Read Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at theSouth Pole by Jerri Nielsen Maryanne Vollers Online


Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero--with no way iJerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero--with no way in or out before the spring.During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast. Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October. A daring rescue by the Air National Guard ensued, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.This is Dr. Nielsen's own account of her experience at the Pole, the sea change as she becomes "of the Ice," and her realization that as she would rather be on Antarctica than anywhere else on earth. It is also a thrilling adventure of researchers and scientists embattled by a hostile environment; a penetrating exploration of the dynamics of an isolated, intensely connected community faced with adversity; and, at its core, a powerfully moving drama of love and loss, of one woman's voyage of self-discovery through an extraordinary struggle for survival....

Title : Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at theSouth Pole
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780786866847
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 362 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at theSouth Pole Reviews

  • holly
    2018-11-26 04:40

    This was one of my favorite books ever. I found the most interesting part to be the description of what they do at the South Pole to stay sane and keep themselves amused. How much they look forward to receiving 'freshies' (fresh fruit and veggies) from the next they form bonds with each they survive the long dar cold cut-off they are from the world, yet have e-mail access....the story about the Doctor finding the lump doesn't even come about until about halfway through. Then, it's an amazing description about how everyone comes together to help her. I have read it twice and it's one book I don't think I will ever give away.

  • Evan
    2018-11-21 05:07

    As of the time covered by this book, 1999, only 1,200 humans had ever lived at the geographic South Pole, the center of Antarctica and the very bottom of the world. Even fewer had "wintered," there, hunkering down to survive from Feb-October when the temps could get to minus 100 and pitch darkness blankets the land and sky. The people who volunteer to take on the assignment -- free-spirits who nonetheless pull together in a jam -- comprise an almost cult-like exclusive band, self-dubbed "Polies." A Polie scoffs at the coddled people who work at McMurdo Station (or "Mactown"), 800 miles away at a lower elevation with better temps, more oxygen and more facilities. After spending a few months of the "summer" at the Scott-Amundsen U.S. South Pole station -- during which time the sun never sets, making a circular orbit of the sky -- Dr. Jerri Nielsen (the station's sole physician for the season) and the remaining winter crew "shut down" the post to wait out the long, dark Antarctic winter. Because of the increased cold, the atmospheric pressure and low oxygen at that altitude and other factors, living at the pole can cause all kinds of unusual physical ailments and drive people mad; becoming "toasted" is what they call it. It's not uncommon to treat the common malady of cracked and bleeding fingers -- due to the severely dry air -- with Super Glue, a practice that would be deemed toxic elsewhere. In this remarkable book, the late Dr. Nielsen crafted a tale that is part personal memoir, part journey of self-realization in the face of death, and part rollicking good adventure yarn. The first half of the book is an excellent rundown of all the peculiar tactics people have to resort to to survive in a completely uninhabitable environment, and the constant jury-rigging and ingenuity needed to contend with the everyday breakdowns of equipment (and people) that occur in that climate. The South Pole station has been greatly improved since this book was written. In the mid-2000s the "Dome" station in use since 1975 was abandoned for a larger, more comfortable, better equipped and better staffed facility. Hopefully, the new digs will help avert the everyday catastrophes recounted in vivid detail in this book. The book's second half relates Nielsen's battle with breast cancer that suddenly flared up during her wintering; how she had to do biopsies on herself in tandem with her medically inexperienced colleagues and via very dodgy communications hookups with the outside world. It was a story that gained a lot of international media attention in 1999. The earliest part of the book goes into Nielsen's backstory, a quick overview of the circumstances of her life that brought her to take on this unusual adventure. Some of it deals with a horrendous marriage and the fear she had of her ex-husband. Although some of this doesn't pass the smell test (it's hard to fully trust a "he said, she said" account of marital strife, and it's hard to quite understand how a brave woman could be so cowed by this apparent jerk) it does make one understand partly why Nielsen had to get away from the "real world." With mysterious "ice booms" reverberating throughout the facility, sudden fires started by static electricity in the dry air and countless other everyday dangers, Nielsen had to somehow care for patients while treating herself in a weakened state under chemo and in the already tiring polar conditions. It's a great story that might have done with a bit more trimming, but the writing is clear and the voice sincere. All in all, certainly one of the best adventure-survival books out there, and a first-rate primer on the unique problems humans face on the pole.

