We have made great strides over the last few decades when it comes to identifying the genetic mutations associated with different cancers. Genetic counseling is now available to anyone with a family history of multiple cancer types, early onset of illness, a rare cancer type, or a generational pattern of one particular cancer. Most insurances will cover this test if individuals meet high-risk criteria, and many labs offer financial assistance to those with a demonstrated need (we work with several oncology centers that offer this as a resource). Genetic screening can be an extremely useful data point for people evaluating the risks to themselves and to their family members for cancer. The results can inform how frequently people should be screened and what the statistical recommendations are for preventative surgical treatments (a la the “Angelina Jolie” approach).

That said, current research indicates that only 5-10% of all cancers are due to inheritance (the DNA one receives from one’s parents). We like to use the analogy that your body is like a garden and we are all making weeds called cancer cells in the garden every day. However, if the soil is healthy the weeds do not take over. Your genes are one minor factor of what allows the weeds to grow. A healthy garden explains why a number of patients with documented genetic mutations never go on to develop cancer.   

Someone can be BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive, meaning that these inherited genes do not repair DNA as expected. This leads to mutations over time and greatly increases the risk of developing cancer, especially breast cancer and ovarian cancers. So, what happens with the minority of folks who carry these dangerous genes and yet remain cancer-free? You inherit your genes from your parents, but your environment and nutrition turn them on or off. This is what is referred to as epigenetics and nutrigenomics and where we at Journey to Wellness come in.

We know cancer is a multifactorial disease. There is never only “one reason” for cancer, for if that were the case, we’d have eradicated this scourge many generations ago. Instead, cancer is the result of a complex interplay between genetic predispositions, environment, lifestyle, nutrition, blood sugar control, immune function, inflammation, and emotional/spiritual health to name a few. No one is capable of being “perfect” and/or completely without risk. But, knowing what many of the risk factors are for cancer, we are given the gift of agency. Those of us trained in Naturopathic Oncology prioritize teaching patients how to take care of themselves. Patient education and empowerment are central to our practice at Journey to Wellness. Epigenetics and nutrigenomics are essential to modulate genetic risk factors and reduce your chance of getting cancer, especially those with a family history of cancer. We also use the tools of complementary oncology to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence for those who have already had it. 

When appropriate, genetic testing is important for clarifying one’s own risks and those affecting one’s family. However, it is important to remember, genes are not destiny.  They may change the soil a bit, but we can help to modify that soil to determine whether the seeds or weeds in the garden grow. Which will wither or thrive depends on the health of the garden. Our job is to keep the garden healthy so the weeds do not take over.  There are concrete actions that can be taken in advance to reduce the risk of developing cancer. There is no such thing as 0% risk…. but there are many things that can be done to improve the outlook for someone who is at risk. If you want to learn more, please call our office at (360) 695-8800 for a free 15-min consultation.

Best in health, 

Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO
Board Certified in Naturopathic Oncology

The Hammond Kitchen and Craft Bar, located in Camas, has released a limited summer menu — and all options usher in the flavors and frs.

Here’s what is new at The Hammond this summer:

  • Carlton Farms Pork shop: Double cut with roasted pineapple chutney, macadamia nuts, garlic mashed potatoes, and fresh spring vegetables.
  • Tomato salad: Organic grape heirloom tomatoes, with Portland creamery chèvre, arugula, white and dark balsamic glaze, and fresh pesto.
  • Ricotta Meatballs: Marinara, fresh mozzarella, pesto, shallot gastrique, and pecorino cheese.

And, be sure to enjoy your favorite drink during the meal, and finish your experience with one of their choice desserts.

4857 NW LAKE RD #200,
CAMAS WA 98607 

PHONE: 360 954 5620
EMAIL: [email protected]

The Hammond still offers takeout options, and encourages online ordering here: https://thehammondkitchenandcraftbar.com

New summer menu at The Hammond.

Everyone has had to adjust to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some it’s been incredibly challenging, and for others it hasn’t, but everyone’s had to make changes.

Meet Dave Sobolik, a local real estate investor with Homevisor (website: www.homevisor.pro) whose work life was turned upside down when Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order went into effect in March. The order halted all residential construction, and limited how real estate brokers conduct business.

