I came outside after a long laborious night and needed to say a prayer for the doctor inside. The glow amongst our South Pole village shone with a mysterious pink light. Maybe my vision was playing tricks on me.
Here we are in the coldest zone on the planet, stuck if you will, by our own accord. Isolated but connected. How she had the courage to cut out her own breast tumor I’ll never know?
And so now, my release. I cry for her in amazement, and joy, yet I pray she makes it after all that bravery. Goosebumps. Tears fall that immediately freeze on my cheeks. Best go back inside to check on the doctor, I mean patient.
by Kim Troike
My recollection of a news story from years ago. My grandmother’s doctor knew the lady doctor (possibly they went to med school or something) who found her breast cancer while on assignment at the South Pole. She couldn’t wait six months for surgery and diagnosis. The doctor performed her own lumpectomy while at the South Pole about twenty years ago. I don’t know if she is still alive. When I saw this picture I knew that was the South Pole!
Photo credit~Douglas M. Macilroy
Photo prompted Friday Fictioneers @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog
Yesterday I wrote a short 100 word fiction story with elements of truth. I recalled a story I’d heard (see, I’ve been a news junkie all along and especially love those human interest stories) and elaborated to make it my own. I had to look it up after people commented they had heard it, too. In very simple journalism, here is the story:
Dr. Jerri Nielsen Fitzgerald died at the age of 57 in 2009 after a second bout with breast cancer. It returned in 2005. Initially, she found a lump while at the South Pole as the only doctor there. Medically trained at the University of Toledo Medical Center and a citizen of Ohio, she wrote a book “Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.” It became a TV movie!
The National Guard rescued her in 1999 as chilling conditions presented with the temperature 58 degrees below zero. She had to wait for them to come and get her out after her initial discovery in 1998, so she performed her own surgery. They dropped her chemotherapy medication to the village below while she waited. Amazing.