  • Margie
    2018-11-24 11:56

    Twelve years ago Jerri Nielsen wintered over at Antarctica, discovered a lump in her breast, and had to be airlifted out.Eleven years ago she published a book about the experience, and signed the copy I have. Three years ago she died.Her story is tremendously compelling, and much of it is well-written. The book alternates between narrative and emails between Dr. Nielsen and her family and doctors. The emails show that Dr. Nielsen was a good writer. The narrative parts seem more like the ghostwritten parts - a bit more stilted and formulaic, though not bad.I recommend it.

  • Karina
    2018-12-13 04:56

    Though I don't particularly like her writing style, this woman had a pretty incredible experience. She wintered over at the South Pole, and had to diagnose and treat herself for breast cancer. It was a little taxing at times to read through a voice so eager to sound nonchalantly adventurous and poetic. But, despite that it's a book that provides some interesting food for thought.

  • Brittany
    2018-11-25 10:46

    How I Came To Read This Book: My mom owned it.The Plot: Jerri Nielsen is reeling from a messy divorce and overall estrangement from her family. She takes a doctor's post in Antarctica to escape her life, and is quickly enchanted (but also a tad frightened) by the hearty, jolly, community lifestyle down there. Things take a turn for the worse when Jerri diagnoses herself with serious, potentially fatal, breast cancer - right in the peak of the season when planes cannot fly in or out of the region. To top it off, she has to deal with ill (sometimes mentally) community mates, and a ill-fated romance with a married man. Sounds like a great piece of fiction right? It's not, it's real.The Good or Bad: This book is an awesome glimpse into life in Antarctica - and certainly an eye-opening one as well. However, I truly disliked the author/main character. The book is written defensively and plaintively, as though we should be extremely (forcefully) empathetic with Jerri, even though her behaviour throughout the book suggests otherwise. I found she spent too much time in her head and her emotions rather than focusing on her incredible survival story and overall experience in Antarctica. I remember thinking she also was very smug in the way she wrote the book - as in, although she relayed her tales at the pole, she often had this tone (if not explicitly stated) that suggested "You wouldn't understand anyway."Anything Memorable?: I lent this book to a now ex-boyfriend of mine as he was interested in visiting/living in Antarctica. The book was a wake-up call for me to the contrary (not that I ever had the desire to live there). Anyway I left the book at his place and sorely wish I hadn't.Bottom Line: A unique glimpse at the South Pole lifestyle - but one that could have been made better with a more objective author (See Trevor Corson for a good example of nonfiction!)50 Book Challenge?: Nope.Retro Review: Dr. Jerri Nielsen's trek to the South Pole would have been filled with danger no matter what...most of the people that head down there must have a few screws loose to want to spend a year in complete darkness, with extremely cold temperatures, only to lose (in part) their social skills, their memories, and their sanity. What makes her story somewhat extraordinary is the fact that as the only trained medical professional 'wintering over' at the South Pole, she diagnosed and was forced to treat her own breast cancer with a small untrained support staff.The book takes you on the journey of how Nielsen got to the pole - and how she got out, and the factors attributed to both. With mounting frustrations over her estranged family, including her children, and with the US medical system, Nielsen, an adventurer in her mind, took up the opportunity to head down south...way south. What lay there was a network of amazing friends, and a workload of amazing proportions. Even in the cancer-ridden portions of Jerri's story, she often mentions lighthearted evenings and events and the plight of others over her own pain.My problems with the book? First off I'm not a huge fan of how Nielsen wrote the story. Her tone is somewhat smug, as though she is writing an insiders guide that can only really be understood by her fellow "polies". She re-iterates many times over how special and wonderful it was, and how clueless the rest of the world is, and while I believe the experience was incredible, 160+ pages of exposition about the day-to-day events of the pole isn't necessarily relevant to the tag line of the book "A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival" almost feels as though Jerri would have written this book as a memoir for herself had it not been for the international interest in her cancer case. The main interest being her cancer, it is somewhat misleading as to what Jerri actually puts into the book, as though she wants to make sure she acknowledges every person that came across her path while she was there, rather than discuss her cancer case.My second issue was with the language. At times the medical talk was too intense for the average reader, leaving you drawing blanks. Most of the understanding of Jerri's cancer came from the back and forth e-mails between Nielsen and her cancer specialist Kathy.Another issue I had was how the book meandered at times with Jerri's dreams and plans for the future. There were some e-mails and long descriptions of what Jerri and other wanted to do that I could hardly be bothered to read them in entirety. I think most people, like myself, would be more interested in the present situation in the story rather than read a two-page letter her brother wrote on sailing his boat into space.I think altogether I appreciated this book more of a study of Antartica and what it is like to live there (insane by the way) rather than reading it for the sensational story Nielsen promises to divulge in regards to her cancer. I have admiration for what she did, and think it was important for her to acknowledge the media in some way, but I just wasn't totally sold on the actual book itself.Plus Amazon comment (woo!): Good review. Thank you for having the courage not to 'rubber stamp' a popular book.

