Letter to the Editor for Wednesday — July 16, 2003

• Kikuchi wanted others to be tested for prostate cancer

Kikuchi wanted others to be tested for prostate cancer

I deeply appreciate the kind words published by your newspaper about my husband, Professor Pila Kikuchi. I would like to respectfully make a couple additions to what was printed.

Pila died of prostate cancer, an area that he felt very strongly about. He wanted men to be aware of prostate cancer, to have their PSA tested, and to educate themselves about what a rising PSA count means.

He wanted men and women both to become proactive in their medical care and treatment and to understand what was happening to them.

His cancer journey started long before last November, as he had fought the disease for nearly 4 and 1/2 years. He continued his active life despite major surgery, hormone therapy, and nearly three years of continuous chemotherapy. Typical of his attitude, even through the morniing he died, was a comment he made one day as he and I sat in the chemotherapy room at KMC. He turned to me and said, “Dolly, I love this place. I just LOVE it. And I just love ‘my’ nurses ” (Sally, Beth, Debra, and Jan, as well as all the other nurses and students he taught over the previous 26 years). He had a remarkable ability to put a positive spin on everything, even cancer treatment.

Pila graduated from UH Manoa with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Anthropology, not civil engineering. He flunked out of that. His Ph. D. was from The University of Arizona.

Finally, although she may be nearly 93, Pila’s mother, Gladys Nishi Kikuchi, is alive and well, as are his three daughters and one grandson: Michelei (Thomas) Motooka, Kathleen (Jeremy) Kikuchi-Samonte, Kristina (Kimo) Kikuchi-Palenapa, and his namesake, grandson Pilaho’ohau’oli Palenapa.

Dolly Kikuchi



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