“In Washington, we can show houses, but we have to call a few hours in advance, because they don’t want people crossing paths,” he said. “I can show clients of a party of two, but one at a time. I can take one through the property practicing social distancing. There are notes saying ‘don’t touch anything, leave shoes at doorways, wear masks,’ etc.”

And, like so many others, Sobolik just stayed home during the quarantine.

“A big part of my time was spent connecting with people in my sphere to check in and see how everyone is doing,” Sobolik said. “I like to do whatever I can to help with their needs. I have offered to do grocery shopping for people. Anybody who needs something I pair them up. I did a lot of research for clients.”

Creatively, as a small business owner, he worried about tenants who weren’t able to pay rent so he reached out to local business owners and community members to record their experiences. It became a fascinating video series — available on his personal Facebook page.

“I call it the SOB Experience. I don’t want to offend anybody I just want to draw attention to what they’re doing. I’m doing 5-15 interviews with each of these people. I released an interview with Jeff Snell, Superintendent of Camas Schools. And, the whole purpose was to get behind the scenes. I’ve interviewed local fitness instructors and therapists. There are many people being creative on how to keep their doors opens. I hope to create awareness.”

The experience, and temporary change of pace, taught Sobolik a lot.

“I’ve learned lots of things,” he said. “Namely, the strength of the human spirit. I’ve had 175 people that I reached out to over three to four weeks.”

And, he found that people are in three buckets:

  1. People who are financially secure that are enjoying their home time, and enjoying this increased focus on family time.
  2. People with short-term income loss, or permanent income loss, who are determined to use this time to improve themselves and are very positive thinking. 
  3. People who lost their job who have no savings and don’t know what to do next, and are in a fear and retreat space. 

“Technology helps us cope,” said Sobolik. “Thank goodness for that. We have to help people, lift them up. Let me know we care.”


What came about as an idea to expand their business, Arktana is bringing product to the people— quarantine style.

“We’ve worked through this pandemic as best we can but we needed to do something different before we get to Phase 2,” said Ann Matthews, owner of Arktana.

So, what is it?

The party requires an enthusiastic leader who lets Arktana deliver their products to their driveway or backyard.

Once the store’s live event begins, these quarantine pods can touch and feel product while team Arktana livestreams the event at their store.

“It gives our customers the opportunity to touch and feel product during the live feed and order on the spot through the website: www.arktana.com and if the item happens to be on the rack at that time they can take it home.”

It’s an idea that is starting off with a bang. The next watch party is scheduled for Friday at 5:30.

Tune in a their Facebook page to watch!

If you’d like to host your own watch party, contact Ann at [email protected]

Art presents itself in so many different forms and can incorporate many different media. This became a challenge and opportunity for Canyon Creek Middle School 6th grade art teacher, Alice Yang, once schools closed and distance learning began.

“During our first week of distance learning in mid-April, students hadn’t gotten their art kits from me yet, so I had to come up with a project using household items,” Yang explained. “We started our unit by looking at some artists who use cardboard and paper as their medium. I uploaded a video that shows several ways of connecting cardboard, some that do not use glue. The assignment was very open-ended, to create a sculpture using cardboard or paper which they could paint or decorate as they wished.”

Projects submitted by students included a cuckoo clock, a Polaroid camera, shoes, and a boat. One project, created by Morgan Musser, stood out with its intricate detail and the spiraling form which gave it a sense of movement and realism.

“Morgan worked about six hours a day for this week-long assignment,” said Yang. “When we shared the projects during our weekly Zoom meeting, the other students were blown away. Some felt a bit down that theirs weren’t at the same level, so we stopped and talked about the danger of comparison and how everyone is good at something.”

Remote art lessons.

“I was inspired by pictures of Chinese Dragons I viewed on the internet,” explained Musser. “I used tinfoil to make a form for the body, which I later learned from my art teacher is called armature.”

Musser further explained her process, that began by cutting out each individual scale from thin cardboard, empty waffle boxes, and hot glued them to the form. She used a thicker cardboard, from a shipping box, for the back spines, which also provided a different element of color. Then she cut different shapes for the face and pieced them together in a kind of puzzle and secured the pieces in place with hot glue. “My favorite element of this piece is the dragon’s face,” she said. “I was nervous about the final result, but it turned out better than I expected.”