  • Susan Ferguson
    2018-11-22 09:58

    Amazing book! Dr. Nielsen's choice to go to Antarctica to the south pole Scott-Amundsen Station and the insights it brought and the friendships formed. Unhappy with corporate medicine and procedures (she was an ER doctor), she saw an ad for a doctor for the south pole station. She applied and was accepted. She went in 1998 to winterover with the base staff. Since a new station was being constructed nearby, this was about the last winter for residence at this one. There was also a consstruction crew for the winterover for the first time. She was the only doctor/nurse for 41 people over the arctic winter, dealing with construction injuries, problems with the physiological altitude - many people suffered from altitude sickness, lack of humidity, dental problems, etc. for the six months of polar night when it got coler than minus 100 F and the sun never shone. Six months into this, and 2 months into the polar winter, she discovered a lump in her breast one night. Then, it grew. With the help of some of her closest friends, she managed to do a biopsy on a live feed with a specialist and have it examined via satellite feed. It was affirmed as cancer. Then, the NSF decided to do an airdrop with chemotherapy drugs and stuff that was needed for treatment, etc. They decided to drop 6 crates with supplies - the essential stuff was all duplicated in case a crate was damaged. They also packed other goodies and treats - the favorite "freshies" (fresh fruits and vegetables which had run out). The experience of these people thrown together for the polar winter who developed a tribal attitude - the lasting friendships formed - all is a wonderful exploration of life at the south pole in the closed community, as well as the absorbing story of her illness.

  • Randy
    2018-12-02 12:43

    In the continuous stream of NPR that is my life, I just learned that Jerri Nielson died of breast cancer. Dr. Nielson wrote a book I’ve read more than once, and that has now become the final solidification of my vow not to lend out well-loved books. Her book, Ice Bound a Doctor's Incredible Battle For Survival at the South Pole, co-written with Maryanne Vollers, fit every criteria I have for a great read: engrossing plot (which I remember in more detail than usual, considering I read it years and years ago) writing which flows (just read the first page on Amazon,) gotta-find-outness (for goodness sake, she discovers she has breast cancer while in Antarctica,) and all sorts of juicy subplots (family troubles, check; intriguing setting which is a story in itself, check; side characters who you deeply care about, check; heroics large and small, check, check, check.Nielson was hired for one year at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, a place where a year brings one sunrise and one sunset. It remains night for the entire winter; you can’t leave during this weather. “Winterover” crews are there for the duration, dependent only on each other. Saying it’s cold is like saying ants are small.Nielsen must perform a biopsy on herself after finding a lump in her breast. And that is just the beginning of this amazing tale of medical courage and adventure. I’ve already sent for two copies from Amazon—one for me, and one for lending. I know no better way to honor this woman, than by re-reading her memoir. The best of authors become part of the book family who whom keep you going. They offer solace, fun, interest, company, adventure, insight, escape, and flashes of brilliance. Dr. Jerri Nielson felt like one of those friends. Rest in peace, Jerri.

  • Danielle
    2018-11-20 12:51

    I wasn't expecting to be stuck at home for a week due to 2 freak back-to-back snowstorms in Baltimore, so I wasn't prepared with something to read after I finished Age of Wonder. Thankfully bookshelf is stocked with plenty of free books I picked up working at Barnes and Noble many years ago or books cheaply bought at rummage sales that I've never read. This one actually appears to be a library withdrawal. After perusing my shelves for something to read I decided that Ice Bound would be an appropriate book to embark while snowed in and that it would probably make me feel less bad about the frozen tundra outside my own front door. The book is about Dr. Jerri Nielson, who after a difficult divorce that left her estranged from her 3 children, decided to take a job as the doctor at the South Pole. Apparently the South Pole is staffed by one doctor, who is hired on an annual basis. She describes her experiences living and working as a doctor in Antarctica as well as the other people living and working there. Unfortunately during her stay she winds up self-diagnosing with breast cancer. Thus the end of the book is her tale of trying to keep herself alive with limited resources until winter is over and a plane can safely land to rescue her. It was a really good read.

