Cosplay sensation Mikomi Hokina first caught my eye a number of years in the past. Blowing my thoughts together with her spectacular rendition of Overwatch’s Widowmaker, it was as if the FPS sport’s iconic Parisian sniper had walked straight out of Talon HQ and into our a lot much less thrilling world.
Think about then the pit that opened in my abdomen when Mikomi shared that she had most cancers. As an avid fan of her work, my coronary heart shattered. I feared the worst, worrying over a swarm of would-have-beens, should-have-beens, and what-could-have-beens. However realizing Mikomi and simply how highly effective she is, I ought to’ve recognized she would kick most cancers’s sorry ass.
In early September Miko acquired the information that she is cancer-free, and right here she is, chatting away to me on a Zoom name radiating gentle, life, and happiness. That is the story of Mikomi Hokina, the cosplayer who fought most cancers and received.
“About two hours before leaving for Thailand on a trip, I received the results saying I had cancer. It was not that great,” Mikomi says, with startling stoicism. “I think it was February 27 when I got the diagnosis and the results of the biopsy, and when I got back from Thailand the hospital appointments started. By March 28 I was doing my first chemotherapy session.”
The analysis was triple-negative breast most cancers, which is a most cancers that “reacts really well to chemo, so they knew that they could treat it.” The medical doctors went in onerous to take away it, which Miko explains “is why the treatment was so short and aggressive. When you talk about cancer you’re thinking months or years, but I got diagnosed at the end of February and by the end of September I was cancer-free.”
Whereas her therapy time was comparatively brief in comparison with others, it doesn’t imply the signs had been any much less bothersome – particularly when your profession is constructed round character impersonation and modelling. The widespread conception is that you need to be ‘pretty’ with a purpose to cosplay, and match the proportions of the characters you search to remodel into. For a lot of, their picture of most cancers therapy is the antithesis of what ‘pretty’ seems to be like. Did Mikomi have any considerations about what the analysis meant for her cosplay profession?
“The first thing that hit me was that I was going to have to work twice as hard,” she states. “You’re sick, you’re going to be feeling drained, and along with your look altering it takes a lot longer to prepare. Additionally, whenever you’re preparing, you look within the mirror and it’s slightly perplexing. As a cosplayer you realize all the totally different methods for make-up and so forth, however with out options like eyebrows and eyelashes in your face it seems to be comparable, however totally different. I discovered myself trying within the mirror and being like ‘something’s up, one thing’s flawed.’
“When I look at my pictures people don’t see much of a change, they can’t tell when they’re just looking at a picture. They don’t know how to tell the difference between fake eyebrows and your real ones, which is great because the illusion is maintained, but I can see it, because it’s my face.”
She additionally recollects having to “put socks” in her wigs to “keep the head round” as they might flatten attributable to her lack of hair. Whereas we each giggle as she tells me all of the creative workarounds she needed to discover because of her sickness, there’s nonetheless a way of disappointment – in any case, to borrow Miko’s phrases, “there’s still a long way to go to get back to how I looked before.”
Final chemo!!! The nightmare is quickly over
I am legit so drained… I hate what I appear like proper now pic.twitter.com/pG8kBfjmaR
— Miko ♥ AFA 2022! (@MikomiHokinaArt) August 2, 2022
“I may never look like before because I had a bilateral mastectomy and implants – so I look similar again, but different. My hair is also growing back grey instead of brown, so I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to what I was.”
She cites shedding her eyebrows as the toughest a part of every day life. “Before that, when you have no hair but you still have eyebrows, it kind of looks like a choice to just shave your head. When you lose your eyebrows, you’re the ‘cancer patient,’ and that’s hard to accept.”
Fortunately her brows are again and he or she now not “looks like a balding old man” with cussed hair on the again that “was staying on for some reason.” Whereas she laughs, she admits “I took the razor and shaved it all, and it was really hard to do. It’s a process of acceptance, which is not easy. I still haven’t completely gone through it,” she confesses. “Cosplay has actually kept me feeling pretty in a sense, because when you cosplay your hair is back, you look like a different character; you’re just something else, and that keeps the illusion up a bit.”
With the great comes the dangerous, nevertheless. As Miko opened up about her analysis on social media, she was met with outpourings of assist, whereas concurrently being referred to as a liar and a fraud.
Maybe in my ignorance I requested Miko what it was like having her followers assist her, and he or she replied with a shocked “asking concerning the supportive side was actually surprising as a result of a variety of the time on social media it’s like ‘oh you’re fairly sizzling child, give me your quantity’ and stuff like that. After all there are lots of people that aren’t brain-dead, however there are a lot of brain-dead folks.
“When you do sexual content a lot of people don’t think with their brain anymore, and this is what I expected when the announcement went out; I saw myself posting a video of me saying ‘guys I have cancer’ and I’m about to cry and there’s people saying ‘oh you’re so beautiful and hot baby.’ Thankfully I avoided the majority of that.” She does make clear, nevertheless, that “a lot of people thought I was doing it for attention, as if that brings me anything. People told me I was faking it and that I shaved my head for internet clout.”
For each destructive message she will recall a constructive, although. “When I posted for the first time without my hair, people really surprised me in terms of support because they were so kind. It really made me realise that people are somewhat linked to cancer, be them close or far from it. When I posted, it wasn’t the model persona that posted it, it was the human behind the internet character, and talking about it made me feel better.”
To those that are struggling, she urges them to “keep holding on. Set yourself goals, small goals. That kept me going; it was like ‘yeah when I’m cancer-free, I’m going to do this and that.’ Life goes on you know, and it’s not like you’re not capable of doing anything. When you feel capable, do something and don’t stay in bed all the time. Take it one step at a time and keep your focus on something that’s good for your mental health.”
You’ll be able to try Miko’s most cancers journey on her Instagram and Twitter. For individuals who are, or know somebody who’s affected by most cancers, you possibly can donate to Most cancers Analysis UK in the UK, the Nationwide Breast Most cancers Basis within the USA, and Breast Most cancers Now in Europe.