Tonight I back-washed and vacuumed our built-in pool all by myself.
I know, it may not sound like that big of a deal to all of you, but let me tell you, vacuuming a pool after a bilateral mastectomy is no small feat. To vacuum a pool you need to use your chest muscles to push the vacuum all the way down into the bottom of the pool against the pressure of the water, and it’s way harder than you’d think under normal circumstances, let alone after a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Let me just say: Ouch.
So, I feel like I’ve accomplished a huge task today. In case you haven’t read my previous two posts about it, when I was going through my chemotherapy, which started in April of 2010, I just suddenly decided one day that I wanted to put in a built-in swimming pool in our backyard.
Yeah. Weird, I’d never really wanted one before, but all of a sudden I was surer than anything I’ve ever been before that I wanted and needed to get a built-in pool that summer.
I had some theories about why we should do it. I figured it would be a lot of fun for the kids and would keep them interested in hanging around at our house with their friends as they got older. I had some theoretical ideas about having a lot of pool parties out there and inviting people over to barbecue and swim and sun by the pool.
I also attribute some of it to the chemo and what it was doing to my brain. I’ve never really been one to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a whim like that, but something about going through all that chemo seemed to inspire me to throw caution to the wind.
So, we spent the entire next year putting in a pool (if you read the posts you’ll see why it took a whole year, it was quite a crazy saga) and finally in 2011 we had a lovely built-in pool in the backyard after many months of back and forth phone calls, letters, arguments and discussions with the pool installation company (who had forgotten to get a permit during one of the most critical stages of the installation process!).
And for the first couple of summers the kids spent a lot of time in it, and it was wonderful. But then by the 3rd year, as they got a little older, they spent less and less time in it and for a while the pool was just sitting out there in its cool, pristine beauty with no one actually going in it. And I felt kind of bad about it.
And then last summer I decided to start having bi-weekly “Friday is BFF’s Hangin’ by the Pool Days” with my girlfriends and let me tell you, I have so much fun with that pool, now! I’ve been blocking out my Friday afternoons and refuse to book any client meetings after 12:00 noon on Friday’s, for (most of) the rest of the summer.
It is so relaxing to sit by the side of a pool with your closest friends who could care less how you look these days in a bathing suit; drinking wine, eating cheese and crackers and talking trash. Hello, Summer!
Tomorrow is my first “Friday is BFF’s Hangin’ by the Pool Day” of the year. I’m all stocked up with snacks and a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio. If you’re in the area, come on over!
Hope you all have something fun planned for your weekend!
Claudia blogs at www.myleftbreast.net