  • Phil
    2018-11-20 05:42

    I really liked this book. Such a great story of woman, Jerri who survived a horrible marriage, even losing custody of her children to an evil man and decided to re-invent her sad life by becoming a South Pole doctor for one year. During the dark winter which lasts 7 months with no physical contact to the outside world.. she discovers a lump in her breast. She and her new family of co-workers fight to help her preserve her life until a rescue plane can come to her aid. This happens and she lives another ten years and has a new love and more adventures before the cancer finally comes back to claim her life.

  • Jamie Collins
    2018-12-10 07:39

    This is an account of Dr. Nielsen’s perilous winter at the South Pole Station in 1999: you may remember the news coverage about the woman who discovered an aggressive malignant tumor and endured months of self-treatment before it became possible to evacuate her at the end of the polar winter.Unfortunately the book also includes a discussion of her difficult marriage, and her justification for abandoning her children to the custody of her ex-husband who she describes as abusive and deranged. Something is off about this account, and it makes for disconcerting reading.But otherwise this is a fascinating story. Dr. Nielsen was trained as an Emergency Room doctor, but she would have to meet all the medical needs of the 41 people “wintering” at the south pole for eight months, working with short supplies and antiquated equipment. She took a crash course in dentistry. She learned to develop x-ray film. She learned to do blood counts by hand.I also enjoyed her description of routine life at the station. She gets a little fanciful and romantic towards the end (and there is more uncomfortable discourse about her family life) but she was gravely ill by then and all of the crew were “toasted” after the long winter of isolation, darkness, thin air, and brutal cold.She describes her medical crisis in detail. The discovery of a lump in her breast. Email consultations with her doctors. Performing biopsies on herself, and later administering chemotherapy, with the help of her untrained fellow “polies”. The arrangements for a dangerous mid-winter airdrop of medical supplies, in total darkness, followed by evacuation as early as possible.

  • Donna LaValley
    2018-11-21 08:49

    I read this years ago, but it has stayed with me. I read it aloud a second time to a group of seniors in a convalescent home. Because of their severe illnesses and the medications that some of the listeners took, I sometimes wondered if they were following me. During one passage which contained details of a mechanical failure and an improvised chemical "save" to the heater or generator, one woman, whom I thought was sleeping, spoke up. "Did you say they used denatured alcohol to clear that fuel line?" she asked. I read the paragraph again. She smiled in satisfaction. Apparently she had been a mechanical engineer in one of her professions. (You just never know...)This is a true story by Dr. Jerri Nielsen, who in 1999 was one of the few people to ever “over-winter” in Antarctica, not at McMurdo, but on the South Pole. During the months of May, June, and July, the sun does not rise and a night sky is all they see. In the coldest months, temperatures reach minus 100 degrees F., which is so low that jet fuel freezes if a plane lands and stands still. Near the Pole, low oxygen levels (which are lower still during storms) affect many people mentally, making them unable to think clearly and to panic. This story would have been one of survival even without the discovery of a lump in her breast.As the only physician among 41 people in the community of scientists, technicians, and other staff, she needed to perform her own biopsy on the lump. Later, she needed to train friends to help administer chemotherapy for the aggressive cancer she had. Because of atmospheric conditions, delivery of medical supplies was difficult and her rescue was always in doubt. She did get airlifted out when it became possible for a plane to land. The book is about more than her cancer and airlift, however. In this uninhabitable place, the team formed a close-knit group to support one another through trials and problems. Learning about conditions there was fascinating. In describing their community, I found the best definition of the word “egalitarian" ever seen. A Dictionary says “ belief in the equality of all people.” Dr. Nielsen described their group as egalitarian because no person was more important than another. She, as the only doctor able to diagnose and treat illness and accidents, could have been expected to hold a high position in their society, as might the Director. However, the technicians who kept the old equipment running so the people wouldn’t freeze inside their compound, the communications people who found ways for them to communicate with the outside world, the social director who organized events of interest to keep them active and social, were all of equal “worth” in the community. Not one could be lost without serious effect.One star was lost because of the lengthy backstory about her “terrible” marriage and divorce. Everyone is a victim in divorce, but surely no one is entirely blameless. Her rendition of the situation was awful, but so one-sided that it resembled a “pity party.” As noted in other reviews, her narration at times took on a superior tone. Nevertheless, the book is great for many reasons. It’s a sad development that she eventually died of cancer about 9 years after the book’s success.

