Friday, June 27, 2014

Cleaning The Pool

Tonight I back-washed and vacuumed our in-ground 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.

After all my vacuuming and back washing, the pool is pretty sparkly, don't you think?
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 girl friends 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!


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27 comments:

  1. LOVE your idea. What a great way to spend a Friday afternoon. Girlfriends are so important. Sometimes men just don't understand.

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  2. Your pool is beautiful and your BFF pool parties sound fun - wish I lived closer :)
    Your site is very informative. Wishing you all the best!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! And if you're ever in NJ, come on over :) Thanks for reading My Left Breast!

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  3. Hi Ann! You should come over one Friday with Lisa! I'm here every day and as long as it's sunny, I'm gonna' be pool side, come Friday's around noon :)

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  4. I think you should treat yourself to a cute, buff pool boy. Just sayin'.
    cac
    http://carolcassara.com/hostess-gift/

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  5. I so need a BFFs by the pool afternoon. I'm in PA though, and I can't just up and go, kids. blah blah blah, so have a glass of Pinot for me? Please?

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    1. I hear ya, when my kids were younger it was impossible to find time by myself, but hang in there, you'll get there once they're older! I had a glass of Pinot for you :)

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  6. What a GREAT idea! Wish I lived close by so that I could join you!

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    1. If you ever get to NJ, come on down!!!

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  7. Your pool is beautiful! I hope you have a wonderful summer in it. :)

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  8. What a brilliant idea!!! My once a month "mom breakfast" with my mom friends is a highlight for me. There is nothing like hanging with your BFFs, whom I'm off to see this weekend and hang out by one of their pools.

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    1. Hi Jodi-Have fun this weekend and YES, hanging out with friends is so much fun and so re-energizing!

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  9. Hope you had fun today!

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  10. I hope you enjoyed your party today ! I think it's a terrific idea I've been wanting to put one in here. I have RA and love to swim. Glad you got yours, and really glad you are doing better.

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    1. Thanks, Rena, it was a lot of fun. Looking forward to lots more this summer. Best.

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  11. Totally agree, sitting around the pool with girlfriends can be the best! I'm glad you had such a good time.

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    1. Thanks, Helene! We had a great time and I'm already planning next weeks.

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  12. You made the right decision after all! Hope you have a great summer ahead :)

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  13. Love this! Spectacular idea! My friend invited me over once to sit by the pool. And I did. And we had such fun, visiting and eating and watching our kids splash about in the little inflated wading pool. Sigh. So many years ago . . .

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    1. I remember the days when the kids were so young, and we'd have to keep an eagle out for them when they'd go in a pool. I have to admit, it's more fun now, 'cause I can really relax and even fall asleep if I want, and don't have to worry about the kids!

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  14. Kudos to you! I now have pool envy! LOL! I really enjoyed reading your post! I don't know what you are going through, but if I did--and I very well could some day (my mom survived breast cancer twice when I was very young), I'd want you in my camp!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Glad to hear that your mother survived BC twice, she must be quite a strong woman! Thank you for reading MLB!

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  15. Hi Claudia,
    Sounds fabulous. Where do you live again? I'll be right over. Ha ha. Hope you enjoy lots of those hangin' by the pool days this summer. Interesting how you came up with this idea during chemo... And congrats on completing the back-washing and cleaning task all by yourself. I think.

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