Deere, John

Deere, John, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

When I spoke with nurse at UCSD Medical Center, she said, "Essentially, you have PMP"

What is PMP? Here's what I've found out.

PMP is an abbreviation for a "syndrome" known as Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. Literally, this means false (pseudo) benign tumor with mucinous features (myxoma) of the abdomen (peritonei). PMP is sometimes known as "jelly belly".

Because PMP is such a rare condition, it is an "orphan" disease. This means that there is little knowledge of it in the medical community and little research is being done to find better treatments. This is why it is so important to promote awareness so that an appropriate standard of treatment is recognized and money is raised/made available for research. There is about 1 person with PMP for every 1,000,000 people in the U.S.

PMP is caused by low- to moderate- grade mucin-producing tumor cells that usually arise from the appendix. PMP is difficult to classify in to "low grade", moderate or higher-grade, due to its unpredictable behavior, both in its microscopic appearance and in the individual person. To most pathologist's PMP looks "low grade", but in PEOPLE it can act in a higher-grade fashion growing and spreading, and producing mucin/jelly more quickly than expected. This discrepancy between the microscopic/pathologic/scientific description/classification AND the actual "clinical" behavior of PMP in the patient, makes it much more difficult for the doctor to make accurate predictions, unlike breast cancers and colon cancers where the expected behavior of the tumor cells is more predictable. We generally like to think that PMP severity exists on a spectrum from low to moderate to high grade.. Despite pathology that looks low grade and a big "whew!" from the oncologist ("its just PMP") each person's version of PMP may defy what the doctor's and scientists and pathologist's THINK they know! PMP patients need experienced medical oncologists and surgical oncologists.

With all that said, I'm special. With almost 306,000,000 in America, I'm one of 306 people in the club. Sure, I'm rare, I'm special. But boy, do I feel so alone right now. Reading about this only scares me more. I can't wait to have my appointment on February 2nd. I need answers. I am sitting here in my room. Alone. Drinking 2 liters of laxatives. Preparing for my colonoscopy tomorrow. Not eating because I can't. And I just feel alone.

Leslie is the best. Hands down. You guys reading are the best. Your words comfort me beyond belief. I love you.

God, please heal me. God, please take my fears.



Zebra, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So I suppose I'll update everybody on my health. Today I got a call from my tumor surgeon. He basically admitted defeat and told me I needed a 2nd opinion on my tumor biznass. So he referred me to a specialist at UCSD Medical Center.

After some phone tag, I got the nurse who told me some stuff. That most likely I am going to need another surgery to clean out the remnants of the tumor, and that I will need some (most likely) minor form of chemo to clear the rest of the junk out. I'm not worried, just not ready for another surgery.

She kept telling me that what I have is extremely rare. Mucinous Cystadenoma. I asked how rare, and she said, "Take it this way...what you have is only .5% of all gastrointestinal cancers." and I asked if that meant I was one in a million...and she over-excitedly agreed. I would say that one in a million might be a slight understatement with what I have.

So basically, what I understand to be happening is that the tumor spilled it's junk inside me. My surgeon cleaned out what he could, BUT the leftover crap in my abdomen can actually start sprouting more tumors if left untreated. I don't know how this is still considered benign, but it is. It's just benign with an attitude.

Prayers welcomed. I'm going to be ok. Financially this added junk is going to kick the crap out of me. I've never had debt in my life and over the course of less than 2 months I'm already looking up from the inside of a $7,000 bill. I guess thats a big savings from what I would have payed...so I can be thankful for that. :) Insurance is saving my tail to a great extent. Ugh, money.

There's my update, sorry if I worried anybody. Thanks for checking in on me! Now, go enjoy the (obviously a boy) Zebra at the top of this post.


Friends Don't Let Friends Poop On Other Friends

So this past weekend was my 1 year anniversary with Leslie. She's done a great job putting up with me for this long, and is still happy being with me. Quite amazing if you ask me. Or if you ask any girlfriends from my past. I'm sure Leslie would get the title "Super Hero" from all of them.

With that said, nothing commemorates an anniversary like a rhinoceros taking a dump on another rhinoceros. I know, I know...I have a way with words. But seriously, how amazing is this photo? Not for it's photographic quality (which is superb by the way), but for it's content. Here's the caption I wrote for the photo:

"So I saw this happen, but had no idea I had actually gotten a photo of it until just now. The rhino's were enjoying the water when out of nowhere, the anal vortex opened up and shot out 12 lbs of poop. The wall of sweet rhin-ass-eros stench hit us so hard that we took off right after this. Yum!"

Long story short, this event made our special day at the San Diego Zoo that much more awesome. True, we were run over by a semi-truck hauling 73 tons of guano, but we walked away from it all. Most importantly, with a picture to prove it.

To those who have come and gone from my blog and noticed no new posts, I'm sorry. I've been quite busy, and life just keeps moving faster. I keep trying to renew my love for photography so that I can keep giving you new and interesting things to look at. Don't get me wrong, my love never fades, it just gets burried under a mess of life sometimes. All that said, thank you. Keep reading, and enjoy the poopy picture above. :) Heck, make it your desktop. I did.


Big News - Teaser

Big News - Teaser, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So my big news is coming. It may not be that big to you...or most of my readers really, but to me it's huge.

I will say that my photos are being used in a big way. I feel that as a photographer, it's nice to be noticed. I have had the chance to do some pretty sweet, exciting, fun things photographically...but this is the first time I'm able to contribute photographs to something larger. Much larger.

I'll leave it at that for now. I have some more photos to finish editing, then I'll blog again. I'm sorry to have neglected the blog and flickr lately. This certain project has kept me busy, along with a few other photo jobs, and my health, and work, and that darned girlfriend of mine.

Photos from the San Diego Zoo, coming sooooon.



Moonrise, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

I have some exciting news coming up. I haven't posted here in a while because I've been in the process of starting back up at work, getting a ton of photo stuff done, and chillaxing.

So you've been warned, I might be a little excited in the near future.

*hint: it might have to do with a string of concerts I shot in November