Scrapbooking with a Twist

December 18
Scrapbooking with a Twist  2-4 pm (third Tuesday of the month)
Your life is a collection of the many people, places and
adventures you’ve experienced. The process of preserving
memories through the written word and pictures can be very
therapeutic. This is why we’ve brought many of the LifeBio
topics over into the North Star Lodge scrapbooking class. It
becomes an extension of the memory-making experience by
stimulating some great conversations. Join the outgoing and
always-a-laugh scrapbooker, Connie Herreck, as she shows
you how to present your photos and memorabilia in a storybook
fashion. All of the supplies are free. Bring your stories and
your photos.


RSVPs are requested for all programs at 509-574-3541. Programs are held at North Star Lodge unless otherwise noted.

Give Yourself a Time Out

If you are expected to host the holiday meal, but don’t think you can handle the responsibility, give yourself a “time out.” Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to keep up with your traditional duties. People will understand if you ask them to bring a dish for the meal, have someone else host the meal, or suggest eating out at a restaurant.

Are you too tired for tasks such as shopping for gifts and cards, or standing in line at the post office to mail packages? If so, enlist the help of a friend or family member or use mail order catalogues this year. There are also easier ways to let others know that you are thinking about them by writing a short note or making a phone call. You can always send them a card or gift later.

Making Resolutions Stick: Balance and Moderation over Deprivation

By Lindsey Woodkey
When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, five of the top ten involve health and fitness. “Lose weight”, “get fit”, “eat healthier food”, “quit smoking” and “manage stress” are all included. Why does it take a new year for us to commit to lead healthier lifestyles?

Psychologists say it’s because we feel as though we can “start over”, and that with the new year comes a clean slate. It is human nature to work towards self-improvement, and the new year offers the perfect time to tackle one of our weaker areas. Many also set resolutions because, well, it’s tradition. Everyone else is doing it so you should too, right?

Having a goal is great, but often we let it consume us. We have our sights so set on achieving this one accomplishment and the one path to reach it, that we are blind to our other successes. We may also dread “failing” to reach our goal, and focus on the consequences of failure instead of enjoying the journey. Ultimately, you set a resolution to improve yourself in some area of your life, but by ignoring other areas and allowing stress, depression, and even guilt to enter, you are really doing the contrary.

By now you’ve realized this is not your typical New Year’s Resolution article, nor is it one
that you would commonly see written by a trainer and nutritionist. But if there is one thing I’ve
learned over the years, it’s that balance, consistency, flexibility and variety win out.
Dr. Susan Lonborg, Central Washington University Professor of Psychology emphasized
that, “Many of us grew up being told to do our very best and we may approach our diet and
fitness goals the same way. Unfortunately, it is often not possible to sustain ‘our best’ long
term given all the things we have going on in our lives, including work, school, and family
commitments. So, consider revising your goal to ‘I’m going to do the best I can with my eating
and fitness activities, all things considered.’ Developing a plan to meet your eating and workout
goals, keeping in mind your other commitments, may help you set more realistic, obtainable

Let’s apply this to a common New Year’s Resolution: losing weight. Person number one
is fast out of the gate. They strictly limit their carb intake, cut out their favorite foods
completely, and hit the gym seven-days-a-week for at least an hour. Person number two
focuses on making healthier food choices, but also allows themselves two or three “treat” items
a week. They begin a moderate exercise program, starting with 30 minutes three days a week,
and adding in time and days as they progress. They include activities they enjoy, and also push
themselves with some that are more difficult. Person number one loses six pounds the first two weeks, and person two loses only two pounds. One is obviously the better choice. Or is it?

We revisit our two subjects in one month. Our strict dieting workout fanatic lost 10 pounds, then hit a week of stress and minimal time to devote to his or her fitness program. They ended up binging on brownies and wine, skipped the gym, and have since fallen completely off the wagon and gained back not only the 10 s/he lost, but more. Sound familiar? Person number two has lost seven pounds total. They hit the same busy/stressful period, indulged in a glass of red wine and a few pieces of dark chocolate, but got right back on track. They didn’t beat themselves up about falling off slightly nor did they let guilt set in. They made it to the gym as much as possible, even if it was just one 30 minute workout a week.

