A Frozen Section – Flash Frozen Fiction

Friday. Fictioneers
Photo by Douglas McIIRoy @https://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/

Flash Frozen Fiction for Friday Fictioneers

Genre: Historical Medical Narrative
(Yes, I did just make that up.)
100 words

A Frozen Section

“Did you study the video I forwarded to you? It’s all in the wrist,” my friend the oncologist joked, as I angled the biopsy needle into my traitorous breast.

“I know how to do a biopsy!”

“I remember you sucked at biopsies in med school. You should have had a mammogram before you left for Antarctica.”

“You know, it was on my list of things to do before I left; pack warm clothes and get a mammogram,” I fired back.

“All in the wrist,” I repeated as the needle hit the gritty mass taking away all doubt. It was cancer.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My flash frozen fiction inspiration comes from my friend Doug’s photo prompt and from Jerri Nielsen, MD who bravely biopsied and diagnosed her own breast cancer in 1998 while trapped at Amundson-Scott South Pole Station during the endless southern winter.

I suppose I could biopsy my own breast if I had to, but with today’s fiction I imagine it being much easier with my best medical school friend online to steady my hand. A frozen section is the term used by surgeons for a type of biopsy that is done quickly inter-operatively to diagnose cancer.

Be well and get your mammogram done before embarking on an extended expedition.

You can see more Flash Fiction here.

48 Comments Add yours

  1. ansumani says:

    A good message combined with a lesson in history and medicine- all in 100 words. Great job in creating a new genre!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a rebel like that. Of course if you create your own genre then you’re never wrong.
      Glad to hear from you and thanks for liking my recipes too.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  2. paulmclem says:

    Like this one. Well paced conversation with a painful kicker. See you next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul. I’ve been working on dialog. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me.
      Tracey

      Like

  3. Well, of course, there’s no way that I could tell you honestly that I LIKE this story — much to unhappy an ending. But I can tell you that you did a great job on the presentation of it. The dialogue was a perfect way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need more buttons “I appreciate the story but don’t like the subject matter” or “I read it but I hate it” or “A for effort” or “Ugh,so sad or creepy or not another murder”. Ha ha
      Thanks for stopping by Sandra.

      Like

  4. This is great Tracey, especially as it’s inspired by a kick-ass woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Louise. I was amazed by her bravery.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mjlstories says:

    Realised I ungritted (not a word?) my teeth when I came to the end of this…and it’s true! Wow! Another unique take indeed.
    I am reminded of a few things (in a good way) – Fanny Burney (real) who had a breast removed and wrote about it in 17something and the film Master and Commander (fiction) where the doctor can only trust himself to remove a bullet from himself – he lets some amateur hold the mirror. You doctors..
    Now about that mammogram.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read about a Russian doctor who had to take out his own appendix! That’s wild but if you have a will to live and there’s no one else then I guess you just go for it. Don’t try this at home.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  6. plaridel says:

    the dialog seems fine to me. well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’ll keep practicing.
      Tracey

      Like

  7. gardenlilie says:

    Hi Tracey, you and I were thinking alike for sure. The sad outcome is she did pass on, unfortunately. But I do like your call to arms … to get checked before an expedition.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jan Brown says:

    Good story with a good message. Yup, it’s time for a mammogram….

    Like

  9. I had to pop over here after reading Gardenlilie to see how this story began. I am shuddering at the thought of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you did because I loved her POV.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amy Reese says:

    I can’t imagine performing a biopsy on myself. I can barely put a band aid on. That would be such a dilemma to have cancer in a place like this. My mammogram is due, Tracey! Great tale. Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not really very brave either. I thought I could give myself an injection for a vaccine but nope, couldn’t do it.
      Ha ha
      Tracey

      Like

  11. Sandra says:

    Always a worry – developing something when you’re miles from anywhere, and the longer it is since you set out, the longer it is until you can get it seen to. I can identify with this piece. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It did cross my mind that your travels might keep you away from good medical care so stay up to date for sure. Or you could take me along in case you need surgery on the water.
      ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Take care,
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  12. draliman says:

