All three of us Chu boys, I, William and Daniel, were registered for the Selective Service in Springfield, Ohio. William was called in for a physical. He failed and was classified as 4-F because of his asthma and flat feet. Daniel accidentally cut off two of his figures in his fine arts class, making wooden frames. He also was disqualified for service. I was the only one left and they were certainly keeping an eye on me. While attending college, I was annually deferred as 2-S. But after I started medical school, the Selective Service demanded a verification letter from my school registrar that I was truly enrolled as full time student each semester. Besides, at that time almost all doctors were drafted anyway. My last hope of not being called to fight in Vietnam was the national lottery held in 1970. The rule was the first called number were the first eligible to serve. My birthday number came up as the fourth number drawn. I was destined to join the Armed Forces. Then my fellow students told me that I could serve without having to carry arms by joining the Unites States Public Health Service. The next day I went to the U.S. Public Health Hospital in Baltimore and sighed up. I discovered that historically, during times of war, all merchant mariners were drafted to serve on the open sea. Thus sea power was so essential and necessary that most countries had hospitals to serve these folks. In the U.S., we had Public Health hospitals along our coast cities: Boston, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, New Orleans, Galveston, San Francisco and Seattle. I could serve in any of these hospital settings instead of joining the armed forces and have to carry a firearm. I gladly joined the U.S. Public Health Service Corps and became a commissioned officer on July 1st, 1970.
Again, we were greeted and treated cordially and expertly on this visit. First I was directed to get a CT scan. Then Dr Fotoohi, the Interventional Radiologist who had originally placed the liver drain, came and discussed the findings of the CT scan. He said that the liver capsular sack had reduced from containing 2.6 liters to now barely able to hold 5cc. He injected dye into that space and was able to immediately withdraw the same amount out. At home Linnea was flushing the drain with 10cc of saline every eight hours and the input/output had been about the same for 3 days. Though the channel did not directly communicate with what they all thought was the nidus spot of the infection, he felt good that that area is now most likely sterile. His decision was to remove the drain at this time and it was done in seconds.
The Infectious Disease, Doctor Woolston than came to my recovery room and discussed with Linnea and me concerning watching out for signs of recurrence of infection and that since the drain has been removed, I should stop my antibiotics. I told her that I’d only had a day or two of the medications left, and that I would feel safer to continue and finish the course. She did not object.
Then we met my surgeon, Dr. Scott Helton, and he asked me to carefully monitor the wound and that it should heal in 4 days.
All in all an efficient and good visit at the clinic.
We then met up with David and family at their new house. Catherine and family also arrived from Boston for the kids’ spring break. We toured the house, (90 % complete.) Then we went to a restaurant, ate and returned home. I was very tired, slept from leaving the restaurant until Linnea dropped me off at our door.
Today, I awoke energetic and ready to go. The kids are coming over this afternoon. I invited my sister to drive to Tacoma to bring Mom over for dinner. We will have a houseful.
Future plan is to visit Dr. Picozzi next Monday 4/24, and hopefully restart the chemo regimen again. I will keep you updated.
Thus far I am feeling good, getting stronger every day. (Got up today, shaved and showered myself without getting weary.)
Thanks to all for your much valued get well thoughts, prayers and kindness. I do feel all your LOVE enveloping me. I am sincerely grateful.