So now you’re thinking this trainer is telling me to devote LESS time to my fitness resolution? To focus on it LESS and not work as hard? Not exactly. I am telling you to work smarter, to be consistent, to find balance and enjoy the “ride”. Having an “all or nothing” mindset or depriving yourself of every food you enjoy is setting yourself up to fail. Instead, find a happy medium, focus on improving yourself in all areas, each in moderation. Eat clean, exercise regularly (not insanely), and be kind to your body. Remember, the road to success is
full of bumps, turns, and sometimes even complete roadblocks. Make your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions stick by taking a different, more balanced approach. Slow and steady wins the race!

Lindsey Woodkey of Ellensburg is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with bachelors’ degrees in exercise science and nutrition from Central Washington University.

More Plants on Your Plate for 2013!

More Plants on Your Plate for 2013!

Lena Gill, RD, CSO, CD
While you’re making your resolutions, consider a cooking resolution to help you strive for a better, healthier you in the New Year! Fill your plate with color, variety, and plant foods!

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has created “January’s New Year, New Me” Menu.  Check it out for great food tips as well as flavorful recipes!

Cord Blood Collection in Yakima

  Cord Blood Collection in Yakima

In early October the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to two scientists that contributed to understanding the function of stem cells.   The applications and regulatory controversies are unfolding in front of us and at a fast pace.  It is important not to forget that an early use of stem cell therapy is already in practice and applicable to our patients here at North Star Lodge.  Stem cell or bone marrow transplant is part of a treatment recommended to patients to help them recover blood cell production levels after a high dose of cytotoxic drugs (chemotherapy) has been given to eliminate certain types of cancer resistant to standard (lower) doses. As blood or cancer specialists, the staff at North Star Lodge has a close interaction with patients before and after they undergo stem cell transplantation.

The stem cells are collected from the bone marrow space inside the bones or from the circulating blood of a voluntary donor that is a close match with the patient’s immune characteristics.  An increasingly more common form of stem cell collection is at birth from the umbilical cord, where high concentrations of these cells can be found.  These are cells that are usually discarded as medical waste after delivery.  The stem cell can be used in the future for a relative or an unrelated recipient with matched immune characteristics.

How can we improve on the availability of bone marrow or stem cells for transplantation, when this therapy is needed for our patients?

One way is through the simple umbilical cord blood collection process.  Parents must consent to be cord blood donors before giving birth.  Once consent is obtained and after delivery, the obstetrician and the labor and delivery staff will pack the blood and send it to the cord blood bank, where it will remain available to patients in search of compatible cells.

Awareness and information to grow the availability of compatible cells is needed and locally available.  Ms. Cristina Klatovsky, Donation Coordinator for Cord Blood Services, can answer questions or provide information about voluntary donations to make transplant possible for more patients.

In a future publication I will expand on the valuable role that Yakima Memorial Hospital has played in serving as the only local site where cord blood collection occurs.  Together with Ms. Klatovsky, we’ll share some comments and stories of local patients and families who have been affected –as donors or recipients- by stem cell transplants.  For information on Cord Blood Services please call Cristina at 509-391-9493 or 1-866-688-1966.


Mario Chenal, MD

Dr Mario Chenal


“True to my desire to take care of others, I chose to become a physician and to practice oncology and hematology. Each day I dedicate my work to continuing the treatment and one-day (I hope) cure of this most formidable disease – cancer.”


808 N. 39th Avenue
Yakima, WA 98902
Phone: (509) 574-3400
Fax: (509) 574-3464
Map to this address
Directions to this address

Other specialties:

Medical Oncology and Hematology


North Star Lodge Cancer Center

Medical school:

Univ De San Carlos De Guatemala, 1989


St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis, IN


American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in medical oncology and hematology.



How should I manage fatigue during the busy holiday season?

Q: How should I manage fatigue during the busy holiday season?

A: First, discuss any change in your energy level with your doctor. Then, make a list of the events you usually participate in and choose the favorites you would like to continue. You may want to talk with family and friends about combining events (such as decorating the house and making holiday goodies) or changing locations to reduce your travel. In addition, ask your family and friends for help. For example, if you would like to host a holiday dinner but don’t have the energy to cook and decorate, ask family and friends to help with some of the tasks, such as grocery shopping. Or, get help with household tasks to save time for more enjoyable activities. Some online communities offer tools to help people with cancer and their friends and families coordinate tasks. Finally, don’t be afraid to say no. Some people find that they have a new appreciation for simpler, smaller gatherings. Make this holiday season about rediscovering peace and happiness in old and new ways. Learn more about coping with cancer-related fatigue.