  • Jacqueline O
    2018-11-26 09:46

    The famous Jerri Nielsen gives her life story in the book . Jerri Nielsen talks about all of her adventures, good times, and close calls that she has had while living on the ice. The book gives you many interesting facts about the climate and how it can affect your life. She will make you laugh, cry, and to be thankful for what you have. you will never want stop reading this book. The book begins with Nielsen's usual everyday life. She didn't have a very good life and she knew that she had to start a new life. This was when she got the letter asking if she would like to be the doctor at the north pole for one year. She immediately took the role. She knew that was her ticket to getting away from her normal everyday life. She quickly made a bunch of new best friends. She made lots of new memories and had many good times. At one point she even said that she wanted to live there forever, but this was before she discovered the lump on her breast. The medical equipment wasn't very good so it was hard to tell what type of breast cancer it was or if she was going to survive. After a few months, it turned out that she really did have breast cancer. This is where all of the fun ended for her. Could they get her off Antarctica with the cold temperatures? Was this really the end? I recommend this book for anyone over eleven years old. It has a bunch of genres all packed into one book. For those who like mysteries, this book would be good because it is a mystery whether she has breast cancer or not. For those who like informational books, this book has hundreds of interesting facts about the body and life on Antarctica. For those who like thrillers, this book would be interesting too. If someone makes just a little mistake, it will probably result in death because everyone's job is very important and risky. People who like fiction might also like this book because living on Antarctica is so different that it almost seems unreal.even has a little bit of romance in it. I liked this book because there wasn't one boring page. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last page.

  • Allison
    2018-11-29 07:07

    This was interesting. It was a glimpse of something that I just never have thought about before (life at the south pole) as well as a bit about Dr. Nielsen's life and trial of having discovered breast cancer while stranded at the south pole at wintertime. The culture of life at the south pole, especially during the winter months (when there is no option of leaving) seems very cultish and it is described very vividly (and I would say very well, but I really have no basis to judge that by). I can tell she just loved (or more like was completely consumed by) being at the south pole and would do almost anything to get back (not an option for her any more) but I will take a big fat pass at being someplace so dark and so cold for so long, I don't care how many friends I would make or how great living as one big herd of people would be. As to Jerri herself, I can't identify with her and I'm not even sure that I like her. She says she had a horribly emotionally abusive marriage and maybe she did but I'd sort of like to get the other side before making a decision about that. She was pretty unapologetic about deliberately having an affair so that her husband would let her have a divorce. That doesn't seem like a great decision to me. And it is terrible that her kids don't even talk to her now, but she did leave them with her husband and move away to a good job. Maybe she thought she was making a good decision at the time and would do that differently. Despite all that, this book was really interesting to me.

  • Paige
    2018-11-16 04:40

    I finished this audio book on this mornings commute. The book was read by the author, Dr. Jerry Nielsen, and I suspect she is a far better doctor than narrator. The story would have been even better had I read the book. I was completely enthralled with the story of the emergency department physician leaving her comfortable life in the US to serve for one year in Antartica. Jerri gives plenty of facts about how living happens "on the ice" which I found fascinating. Most impressive however was her experience of "being truly alive". She describes her life there as being taken to the edge of herself and experiencing life for the first time. The unfortunate development of breast cancer and the challenges of treating it in this remote location should be an encouragement to all. Some of the medical descriptive is quite technical which for me is not a problem having worked in both an emergency department and as an oncology nurse caring for breast cancer patients but others may find it too advanced.Overall I think this story is one of adventure, community and hope. A absolute must read.

  • Heather Buelow
    2018-12-05 12:57

    Good story, but not quite what I was expecting. This book is much more a tale of the intense bonding between people who winter-over at the Pole than it is about her cancer or its medical treatment in an extreme situation. About a third of the book is made up of email correspondence, which is not a format I feel deserved such a large fraction of the work. My main comment, however, is that there was a lot of personal backstory and talk of relationships (particularly strange considering how much trouble she goes through to keep her personal life out of the limelight at the time) and not as much detail about medicine, the disease, or its treatment at the Pole - which is what had made me interested in reading this story. Again, it's a good story, and I don't discount the idea that personal relationships help people power through tough times, but I might have enjoyed the work more if I knew from the start that this was a tale of personal relationships rather than of medical survival in unusual circumstances.