    I can’t even imagine having to biopsy myself – and a terrible outcome. Well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She also gave herself chemotherapy from an air dropped package. It was too cold to land the Navy plane so they dropped it and flew off. She lived another 10 years because of her bravery.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What a great way to tell the story.. I had not heard about it before, but really something that would challenge anyone, but without a doctor’s doctor there are no other options.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We never really know what we are capable of doing are we?
      Thanks,
      Tracey

      Like

  14. Dear Tracey,

    Every week you bring something fresh to the table. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I can make up a nonstory genre you can make up an historical medical narrative. Very well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m grateful for the reply. I know that you are so busy with the book launch.
      Here’s to the Non-Story Genre!
      Cheers,
      Tracey

      Like

  15. I hope your friend survived. She was certainly a tough gal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The doctor died 10 years later from a recurrence of her breast cancer, but she left a legacy of bravery and “can do” spirit that anyone can admire.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  16. micklively says:

    It all seems a bit bleak Tracey!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. gahlearner says:

    Performing a biopsy on oneself… just the idea makes me shiver. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nancy Miller says:

    Reblogged this on California Muse and commented:
    Great post Tracey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nancy. Are you sure your sexy fan base wants to read my often bleak medical narrative? I’ll have to write something sexy just for your blog.
      “The pirate queen untied her laces, tipped back her rum and …..”
      More fun than cancer, me thinks.
      See you soon,
      Tracey

      Like

  19. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Tracey,

    I recognized the circumstances right away and applaud your story for accuracy, drama, and its ‘dispatches from the end of the world’ feel. The best part for me was in the afterward where you called me your friend. Thank you.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doug,
      Thank you for the photo prompt. It seems from the other stories this week that I’m not the only Fictioneer who calls you friend. Several wanted to come visit you on the Big Island despite having to miss the beach. Sandra thought you would be a good retirement home pal even if she did threaten to flush your dentures. And everyone, including me, savors your stories and your treasured comments.
      Thank you for the inspiration,
      Tracey

      Like

  20. Dee says:

    Wow… I read and understood and then had to read again as the imagery sunk in. Jerry Nielsen, what an amazing woman. I think I may call on you when I go travelling… well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dee,
      I think I’ll hire myself out to travel as the in house doctor for any friends going to exotic locations. I can cook delicious healthy meals too! Ha ha
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  21. rgayer55 says:

    Dear Tracy,
    I know women here in the south who ask you to, “Hold my beer” while performing their own biopsy. I chickened-out when it came to performing my own vasectomy. It wasn’t the cutting part that scared me–it was the use of clamps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d need bourbon to biopsy myself and maybe you shouldn’t read Shades of Grey Hair, the middle aged male version.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rgayer55 says:

        Didn’t know, Silver is the new Blonde?

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh dear, not a good diagnosis especially when she is in Antartica and probably not much in the way of medical attention. Excellent story! I enjoyed it as I do all of your stories. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy,
      Every week I fret about what to write and truthfully Doug’s photo was a challenge for me. Please keep reading and writing.
      Be well,
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  23. milliethom says:

    What an interesting snippet about Jerri Nielsen, Tracey, and your own story is so well told. The dialogue between you and your oncologist friend really brings the story to life. Very well done! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Millie. Your comments mean the world to me.
      Be well,
      Tracey

      Like

  24. Margaret says:

    You’ve captured the tension, and the dialogue brings it all to life powerfully. I’m interested that you’re challenging yourself to use more dialogue. It works really well in this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My education was not in writing so I am learning and it turns out that dialogue or dialog is a fun way to convey a point.
      Be well,
      Tracey

      Like

  25. Excellent take on the prompt, the dialog was spot on. What a brave lady she was.

    Like

  26. Thanks Snow. I’m having a hard time getting through all the stories this week but I always look for yours.
    Be well,
    Tracey

    Like

  27. Good story, Tracy. I hope that never becomes necessary for me. It’s quite doubtful. Well done. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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