Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Puts my troubles in perspective

You won't be able to read this link freely past the 4th or 5th of October because the Herald-Leader, our local paper, charges for such archived articles, but this story caught my eye. So, I will 'sum up'. Remember the doctor who back in 1999 was stationed at Antarctica and discovered she had breast cancer? I had wondered what happened to her. She'd performed a biopsy on herself with just ice to dull the pain and they made a drop of materials for the slides so she could be sure of the diagnosis and and chemotherapy drugs to treat her. After her return she had a lumpectomy (the cancer had miraculously not spread to the lymph nodes, apparently) and then later a mastectomy due to an infection. She wrote a book (Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole) about her experiences and that was the last I'd heard of her .

Jerri Nielsen was in the area recently giving a talk to raise awareness about breast cancer and she's had further difficulties since then. In 2006 she found out she had bone and liver cancer. A tumour coming out of her skull pushed into her eye socket. She was in Turkey and she went blind. She is now fighting the aggressive form of cancer with chemotherapy, but still tours and practices medicine.

She's an amazing woman. Remember October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Be sure to do regular self-examinations, get clincial exams as recommended, and have a mammogramme done especially if you're over forty.

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