and you spend time with your mama and you share your thoughts and everything with your girlfriends/sisters who LOVE YOU!!!! besos y besos:)))))

Ylse said...

Ylse....I don't know how it went thru my Ylse account---but, it is from your mija Ruth Livier--besos!!

Guamgrl2006 said...

OMG! You are sooo beautiful with our without your hair! You are going to get through this! You have a huge family that loves and cares for you! But you already know this! You will always be in our family's thoughts and prayers!

Take Care!

jessie said...

sandra! how is it that you are such a hottie!?, no matter what!?. you are just super hot!! and i'm loving the scarf look. it's so very YOU. Is EJ making you drink kombucha? (EJ, make Sandra drink kombucha!) you are brimming with light girly, always smiling that brilliant smile, always a hottie, always Sandra. love love love.....!!!!!!

jennie said...

With a face like that, who needs hair? Sandra, know we're thinking of you and sending our greatest wishes - remember when you and Gina painted our front bedroom? It's now our big boy Harrison's room - has been for 12 years, but the white paint is still there! Stay strong, beautiful! - Jennie and Jonathan Fahn

franthebean said...

you look beautiful!!!

timothy said...

Thank you Sandra, for sharing all this. I've been totally bewildered by the news and haven't been able to make any sense of it, (I suppose visiting would have been the normal thing to do!). The candid nature of your blog and your beautiful pictures have taken something monstrous and made it human. I got the wonderful email from your sister today and will of course be sending a check. Belatedly (I am eternally working on those damn prints) I have a couple color reproductions of 2 of my latest paintings that will be making it your way soon.

Peace, Timothy

Kish said...

Hola' mi chica,
I'm sending you a BIG WET KISS cause I know that's how you like it! My mom's gonna bake a sweet potato pie for you. I'll take a picture of me eating it and send it to you. It'll be like you were here! Know that I love you and I'm thinking of you. BTW, pumpkin you look beautiful :D

Sonja Alarr said...

For God's sake! I'd never seen your beautiful, spirited amazing blog before today. What a drastic way to get new readers!

Oh, Sandra. I just found out all that is going on with you, and I am just pissed and sad on your behalf. I do know, though, that the world needs you here. Needs that beautiful spirit and humor. I know you'll beat this thing--I just wish you didn't have to.

Albert and I and our two exhausting, I mean beautiful, children will be thinking of you daily with much love. We'll keep you and your family and EJ and his family tucked in close to our hearts. And send big fat checks as often as possible.

I cried with you about your hair--I'm pretty hair-identified myself and mine has never been even close to fabulous as yours. But, dammit, you look absolutely stunning with short hair, too. And that smile...dazzling.

All love,
Sonja, et al

Rachel said...

Sandra! Your short 'do looks freaking fabulous. You can apparently pull off any look. :)

I'm so amazed by your incredible positivity and courage in the face of such a huge challenge - I know you will come through it shining brighter than ever before. Vince and I send you all our love and best wishes. Rachel xx

Lillian said...

You look like Deanna's twin! VERY chic hairstyle on you, and frankly, one you could have pulled off years ago. But then I think you secretly enjoyed having people seated next to you in theaters ask you if you could move your hair. Tee hee!

I'm going to have a garage sale and send you everything I make. The kids have already cleaned out their clothes and toys. You get funding, I get a cleaner home; it's a win-win!

Thank you for sharing your daily goings on so openly. When I grow up, Sandra, I want to be just like you. (I always have!)

Love, Lillian