Distance learning overall has been a challenge for Yang and all WSD art teachers. “Not having access to materials is the biggest roadblock,” she said. “I was able to put together an art kit for my 30 sixth-grade students containing a drawing kit, oil pastels, watercolor set, a sketchbook, glue stick, and an assortment of papers. They received these during their second week of remote classes.”

Art instruction is a feedback-driven process, Yang explained, saying it can be difficult for students to work in isolation without input from the teacher and peers. Access to the internet is also a driving factor in students’ ability to complete work. Most of the projects involve viewing videos in Google Classroom, and though all students have iPads, some don’t have the capability of using it for online work.

“I appreciate the time and effort students are putting in and am impressed with the work that is coming back,” Yang said, “However, I’m so ready to return to school!”

Washougal, WA – The IMPACT CW (Camas-Washougal) food drive, organized by St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal, which helps hundreds of Camas and Washougal families with summer food boxes, is going digital this year.

“With the current COVID-19 environment, we know that now more than ever, our local communities have families in need of food,” said Susan Klemetsrud, IMPACT CW Volunteer. “Also, to support our donor’s safety and the safety of our community, the food drive will be held online this year and is limited to monetary donations. Those funds will be used to purchase gift cards from local grocery stores to be distributed to families in need.”

This annual community food drive for Camas and Washougal school district families has been growing for the past five years, distributing hundreds of food boxes to those in need.

“In the past, we have collected monetary and food donations during the month of May,” said Beth Raetz, St. Matthew Lutheran Church Office Secretary. “We then held a community event on the second Sunday of June where community volunteers helped us sort food, assemble food boxes, and load the food boxes for delivery to the schools. We even hosted a free community BBQ and entertainment from the Camas-Washougal Orchestra. With current Stay at Home orders in place, we just won’t be able to do that this year even though the need is great.”

This is a time for us to come together as a community. If you would like to help meet this need, IMPACT CW is asking donors to consider giving in two ways: either online through a Go Fund Me page https://www.gofundme.com/f/impact-camaswashougal-2020 or by sending a check payable to St. Matthew Lutheran Church at 716 Washougal River Road, Washougal, WA 98671, and include in the memo line Impact CW.


“We are truly grateful for any donation size; however, this year we will create an insert to be given out with each gift card highlighting our wonderful local businesses that have contributed at specific levels,” Klemetsrud said.

Donations starting at $250 will include the business name/logo on the inserted card. For a donation of $1,000 or greater, there will be a larger version of the business name/logo at the top of the card. The names of these donors will be placed on the church Facebook page, pamphlets, and advertisement of the event for next year.

“We would like to receive donations by Monday, June 1 to be included on the insert,” she said.

Schools will again partner with IMPACT CW to identify those families who could use some help. “Last year we made more than 140 boxes,” said Raetz. “This year, with so much increased need in our communities, we anticipate the need may be in excess of 200 families. If your family could benefit from a local grocery gift card, please contact your school counselor or principal.”
For more information, contact Raetz at the church office at 360-835-5533.

Washougal, WA – Many Cape Horn-Skye students are actually looking forward to science homework during the current school closure, thanks to Kodiak Crates! These fun and challenging learning kits are created by first grade teacher and district science liaison, Darcy Hickey, and are delivered via school bus to students’ homes every other week.

The kits are built around STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) projects and are all hands-on. In addition, Hickey has created a web page that hosts instructional videos she created and provides a place for families to upload pictures of finished projects.

“We expected maybe 30 families to sign up,” said Penny Andrews CH-S principal. “We currently have 180 families subscribed to get kits. That’s more than 300 students involved.” The first delivery was on April 21, and students quickly began uploading and sending pictures of their work. Designed with CH-S K-5 students in mind, extra materials can be added to a kit based on family count, giving preschool and middle school students a chance to participate as a family. The second kit will arrive May 5.

Hickey has made the process of creating these crates a family affair of her own. “My 12-year-old niece, Madeleine, was my ‘model’ for the videos, but she also helped me with editing and formatting,” Hickey explained. “I definitely couldn’t have done these videos without her!” Hickey’s son has helped fill boxes and cut pieces for the kits and her parents have helped as well in the assembly line in her garage.

