“Regular like hygiene/ Portrait of the elite/ Tougher to beat than cancer / Why the fuck do we do it? / Here’s the answer / We do it ‘cause we need it / We do it ‘cause we love it / We do it ‘cause it’s our life / Put nothing above it.” – Terms One, “The Answer”
If dry-heaves are happiness (stay with me), having a regular writing gig is kind of like a never-ending hangover. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world (and have at times traded the world for the experience), but sometimes I wonder if I’m committing slow suicide whilst pained and bent over porcelain keys.
Kula Kid is fledgling yet—this is only the ninth installment—but in that time, I’ve yet to write an “out on the town” piece about my (presumed) late-night exploits (a la my Holoholo Girl predecessor). Every time I sit down to do it, I can’t find the words.
What to say? Do I divulge that I’m a terrible dancer to the masses who may yet be unscarred? Do I ramble instead about being a champion pupu consumer or the fact that I’ve christened many a Maui pass-out spot with naught but draught puke? Or the fact that when I do go out, I often find myself the next morning with more than my fair share of wrecked heels (whose shoes are these, anyway?), mud, cuts, burns and bruises? It’s hardly glamorous, but I suppose proof of a good time.
Also, I haven’t had the chance to be out and about with the regularity I’d like or that the job demands. I’ll blame it on the cancer.
In the short span between this writing and its printing, I will have had my fourth and final bone marrow biopsy. The results should give me the official leukemia-free stamp of approval, and I’d like to think that having reached that milestone, my psyche’s queue will be cleared.
I had to count on my fingers, but it’s been nine months since my diagnosis. That’s enough time to have baked a bun in the oven (though those lady parts may or may not have been irreparably damaged by the chemo), and to me that’s just way too long.
When I was first told that best-case scenario my spleen would be removed, and worst-case scenario I had a rare form of blood cancer, I was somehow seriously under the impression the whole shebang would take but a couple of weeks. Ah, naïveté.
Yet in addition to the clean bill of health, renewed vigor for late-night ventures and thus further column fodder, I’m really looking forward to the biopsy itself. More than a leuk landmark, for me it’s just plain ol’ interesting.
Doctor Coty, my hematologist, thinks I’m certifiably crazy in that I love to watch a procedure he says most find “traumatic.” To me, it’s a rare, unmissable opportunity to watch someone shove—with brute force—a huge metal spike into my iliac crest (top, rear hipbone), and proceed to suck a maggot-sized piece of marrow out of it. Who wouldn’t want to watch? The contrast between how much takes place and how relatively little you feel is astounding; truly the only annoying bit is having to crane my arm while clutching a handheld mirror so I can watch Doc work.
When the pain gets intense, I simply pretend I’m on a feudal Japanese battlefield and some kyudo archery master has got the better of my backside at long range.
When all the blood and guts are cleaned up (OK, no guts), and after having seen a bit more of my bum than anyone should be subjected to, Doc pours me a Dixie cup of apple juice and holds my hand as he walks me back to the waiting room—which is nice.
After that, the plan is to put on my tough face, wave a jovial goodbye to Doc and the nurses and return to the real challenge at hand: hitting the scene and finding the right words.
Anu Yagi welcomes comments, and will be hanging out at mauifeed.com/kulakid. You can also follow her on Twitter at @anuheayagi.