Today was a breathe and relax kind of day. Sophia, Lucy and I headed to Brooklands Spa for a day of pampering, gossiping and laughing (mainly at each other’s misfortune!)

I met Sophia about 4 or 5 years ago, she had just founded Count the Kicks when I lost Toby and I became a very passionate supporter of the charity. I recognised her when I was out shopping one day so said I wanted to volunteer for her charity….she claims I stalked her which is obviously not true. If I’d stalked her I would’ve known more about what I was letting myself in for and run the other way!

A bit of background on Sophia is that when she was 16 she went to bed feeling rough thinking she had a hangover (I’m not sure how she thought she had a hangover when she couldn’t drink for another two years…we’ll gloss over that!) Her mum noticed it was more than just a hangover (er… I mean ‘flu’) and noticed bruising on her legs. She was rushed to hospital immediately where she was placed in a medically imduced coma. She was brought round 5 days later  and the doctors explained she’d had Meningitis and as a result blood poisoning had set in (you can find the signs and symptoms of meningitis here). On 20th January 1993, both her legs were amputated below the knee, along with 3 fingers and her thumb on her right hand. The meningitis should have killed her but if you’ve met sophia you won’t be surprised she’s still going!

We began working together and despite both having what you may call ‘fiesty’ personalities we made a good team. We have gone through so many stages together it would use the entire website server to document it all! However since Sophia has stepped back from Kicks Count we can just enjoy the social aspect of our friendship! (although she still grills me about what is going on and if you slag me or the charity off she will eat you alive!)

I’m not too sure how we are going to plan nights out on the booze from now on though!

“Hey Soph, fancy getting legless tonight??”

“I already am legless, lets get off our tits!”

“I don’t have any tits…”

“So what are we going to do?! Don’t really fancy getting ‘shit faced’…”

Looks like it will be quiet nights in then!

But today there is no booze on the menu, just relaxing. We started in the relaxation area. Sometimes people ask what the cancer feels like so I offer them the chance to have a feel (if they are attractive men I INSIST they have a feel!) Sophia on the other hand takes a less subtle approach… “lets have a feel then!”. She claims she declined my offer to have a ‘last look’ but I definitely saw a sideways glance! After a brief groping spell it was on to the hot tub.

Getting in a hot tub with her is interesting….she has “water legs” that are hollow with holes so they fill up with water (solid legs would make her sink, and hollow legs with no holes would make her float) so in we get and before the legs have filled up with water to weigh them down they slowly float up so if you’re not careful you get a foot in the chin!

When we werent getting kicked in the chin, sitting in a hot tub on the balcony was really quite relaxing! I think I could spend all day in one! But the limit was 10 minutes. So after 30 minutes (oops, did we overstay?!) we admit defeat and get out.

This causes more hilarity as the water sprays from her legs like a colander! She did say she would specifically wear the water legs to give me a good laugh and it worked! I Think the other people around us were horrified though as this poor helpless woman got out with prosthetic limbs and I laughed in her face!! If only they knew her!

After the hot tub shenanigans it was into the treatments. I had opted for a scalp massage and pedicure. Having ticked the cancer box on my booking in form I had to go to reception before I could have my treatment to sign more waivers and liability forms. Not sure quite how boobs and toe nails are linked but who am I to argue? While signing the form I said I was going for surgery on tuesday so wouldn’t be able to have the nails painted. “Ok no problem” she said, then brought the colour wheel over for me to choose my colour. Jeez. I JUST said!! I took a deep breath and opted for pink. Seemed easier to just get the nail varnish remover out when I got home rather than try and explain again! Sophia did trump me though with her tale of going for a full body massage in which the masseuse insisted on massaging her feet despite the fact they were plastic! Apparently it was part of the massage so she had to do it! How do some peoples mind’s work?!

So with my freshly polished nails it was onto lunch. Naturally conversation veered towards surgery. We sit around eating our juicy burgers as Sophia sits telling us the difference between wet gangrene and dry gangrene. I tell you, if you see us in a restaurant ask for a table away from ours! (Unless you’re on a diet and being put off your food would help you)

As our spa day came to an end Sophia had delivered exactly what she promised; Pampering, gossiping and laughing! With a bit of mealtime gore thrown in for good measure!

Find out more about Meningitis from Meningitis Now