  • Craig Toerpe
    2018-12-05 09:49

    I have read this book multiple time, the most recent in 2010, to honor her legacy as scientist who endeared much and finally lost her own battle to cancer. The book itself, is well defined by the title. It really is a fascinating read about how Dr. Nielson, with the assistance of medical doctors in the USA, was able to perform a biopsy on her own chest, to see if she indeed had breast cancer. Leading up to Dr. Nielson's incredible survival, she does detail the working life of those dedicated to the science of understanding life at the South Pole. It is indeed the most harsh place on Earth. Many of the comforts we have everyday here are a luxury when you are living down at the Pole. When I taught science, I would encourage students to borrow my copy and read the book, to gain appreciation, not only for the types of science one can study, but to listen to a hero's story.Dr. Nielson, you will continue to be remembered in my life as a hero in the scientific community and as a strong & courageous woman.

  • Susan
    2018-12-13 10:57

    I was "assigned" this book for my book club. I certainly was not looking forward to it. I am, however, so glad I read it. I liked that Dr. Nielsen described the life they lead at the South Pole vividly and with emotion. I learned a lot about something (Antarctica - South Pole) which I had very little knowledge. My take away from this book was a message of hope -- hope that when it seems that all is lost, there may still be a future. The bonding which occurred during their time of adversity spoke well of human nature. Dr. Nielsen's voice in the book, as one of reviewer put it perfectly, was a little tiresome as she tried to sound "nonchalantly adventurous and poetic". Another astute reviewer didn't like her us and them attitude. "It's a South Pole thing, 'you wouldn't understand'." I too got this feeling of exclusion.I really enjoyed reading Ice Bound. A good book should make an impact on you. This book truly did.

  • Dorothee Lang
    2018-12-07 10:05

    For the 2016 world reading challenge, I looked for a book for Antarctica, browsed the goodreads list of that region - and arrived at "Ice Bound". The book instantly caught my attention. What fascinated me about it is that it's about the daily life in the South Pole station, written from a doctor's perspective. And that it turns from a casual pole station book to a memoir of a doctor who turns into a patient. Which at the pole in winter means: there is no outside help, and no other doctor.What amazed me when I read the book was the wide spectrum of themes it included - the pole station is like a microcosmos of our civilization. Adding to that, maybe the combination of both our human virtues and our vulnerabilities stands out even more in this region where we naturally wouldn't be able to survive. PS: this is part of a longer review / blog post, more here:

  • Katy
    2018-12-16 08:57

    I've had this book on my shelf FOREVER, and I finally decided to read it because "there was nothing better to read." I was right; there was no better book to read! This is the story of Dr. Jerri Nielsen, the doctor of an Antarctic polar station who discovered she had breast cancer AFTER the last plane flew north from the oncoming winter. The prose flowed and is eloquen and descriptive, making for an easy reading. I admire her courage and ability to make and live with hard decisions--leaving an abusive marriage, giving up custody of children who were influenced by their father, making the decision to work in Antarctica, and the subsequent decisions concerning her health.I wanted to know what happened AFTER she left Antarctica. But, in lieu of stating what did happen, google her name. She lived an amazing life afterwards too.

  • Albert
    2018-12-02 06:06

    Dr. Nielsen signed on for a year's hitch in the most remote outpost in Anartica as the physician for the small team which wintered over every year. Inaccessible to the outside world for many months, the team gave Jerri Nielsen the purpose she had never found and became the family she never had. Then, in the midst of this journey of self discovery, Dr. Nielsen diagnosed and treated her own aggressive form of breast cancer. A simply amazing survival story by this simply amazing woman fighting for her life in the world's most hostile environment. I felt as if I came to know Jerri Nielsen, and I was pulling for her as I was pulled into her story. I guess this is the highest compliment one can pay a book and its author.

  • Evelyn
    2018-12-15 13:01

    I remember hearing about this when it was happening so picked up the book at a library book sale. I found it to be very many details about what it is like to live at the South Pole. In addition to the Antarctic climate, the pole is at 9,000 ft. elevation, meaning that one has to deal with altitude issues as well as temperatures as low as 100 below zero. There were 41 individuals who wintered over at the pole that year. Dr. Nielsen was the one doctor who was to care for any medical need from frostbite, to depression, to injuries, etc. when she because ill her concern was for her patients as well as for herself. A good read.

