This book tells the story of a doctor who goes to the South Pole. While she is 'wintering' over she finds a lump in her breast and discovers it to be breast cancer. The people who 'winter' over are extraordinary people to begin with and Dr. Nielson's story is phenomenal. The information about the South Pole is fascinating and how the people come together to form a cohesive unit is interesting.
Dr. Nielson is required to perform breast biopsies and tissue samples on herself with informed help from her colleagues none of whom are trained medical personnel. She then starts on chemotherapy. The medical information and possible diagnoses are all stated matter-of-factly. What also comes through is the fear and terror associated with cancer. These are presented as a series of e-mails with her oncologist.
She also presents her personal life;a divorce from a jerk and her non-relationship with her children. I do not understand her motive for continually bringing up her relationship with her children. I sincerely hope it is not to 'guilt' them. I also do not understand if she wished a relationship why she would go to the South Pole in the first place where she would not be able to even try to mend fences. I felt the personal references should probably been dealt with once and then 'forgotten'.