“I’ve had one bad melanoma and three other lesser melanomas over the years,”

Sonny and Linda Salsbury are of a certain age. The age before anybody knew just how harmful the sun’s rays could be.

“We’re both from L.A.,” Sonny says. “We went to the beach constantly and covered ourselves with baby oil and got as dark as we could.

“And, you know what? When I told my dermatologist that he said that he did the same thing!”

If only we had known then what we know now.

“I’ve had one bad melanoma and three other lesser melanomas over the years,” says Sonny, who’s 80. “I’ve also had basal cell and squamous cell (carcinoma).”

After years of back-and-forth between Southern California and Yakima, Sonny, a youth minister, and Linda recently returned to Yakima for good. “We’re back here in our house, a big, old Victorian built in 1904, and it’s our favorite house of all the places we’ve ever lived.”

Sonny figures he has thousands of kids, two of their own and the rest from his years of ministering to young people, some of those years spent at Yakima’s First Presbyterian Church. “Some of my kids even showed up (from both Yakima and California) to help us settle back into our home!”

And he is grateful. Not just for the help settling in, but for the care he’s gotten from Dr. Naseer Ahmad and the staff at Virginia Mason Memorial’s North Star Lodge. “Doctors found a small spot on my liver in fall 2017, and now I get an infusion of Keytruda every three weeks. It’s been great: I’ve had no side effects. In fact I’m going down to Emerald Cove Day Camp in San Juan Capistrano this summer to be the camp granddaddy: lead singing, take the kids on hikes, tell them stories.”

Washington ranks among the top 10 states for the highest rates of new cases of melanoma of the skin. So, what would Sonny like all of his kids and the rest of us to know about the sun and its effects on skin?

“Wear that sunscreen,” he says. “Get out of the tanning beds. And if you’ve ever had skin cancer, don’t miss your checkups: Get your moles checked.”

And finally, he says quietly, “It’s more important to be alive and be the color God made you.”


Memorial Offers Community Training on Advance Directives

fivewishes 2015The Washington State Medical Association and Washington State Hospital Association have identified advance directives as a key initiative in medical care and substantial time and energy is being placed on this endeavor around our state.

At Memorial, we offer general training on advance directives, and Five Wishes in particular, in one-hour sessions (45 minutes for training, plus 15 minutes Q&A).

During these sessions, you will learn about Washington state’s focus pertaining to an advance directive, what an advance directive consists of (and what makes it legal in Washington), and how to carry out—as well as complete—an advance directive using Five Wishes. You will also receive information regarding the Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form.

You have several opportunities to attend Five Wishes Advance Directive training:

Tuesday, May 26, YVMH Auditorium, 5 pm

Tuesday, June 2, North Star Lodge, 2 pm

Wednesday, June 10, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Wednesday, July 9, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Tuesday, August 11, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Open to the community. No registration required.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Auditorium (in the basement)
2800 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

North Star Lodge
808 N. 39th Ave., Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

Cauliflower- What’s not to love?

Cauli 2015Cauliflower- What’s not to love?

Kim McCorquodale RD, CSO
North Star Lodge

I find it interesting when different vegetables become the latest and greatest thing, the “food of the week” so to speak. You would have to live under a rock lately to not see all the many ways to eat cauliflower. No longer the spurned veggie because it’s only white and not “colorful.” Cauliflower has arrived on the vegetable social scene with a vengeance!

When I checked the brochure The Cancer Fighters in your Food (available from the American Institute for Cancer Research), I read that cauliflower provides the phytochemicals sulforaphane and lutein, like many other cruciferous veggies do. Sulforaphane belongs in the Isothiocyanate phytochemical family, and the possible actions and benefits of these include:

  • Antioxidant activity
  • Blocking tumor growth
  • Apotosis- causing cancer cells to die and
  • Inhibiting inflammation

All good things for sure! Check out their web site to order reliable information and access tons of fabulous, healthy recipes.

Back to our favorite white cruciferous veggie – I have always enjoyed lightly steaming cauliflower and eating it with just a touch of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Or raw in salads, especially subbing in for broccoli on occasion. But, to get your juices flowing, check out just a few of the recipes creative people have come up with.

Cauliflower pizza crust– apparently this is very good, although I have to admit I haven’t tried it yet.

Low-carb cauliflower recipes, such as tortillas, poppers, cheesy tots, and even chocolate brownies!

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower– a fancy version of what I’ve done for a long time.

So, have fun and try some of these- and please let us know what you think J

Have your cake and eat it too

By Kim McCorquodale RD, North Star Lodge Nutrition Services

holiday inspiration kim blogThere is a lot of temptation to try all sorts of foods and desserts this time of year, but most of us can use some healthy inspiration with the holiday season fast approaching. It is possible to make lifestyle changes that reduce our risk for cancer, and still eat delicious foods.

I can’t say enough about the resource we have in the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) who brought us the New American Plate . Following their recipes will help you make choices in line with current recommendations to “choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat.”

They recently joined forces with the Careers through Culinary Arts Program for a recipe contest. While I haven’t tried any just yet, they all sound very good, and you can be assured they meet the guidelines set forth by the AICR.

Here is one I thought sounded especially good, but please check out the others too. I tend to start with the prize winners for obvious reasons.
Coconut and Chocolate Sweet Potato Pie
Developed by David Robinson of Hampton Roads, VA
First Place, 2013 AICR/C-CAP Healthy Dessert Contest Winner

Crumb Crust:
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup light coconut milk

2 Tbsp. flaked coconut
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Sweet Potato Mixture:
2 large sweet potatoes (approx 2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
5 cups cold water
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 pinch cloves

Avocado Chocolate Pudding:
1/2 cup plain almond milk
6 Tbsp. honey
5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 medium avocados, seeded, peeled and mashed

Prepare crust:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In food processor, pulse and process all crumb ingredients except oil and coconut milk. Mixture should resemble fine crumbs. Add oil and coconut milk and process until mixture holds together. Lightly press into 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Prepare garnish:
Spread coconut and almonds on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in oven as soon as crust comes out. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Prepare sweet potato filling:
Place sweet potatoes and cold water in saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are very tender. Drain completely and transfer to large mixing bowl. Mash potatoes completely. Add all remaining sweet potato mixture ingredients and mix until fully combined; spoon over cooled crust and return to refrigerator.

Prepare avocado chocolate pudding:
Blend coconut milk, honey, cocoa powder and vanilla in blender on low to medium speed. Once completely combined, gradually add avocado, a couple of spoonfuls at a time, blending until completely smooth; spoon over sweet potato filling and smooth with spatula. Chill pie for at least 12 hours.

Top with toasted coconut almond mixture and serve.

Makes 12 servings
Per Serving: Per Serving: 310 calories, 12 g fat, (2 g sat fat), 53 g carbohydrate,
5 g protein, 8 g fiber, 65 mg sodium

Radiothon is this week!

In one way or another, most of us have been touched by cancer.  On Thursday, February 16th, I invite you to join me in giving hope by participating in the North Star Radiothon.  At North Star, we are committed to providing exceptional care to cancer patients and their families.  Many of you who work at other Memorial facilities have a tremendous impact on these same patients and families.  Together we work to create an experience of hope and healing and to offer our community vital cancer care resources.  The money raised during the Radiothon helps us continue this good work.

How can you participate?


I look forward to participating with you!



Vicky Jones, MD

North Star Lodge Medical Director