  • Kim
    2018-11-24 11:07

    Just started reading this, but it is so interesting so far. I am listening to the audio version (as I work in the kitchen and drive in the car)--It looks like a great book and it is read by Dr. Jerri Nielsen the author of the book. If any of you can get it from the library, the audio is interesting!! It is the true story of the woman doctor who got cancer while at the South Pole and had to operate on herself etc.OK, JUST FINISHED THIS AND IT WAS A WONDERFUL BOOK, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NOT WRITTEN FROM A CHIRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE. DAD EVEN HAD TO LISTEN TO IT. IT GAVE DESCRIPTIONS OF LIFE IN ANOTHER WORLD--THE SOUTH POLE, AND REFLECTIONS ON LIFE ITSELF AND THE WORLD OF CANCER.

  • Kristine
    2018-11-24 09:37

    I'd been wanting to read "Ice Bound" for years, but never got around to it. I found a copy at a used book sale a few months ago, and it moved to my stack of books I'm going to read soon. Unfortunately, Nielsen died in June, nine years after she first discovered her breast cancer. I really enjoyed learning what it's like to live at the South Pole. It's hard to imagine living in that frigid cold and darkness. What those people go through is incredible and how Nielsen had to treat her own cancer is quite a story. The first-person writing style supplemented with e-mails from family and doctors made me feel like I knew her well.

  • Linda
    2018-11-22 07:46

    I commuted with this audio-book. After, only, about 5 minutes, I considered returning the CDs to the library. The reading was terrible. The author read in a monotone voice and often stumbled over words. Sometimes, she actually sounded like a computer. Since, my CD changer is in the backseat, it is inconvenient for me to change CD's while I'm driving, so I decided to let the CD continue to play all the way to work. By the time I got to work, I was hooked. The reading didn't improve, but the story was compelling. I think I would have enjoyed the book more, if I had read it, instead of experiencing it as an audio-book.

  • Jay
    2018-12-15 08:00

    Impressive account of a Doctor's personal, professional, and medical struggles at the South Pole: starting with the reasons she went there, and ending with the reasons she'd go back in an instant. "Wintering" at the South Pole - unreachable for 9 months out of a year - she is the only doctor, short on medical supplies, and faced with complications over the simplest measures because of the high altitude. Within this dome of home and hell, she discovers that she has cancer, and begins her desperate battle.A True story, and an extremely good one. I recommend this for anyone who appreciates a little adventure and the struggles that accompany it.

  • CJ
    2018-12-08 08:58

    First, let me say that I'm in love with Antarctica. Even though I hate the cold, I would winterover in a minute. Nielsen is trying to bring balance to her very complicated life when she accepts the job as South Pole Physician. During the course of her stay, she discovers breast cancer and begins treatment. She describes the landscape beautifully and the character sketches of her fellow polies are wonderful. The first thing I did when I put the book down was do a search on jobs in Antarctica. I must be crazy.

  • Teri
    2018-11-30 06:52

    I've read this multiple times. In the first half, Jerri describes getting the position of M.D. at the Antarctic station, the logistics in actually travelling to Antarctica, and how the members of the team there live day to day. This is fascinating. In the 2nd half, she discusses how she discovers a lump in her breast, and how it is diagnosed as cancer. She then, with the help of friends/co-workers, has to give herself chemo. A great story of survival and people working together.

  • Patricia
    2018-12-13 09:40

    Interesting look at life at the South Pole research facility. Focus, however was primarily on the title's topic. A doctor who developed a life-threatening condition while at the South Pole, miles away from any emergency hospital. This was later made into a TV movie, and there is an update on Jerri Nielsen since the movie. You can find that on the internet, but don't look it up until you've read the book.

  • Ryann
    2018-12-05 11:00

    I enjoyed this book and found it to be very informative and thought provoking. I had never before considered what living in Antarctica must be like. Neilsen's story was very interesting. After reading it, I looked up more about what happened to her later in life, as the book was written 10 years ago. She's very inspirational. Much of this book deals with life at the South Pole, rather than just the treatment of her cancer.

  • Linda
    2018-11-19 05:56

    The story of the Ohio ER doctor who committed to a year at the South Pole, but discovered she had an aggressive breast cancer. The woman pulls no punches. There were times that she was depressed and not getting answers to her cancers, which was very difficult considering the lengths she and others had to go to to get her medical care.Well-written, gut wrenching considering personal issues she had to face. We all would be lucky to have friends and family as committed as Jerri Nielsen did.