Today is the day I lose the tissue expander for breast reconstruction, but I’m ok with that. The excitement that I feel for what I’m doing with my leagues overrides any feelings I have about losing the boob.
For a quick recap of the boring part, the infection that I went into the hospital for didn’t fully go away. They’d told me that if it got worse I’d need to pull out the expander (which has been a painful ordeal anyway).
The new doctor I met yesterday was professional and I liked her. It seems like she is the first person to make any sense since my surgery.
Since the cancer they discovered during the mastectomy was “under the radar and not detectible by a mammogram” and twice as much as they’d originally found I’ve been somewhat uneasy that we’d not done anything more than a mammogram on the other side.
When I asked my breast cancer oncologist about this last time I saw him he said “didn’t we do an MRI”? uhhhhhh……………..no.
He said we’d need to wait until I was healed to be able to do one. With the reconstruction we are talking 4-6 months?…. When I met the new doctor yesterday she said “from the looks of this infection at one week following your antibiotics my guess is that it will rear its ugly head in about 2 – 3 weeks.” Rollercon.
She asked me if I was ok with taking it out, and I said YES, that I was relieved and the fact that I got a bit emotional surprised me. She said that if we take it out now, I can be on skates in two weeks and absolutely will be able to participate fully at Rollercon. AND she mentioned that we could get an MRI on the other side right away.
Again, she is the really first person to make any sense since the surgery and has fully confirmed what my gut has been telling me; get this sucker OUT of me.
TEN minutes to go to finish hogging out. No food after 7:30 today. Ok, so I’m adding yogurt to my muffin. Not exactly hogging out but its the best I can do in the morning and will do just fine.
So what I’m REALLY excited about is OneWorld Roller Derby and bringing back the Old School Rules.
Yes, these are OSDA rules for the flat track and have been revised to fit “todays” derby and there is NO fighting. At all. If the pack stops it is a delay of game. It is fast, hard, athletic and it seems to be a great time to introduce these rules to the world. When we get our banked track We’ll do the true old school rules (still without the fighting).
My head ref Collin Fouls has been working with Wags from Penn Jersey to clarify the written rules that Penn Jersey never reads anymore; they’ve always been coached by an original pro. We’re the first league to rely solely on the written rules and we will pave the way.
We noticed some contradictions when we started to dig into OSDA and are clearing everything up to make sure that leagues that follow us into the circuit don’t have to do any work to figure them out.
As soon as they are done I’ll have handbooks available to people and bring a bunch to Vegas at Rollercon. Collin and I are meeting this Thursday (YES, it is true no cancelations of life because of my surgery; it has taken up enough of my time). There is a big giant meeting this Sunday at my house for volunteer-volunteers and dues trade committee heads. This is not a requirement for our leagues; I don’t believe in required committee work. The only requirement we have is for all star skaters to cross train, and for regular league skaters to fit in 8 practices one month prior to a game (yes OSDA calls them games not bouts).
We are also licensing our OneWorld Roller Derby branding to any league for a cuckoo cheap annual fee (and free to start).
My goal is to mainstream this sport , give leagues visibility and resources,and make it accessible to new leagues for people who want to learn. Many current leagues are so advanced by now that it is very difficult to get into some of them.
Our NSCC and community center class has skaters filtering right into our leagues after they learn and many of them are REALLY good as soon as they get through the 6 weeks. It is a great system to bring skaters to a league.
If more people teach the sport to beginners, my guess is that many of these beginners will be kicking asses of current skaters in about two years from now. Everyone was a beginner at one point, right? Skaters will come and go, learn from us and go to a WFTDA League and vice versa. Derby love baby; it’s all good with me.
If leagues that are Non-WFTDA join together as one force there can be an alternative that goes beyond women and goes beyond flat track.
When we license our OneWorld branding, I don’t care if people use MADE rules, OSDA rules, USARS rules or whatever. We can agree to disagree, honor the home team and have our travel teams adjust to the home team rules. The skill level of travel teams means that the skaters should be pretty ok with making adjustments.
Eventually we can come together and hopefully have USARS tweak the ruleset that the majority will use. Now the part we need to accomplish is to create the majority. I want to support USARS in any way possible and have signed up to allow our travel team to compete in their circuit in addition to ours.
One minute to go, big swig of coffee.
I have resources. We are teaching derby through the Seattle Parks department, in September we’ll at the City of Bellevue Parks department, and also through a community college.
I’ll give anyone the successful proposal that I wrote to start these classes and they can change the personal information to suit their needs and help their own league be able to do the same if they like; again this is a wonderful way to recruit new skaters. I think that every league should have a beginning roller derby class.
When leagues use our branding, my only request is that have their head coaches sign an agreement not to use a punitive coaching style (especially to beginners for crying out loud) and that their skaters also sign agreements not to trash talk any other leagues or each other, and to hold good sportsmanship and athleticism as their highest priority.
That agreement can come in handy when skaters forget that they aren’t supposed to trash talk others. We can either help them rise above or they can move on to find a better fit; our community is positive.
We aren’t just a rec league and we aren’t coddling our skaters; we just don’t expect beginners to have the self confidence that comes with experience.
In the fall our all star roster will be very competitive to get on, and in the winter our all stars will break into two teams (one for each league, Bellevue and Seattle) and our travel team roster will be even more competitive and raring to go by next spring.
People who want to skate derby and have more balance in their lives can be on our regular league teams where the focus will be on helping intermediate skaters shine for their friends and families, and gain the skills needed to be on an all star team if they should choose to go that way.
One last swig of water. OK. There is a lot to do today and by the time I go to bed tonight I’ll be minus this painful googlyboob, I’ll have a drain and painkillers but it will be way less horrible than my last surgery.
I am super lucky and today I’m happy and relieved; I just want to skate and teach while I can.
I’m freaking 56.