Hi, I'm Kerrie Slaton. I'm the wife of Kelvin Slaton, a Prostate Cancer patient and he did a great job. The surgery was good. So that was when he was recommended the first urologist, because I'd gone to one and he found out about Dr. Thomas. And it was a journey. I think I fret more than what he does. I always say there has to be one warrior in the group and I'm usually the warrior. If Kelvin was worried, he didn't show it. I tried not to show it, but I know I felt it. It's like I remember the day of the surgery after everything was... We got to tell him, "See you later." Kissed him goodbye. Got into the family waiting room and I started to cry. And our daughter is much more stoic than what I am. So she's like, "Oh, you are not going to cry the whole day. Okay?" I'm like, "I won't." It was fine and I pulled myself together and it was good.
He went through the surgery, it started taking a little bit longer. That's when I got a little emotional again. But Dr. Thomas explained that Kelvin had an issue with his bladder being tucked in. It just took a little bit longer. But the time Dr. Thomas gave us after surgery and such was really good. We waited for Kelvin to get back to the room and such. And it all just worked out well. We just felt very, very confident with everything, with Dr. Thomas. I knew somebody who went to Dr. Thomas years ago when it was an act of Congress to get to Reji Thomas and it took a priest actually to get him and it worked. So we knew we were in the right hands.
Virginia, Dr. Thomas' nurse, we really needed an answer. We knew we had to call Virginia and she gave us some magic number one day that we could really get right to her. So it was very, very helpful. After, it was the day Kelvin had the catheter taken out and that was the day we were so unprepared for because, "Did you bring your pads?" "What pads? We didn't bring pads." The lady in there did find something and such and it helped it. But that was the one day we had some embarrassment because it was just... But it got better and we got used to it. Kelvin was doing well. He went through his pelvic floor exercises with a physical therapist, Ms. McCormick, who's specialized in it. And that's me. He was a really good trooper about it, but then it took a few years to get the artificial sphincter. And for him that helped.
There was some issues with that because of when we had sex and such. And that was important to us. I talked to a friend, he goes, "Oh, Kerrie, I haven't had sex since my surgery." And he and his wife just didn't... Unfortunately they're separated now and I'm sorry to hear that because I think it was all the way how they did not embrace this together. He was really private about it. Kelvin was not private. He was very calm though. When he told our daughter it was no different than, "I have a mole right here." It's like, it's okay. It's going to be fine. I don't think she ever had any big worry, because it was the way he presented it to her and how he kept his demeanor with me.
And when it was time to move on to something else, like when he had the penile implant, because during that time, it's always been fine for him and he could achieve his enjoyment and such. It was lacking on my part. And I know it was a really big sacrifice, because you still go through a lot when you're having that surgery, when you're with the implant there. And then Dr. Omer Raheem was the doctor here at this time. He's moved on. But he was Kelvin's doctor for the implant and he was very supportive. "Here's my cell number, please call me." Whatever he needed.
So the journey was, it's gotten us, here we are 69 years old, we're together, we're doing things. Has it impacted some few things? We once took a trip right afterwards and we probably should have waited a little bit longer. I don't think he was quite recuperated from it, but come on, we knew that. And that's when he encouraged me, "Please go enjoy parts with it. I'm not going to." And finally I had to go out and say, "I'm going to do something by myself." And it wasn't. Because I'm a person, let's hold hands, we're walking every step of the way. So I've learned better to do that. Please go and do something that you're going to enjoy. Don't say you didn't do it because you wanted to be by me. That's what he didn't want.
So together we're good, 45 years together this upcoming December. And this has been a process. We encourage other people to do things. We were going to the prostate support group so much, in fact, I called it Prostate's Anonymous and my sister went, "Do they really call it that?" I'm like, "No, I call it that." But we went and it was really nice that when some of the wives would come, there was a group of men that were always there and they were hilarious. But it was a nice group to hear good things. I took notes. I was always the one that... Here's Dr. Thomas, "Any questions?" And he knew, he'd look at me, "Kerrie, are you say something or you have a question?" So it's been a journey. We've had other journeys in our lives that it was actually really not as successful. Our daughter was raised an only child, because we had a son who died prematurely. He was a premature birth and that didn't have a happy ending. This has a wonderful ending. We're together and everything's going great.
I'd like to encourage wives of the prostate cancer patients, understand each other's medical issues that are coming up as we're going along and support each other. Be there. Whether I sit... And sometimes they don't want you to go in the office. Okay. But I'm out there waiting for him and then they'll say later, "You can come on in." I'm just saying the wives or the companions and such, some of our patients might be older now, their widowers and such, I just hope they have a companion that they can go through this with. Because a daughter, son and such is good, but when you go to bed at night, they're not there with you. So whether it's that spouse or the companion, just to make sure you're keeping this together and it's a together experience to go through.