Former Washougal teacher, Marlin Martin, has also been a huge help to Hickey. “When I first had this idea, Marlin was the first person I called to see, first of all, what he thought of the idea, and second, if he wanted to help,” she said. “He was thrilled to be a part of this and has helped in every step of the process, from planning, to preparing materials, to giving me feedback and encouragement. He is simply amazing!”

Hickey said every CH-S staff member has participated in the success of Kodiak Crates as well. “They work hard all year, instilling a love of science in our students at Cape and have promoted these kits as not just ‘enrichment’ for their distance learning, but as ‘essential.’ They value STEM instruction just as much as reading, or writing, or math…that is why Kodiak Crates are having so much success!”

The support from families and students has been amazing, according to Hickey. “Students are making thank you videos and sharing pictures/videos of their projects,” she said. “With the few out-of-boundary families that I personally delivered kits to, I was met with huge smiles from the kids and even some happy tears from parents. This is such a tough time for families right now and to be able to have something like this for the kids is such a blessing to a lot of our families.”

More than $1500 in donations have been raised to support this program, even when donations were never requested. “Each donation has left me in a puddle of tears because I wasn’t sure how we were going to fund the program using just my current science budget,” said Hickey. “At the beginning, the plan was to use funds that our Boosters set aside for our Family STEM Night, and since that event was cancelled, this was the next best thing.”

Making a catapult.

After the generous Booster funds were depleted, other donors came forward to contribute without being asked. “Cape is such an amazing community and the response to these Kodiak Crates is just another reason why I love being a part of it,” she said.

Hickey, who was the 2018 Camas-Washougal Chamber Teacher of the Year for Washougal, was asked about the importance for her efforts to challenge and inspire students, but she said that it is just the opposite for her. “It is the students who inspire me,” she explained. “It is the students who challenge me to be a better teacher, who challenge me to step down from the front of the classroom and trust them to take the lead. We will never know what our students are truly capable of unless we give them opportunities to explore, wonder, question…and our Kodiak Crates are doing just that!”

Hickey pointed out that students were learning so much more than, for instance, just the steps to build a catapult. “They are learning about angles and trajectory, and weight distribution, and stored energy, and I could go on,” she said. “A six-year-old student created her own experiment using different items to shoot from her catapult to see which would travel further based on their weight. This is a six-year old!”

Hickey described another student in 3rd grade created a game using the catapult and a target with numbers that when hit would be added together. “It sounds like a math lesson to me,” she said.

“I would say this has been a huge success,” Andrews added. “I am glad to see these go out to families as we have some students who find hands-on science the best way to connect to school.”

For more than 60 days now, Washington state has been dealing with the realties of Governor Jay Inslee’s “shelter in place” orders, which have limited mobility in an effort to slow the spread of novel corona virus. 

Once the order to close theaters, gyms, restaurants to dine-in services, hair salons, retail stores, etc. went into effect in mid-March, it turned once-thriving cities into eery ghost towns, and initiated a crushing blow to the incomes and cash flow of many businesses and employees.

Local artist, Anna Norris, saw the impact it had on downtown Camas, and decided to capture this moment in history through art.

The streets were empty, along with restaurants, stores, and even banks.

“I’ve had trouble wrapping my head around this pandemic and I was looking for a metaphor about what could represent it,” said Norris. “I met with Wendy DelBosque at Natalia’s Cafe and asked ‘what are we gonna do?’ She was looking at an empty restaurant that’s normally bustling with people. So, that inspired it.”

Painting is how Norris best copes with the pandemic.

“Then as I started working on the painting, the Wizard of Oz came into it,” she said. “It was like when the house dropped. It changed everything in our lives, and it was just right. It was bright and sunny that day. There was no one in town. And there she was standing there. She was like Dorothy. I wanted to open the door and be outside. I wanted all the outside to be in color, given the chromatic colors at Natalia’s.”

Although DelBosque has seen work-in-progress photos, the big unveiling came on Thursday, May 14. 

“She brought it in and I was awestruck,” said DelBosque. “I love having the muted interior colors and then I saw the outside colors. Anna and I have for years talked about making paintings true to Camas that were based on famous paintings. She has painted the outside so many times, and she wondered what she could do to portray this pandemic. We talked about how the streets were so empty and how it looked from the inside out.”


