Had an MRI Scan (with dye) across the road from the Proton Centre today, this is my last visit for now until treatment starts on the 9th October!
Visited the local shopping mall at St. Johns Town Centre today (just up the road from where we are staying) WOW we will have to make multiple visits as an afternoon only did a 1/3 of it! Unfortunately there is an Apple store there (say no more!)
We had dinner out tonight at ‘The Cheesecake Factory’ awesome food (ribeye to die for), not the cheapest but great service! not enough room for the cheesecake so had that takeout!
Time for sleep, nothing to get up for now for a few days! (just a Walmart visit for more food/household items tomorrow) and then a relaxing weekend and a catch up on UK TV! (thanks to unblock-us.com & BBC iPlayer/ITV Player lol)
A bit later today @ 9:30am thankfully!
Had CT Simulation today (including dye) and the body mould made for me, took around an hour or so. Lots of marks put on me for when they line me up on my return in a few weeks! Treatment starts 9th October!!
Filled up the car with ‘gas’ tonight, $34 from empty (£19!) 🙂
Tried out KFC tonight, what are mash & gravy and biscuits all about? 🙂
First Consultation today at 8am! we made it through rush hour traffic and did not get lost!
8:00am Denise Sikes – sign consents
8:30am Karen Lopez-Bunk (RN for Dr. Rotondo)
9:30am Dr. Ronny Rotondo (consultation) Top Guy!
11:30 Tracy Edwards – Social services
12:00 noon Labs (UF Health Hospital on campus) Bloods
After that we headed back to the apartment for lunch then ventured out to Publix for some food shopping, I did not know you needed a new pair of shoes after each visit to the supermarket here (worn out after all the walking!)
After that we tried out Burger King 🙂 (well you have to try them all!)
Had a lie in today after the travelling yesterday!
Called for a cab to pick us up (all cabs paid for by Proton Centre) and take us across town to Enterprise where our hire car was ready to be picked up, also arranged by Proton Centre. Arriving at Enterprise we were greeted by a very nice lady called Karlyn who did all the paperwork and escorted us to our car, we have a Toyota Corolla for now but she said this can be changed during our visit if we wish.
Drove to Proton Centre (well got lost on the way!) for a tour at 4pm, met Bradlee who showed us around (we were the only people for the tour that day) The centre is amazing, well I guess thats what you get when you have to pay for health care! Tour lasted around 1 hour and there were plenty of times to ask questions along the way. We also met Tracy Edwards (our Social Worker) who kitted us out with a Sat-Nav, Hairdryer & Mobile Phone, also met Judy Taylor Holland (Director, Patient Intakes) for a chat, was great to meet all after the last month or so emailing them!
Headed back to apartment after working out sat-nav, we got lost once but made it back in the end!
First meal out we tried McDonalds (original!) Big Mac’s are $2 at the moment! 🙂
Few updates to come – sorry I have left it a while!
Busy day today had no sleep overnight!
BA upgraded us to Club World for our main flight from London Heathrow to Miami result! at least I could sit/lie down in comfort for 9 hours, we enjoyed the lounges at Heathrow (and the bacon butties!) We were even escorted to our gate by a very nice BA employee 🙂 Flight was good and we enjoyed the on-board entertainment & top notch food!
Arrived at Miami to HEAT! & usual stuff (passport control/collect bags) then to re-check in for the Jacksonville flight. Did not have much time here as we were on-time for the next flight, delayed on the tarmac for 30-40 mins due to storms over Orlando and they were trying to find an alternative route, when we did take off you could see storms along one side of the airplane all the way to Jacksonville. Ride was a bit bumpy in places!
Arrived at Jacksonville and collected bags, at least they all made it! We were collected by a taxi (Limousine) arranged by the Proton Centre, driver was great and very chatty on way back to apartment. Took in some sights on the way back, shame it was dark!
Arrived at apartment, wow better than the pictures. Huge rooms and cool air at last! I think we will be very comfortable during our stay here!
Note: NHS have refunded our travel costs/Insurance/ESTA costs.
Last day at work today for me, lots to sort out over the next four days before we are USA bound on Monday.
Most of our services have been great (some not so good) giving discounts or cancelling whilst we are away to save on costs although this has taken considerable time to arrange via email and phone calls. Almost nothing available to help (benefits) unless you are unemployed and live in rented accommodation! (no change there then!) luckily family are helping with some of the costs.
All expenses so far have been sent to the NHS (flights, insurance & ESTA costs) so hopefully this will be settled quickly as I’m out of pocket just over 2k!
Lots of contact from Proton Centre so far with info on our stay and consultation dates etc….we are staying here, we have a 2 bedroomed apartment, all looks nice!
Just the packing and to get the house ready now, it’s a bit strange as we normally go ‘on holiday’ for a week or so but with three months to think about it’s totally different!
Special thanks to ‘Go Vapour‘ Andover for getting me enough supplies in to last the trip!
After the most stressful 2 weeks of our journey so far due to the NHS’s issues booking us flights (Emma Jones @ OUH you have been great!) I have booked our flights for the 22nd September and will be returning on Sunday 7th December.
We will be traveling from Heathrow to Miami with British Airways then from Miami to Jacksonville with American Airlines, reversed on return. We are to be met at Jacksonville by someone from the PBT team and taken to our accommodation (do not know where yet) they are also to arrange a hire car for us soon after we arrive. First consultation already booked with Dr. Rotondo 24th September!
Lots to sort out now including travel insurance ESTA’s and home bills, all have been waiting until we had the confirmed dates!
I had not heard anything so contacted the centre in Florida directly via email, they have received my details from Oxford late last week. They will be in touch this week for some medical forms that need to be completed prior to visit and then we can start discussions on travel dates and consultation details 🙂
Also received another welcome pack from them today (that’s two now!)
*Update – Provisional date of 22nd September as a departure date!