Carol A. Pollard
I am a native of New Haven and attended public schools. I graduated from South Central Community College and attended the University of New Haven for one year. I have been employed at Yale University’s Law Library as a Cataloger in the Technical Services/Catalog Department for a long time.
The year 1987 was traumatic for me, because my mother, Lillian Pollard, died on January 10. In the latter part of May, I found a lump in my right breast by self-examination. My primary care physician gave me an appointment immediately. A mammogram and ultra sound was taken. He recommended that I see a surgeon. The surgeon examined me and suggested that I see a pathologist to have a biopsy done at Temple Medical Center. A few days later, a biopsy was done and the result was a diagnosis of a malignant cancerous tumor. I did not want to believe it! My father and the nurse consoled me.
A few days later my surgeon spoke to me about breast cancer, lymph nods, mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She gave me her books to read! Another doctor was consulted for reconstruction of the breast. Because the surgery could not be scheduled before August, I consulted with my doctor about going on a vacation. It was agreed that I could go.
My father, older sister and I went to Detroit, Michigan for my father’s Masonic session for a few days. Then we visited my brother Gale and his family in Cincinnati, Ohio for the rest of the week. Upon returning to New Haven, the surgeon scheduled my operation for August 17, 1987 at the Hospital of Saint Raphael at 1:00 p.m. My family and friends prayed for me. The surgery took seven hours. A mastectomy and several lymph nodes were removed with reconstruction. After the recommended time, I chose to take chemotherapy treatment for six months.
God gave me the strength and faith to get through the operation and the recovery. He also gave my doctors the knowledge and the gift to perform the surgery. God, family, and friends gave me the will to live. It has been thirteen years since that day in August.