Everybody that sees the painting has a moment, said DelBosque.

Norris said people cope in their own way, and she continues to take photos of all this emptiness — for future art projects.

“I’ve painted to cope with all this,” said Norris. “I paint every day, and I paint all day. Before that I baked a lot, and cooked a lot, and the only constant these days is change. I can’t sleep. I lay there and worry about things I can’t fix. I worry about health care workers who don’t have proper PPE. I’ve only had a few times where I thought ‘Anna, you could die from this.’ My father is 92 and he could die, but he’s doing well, but he’s bored out of his mind.” 

DelBosque hopes the art continues. 

“Anna’s ‘We’re Not in Camas Anymore’ is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen,” said DelBosque. “We have to put things into art. It’s the best way to document history.”

The painting will be on display at Natalia’s temporarily, and will then be moved to the Attic Gallery in downtown Camas. To learn more about Norris, visit: https://www.annanorrisfineart.com

Wendy DelBosque, left, and Anna Norris, right, show Anna’s painting “We’re Not In Camas Anymore.”

Everyday it seems we learn more and become more confused as to what the COVID-19 is. Apparently, it can attack any part of the body. Today a story of someone who had the gastrointestinal symptoms and then all of a sudden, a fever of 105 and oxygen levels dropping dangerously low to the point that intubation was required. Children with a rash and high fever. One common thread seems to be the inflammation of the blood vessels called vasculitis and blood clots. So, it would seem those that already have a lot of inflammation in their bodies would be more adversely affected by the virus. Certainly, that would explain those with obesity and diabetes with higher death rates.

If pre-existing inflammation is a common thread, then we need to address general inflammation in the body. These are also common things I see with my cancer patients. 

The first and easiest thing to do is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet 

  • Stay away from red meat – it is high in iron and iron is very inflammatory. Iron also feeds bacteria and cancer cells. 
  • Reduce your carbohydrates as they cause an increase in blood sugar which causes an increase in insulin. Insulin is one of the most inflammatory things to your blood vessels. If you carry weight in the middle you are insulin resistant and your insulin will increase to keep the blood sugar under control. 
    • Examples of carbohydrates that raise blood sugar quickly are: 
      • Grains 
      • Fruit (except for dark berries) – fructose is a sugar that raises blood sugar
      • Dairy – the protein molecule in dairy looks very similar to gluten and raises blood sugar quickly.
      • Even sugar substitutes raise insulin. As soon as you taste something sweet it sends a message to the brain that sugar is coming and your body will respond with insulin. 

Heal the gut

Another big contributor to inflammation in the body is irritable bowel or constipation. Both lead to an inflamed lining of the gut and “leaky gut” which in turn causes inflammation in the body. Most people with leaky gut have joint pain as the inflammation settles into the joint and deteriorates them, as well as allergies. Get your food allergies tested. Being on acid blockers also increases inflammation as it reduces your ability to digest. Please do not just go off your acid blockers, treat why you have acid reflux so you can wean off of them. 

There are several anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, but caution is advised here. Many are contraindicated if you are on certain medications.

As I tell my patients, inflammation is the cause of all disease. All of the above are common threads I see in most of my cancer patients. We get one body to experience our life. It is important to do what is necessary to keep it running well so we can maintain a good quality of life. If you do not maintain your car you can buy a new one, we do not have that option with the vehicle through which we experience our lives. 

Please stay well.

Dr Cynthia Bye, ND. FABNO.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued guidance today for partially resuming the dine-in restaurant and tavern industry for counties granted variance under the Safe Start Phase 2 recovery plan laid out last week.

Through the Washington “Safe Start” plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in subsequent phases with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks — metrics and data will guide when the state can move from one phase to another. 

Through the Safe Start approach, counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state. County variance applications will be approved or denied by the secretary of the Department of Health. Eight counties have received the variance. 

For counties granted variance to move to Phase 2, restaurant operations may resume with limitations after meeting specific criteria, effective May 11, 2020.

“No restaurant or tavern may operate indoor or sit-down services until they can meet and maintain all requirements, including providing materials, schedules and equipment required to comply,” the guidance states. 

Guidance documents: