After a courageous 10 year fight battling Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Carney, of Plum, passed peacefully on Saturday, November 3. She was married to her devoted husband, Mark; and was a loving mother to Austen, Logan and Nolan; daughter of Patricia Jennings and the late James J. Jennings; daughter-in-law of Dale and Dottie Carney; sister of Judy Phillips (Ray Jr.), Lynn Pesta (Teddy), Michael Jennings (Vicki Lynn), James Jennings (Sue), Joseph Jennings (Elizabeth), Sheila Fortes (Jim); sister-in-law of Craig Carney (Julia). She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, and was a true friend and inspiration to many.
In addition to being an inspiration to family and friends Sunny inspired carcinoid cancer patients across the globe through her blog, and then her book "The Sunny Side of Cancer. She spoke at numerous cancer events locally sharing stories of her journey which led her from Basel, Switzerland to all of the top Carcinoid Cancer specialists here in the states. She was an advocate for better diagnosis of the disease and for insurance coverage of treatments. She fought with grace and dignity, never letting the pain inside challenge her faith or diminish her love for life.
Memorials may be made to "Carney Family Fund", c/o S&T Bank, 2190 Hulton Road, Verona, PA 15147.
Friends received Monday 7-9 p.m. and Tuesday 3-8 p.m. at Unity Community Church, 215 Unity Center Road, Plum, PA 15239.
Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Unity Community Church with Rev. Frank Deluce officiating. Arrangements entrusted to CHARLES W. TRENZ FUNERAL HOME, INC.
VIEW GUEST BOOK Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Below is an entry that was written by Sunny's husband Mark when she had her third bout. To become updated on her journey please enjoy her posts.
Please check back for updates and event information.
Sunny's husband Mark tells their story...
A mother of three boys, a daughter, the baby sister to a large family, an aunt, a godmother to several, a trusted friend, an outreach volunteer, a business owner and my wife. Sunny Carney lives up to her name every time someone speaks to her; she is beautiful both in and out. She has been my biggest motivator, my rock and my inspiration in tough times, my biggest fan in good times, and most importantly my best friend. Told 14 years ago that having children may not be part of our future because of ovarian cancer, she kept the faith, and is a wonderful mother to our three sons- Austen, Logan, and Nolan. She is always ensuring that they know the Lord, love of life, kindness to others, hard work, and occasionally when to "shape up".
Her boundless energy, healthy lifestyle and positive attitude are infectious. She has served as president of our children’s PTA, organized committees that benefit those who are less fortunate in the community and led drives for those who have been caught up in unfortunate situations. She has done so much for others, usually without letting anyone ever know, I could not begin to list them. Her strong faith in God and modest upbringing has given her a sense of giving that only she can explain. When she successfully started her own photography business, she also started a non-profit division photographing family portraits for area families fighting cancer. Her friends say she is amazing and she simply shakes her head and wonders what all of the fuss is about.
Her mother, sisters, brothers and large extended family will tell you she is the one you can count on to lend an ear when needed and never judge. She was raised by her loving mother and father who was the warden of the Allegheny County Jail and actually spent most of her childhood in the residence connected to the jail. At a young age she witnessed more of life’s tragedies and obstacles through her neighbors, the prisoners, than most of us can imagine.
Although all of the aforementioned is remarkable it is not what makes her truly special. Sunny is a two time cancer survivor and now is currently fighting for a third time. After beating ovarian carcinoid cancer and undergoing serious surgery for carcinoid tumors in her right lung just three years ago, the carcinoid tumors returned in her lymph nodes, liver and bones. The size and proliferation throughout the liver of these tumors mandates immediate chemotherapy in four treatments over the next few months as well as monthly octreotide treatments. These painful treatments will hopefully stop the growth but are not a cure. There are numerous tumors in her spine, her skull, her hip, her leg, and her shoulder...all in the bones and she will wait on potential radiation to fight those.
What my wife has is Carcinoid Cancer Syndrome, an endocrine disease which is rare and spreads from organ to organ. As of right now the only known treatment for remission is administered by renowned clinics in Europe. However the treatment is not covered by our insurance. Our doctors have encouraged us to start raising money and matching grants could follow. Her lead oncologist strongly believes that Sunny would be a prime candidate to be a voice to get the message out regarding carcinoid cancer syndrome, bring this treatment to the United States and encourage approval from the FDA. Without this treatment, the tumors most likely will continue to metastasize in other organs and her fight will be ongoing. Sunny has set up The Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund to support her treatments. She believes that once she beats this cancer she can make a difference to others also suffering from Carcinoid Cancer.
Mark A. Carney
C/o S & T Bank
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I need to reach out to my carcinoid posse or anyone else that has the knowledge of treatments. We are at a crossroads with my treatments or decisions of treatments. The bright side, there is always a bright side, there are some options. I am just not sure which road is best for me. So I would like to use today's blog to post some questions to my carcinoid cancer patients and doctors who read my blog. Please email below if you have any answers.
1. Has anyone tried the Induim 111 that Dr. Delpassand is offering in Houston, TX? If so what were your results? Also, what is the cost? Does anyone know who it works on liver and bone mets that have uptake? I have been in contact with Christianna several dozen times and I seem to get different answers every time. I heard its for early stages but then Dr. Dlepassand told me it would be okay for me even though I am advanced. I am schedule to start the year long treatment in Feb.
2. Has anyone tried the LU77 that Dr. Delpassand is offering in Houston, TX? I hard that this would be a positive option for me because it works really well on large tumors but the cost is outrages. They are waiting for FDA approval any day on this treatment but any day could be tomorrow or 5 years from now. Does anyone know anything about the results of this treatment?
3. I have been on Afinator but because its not covered under my insurance we are struggling to pay for the $5000 a month price tag.So before my surgery I went off of it. I am not sure if that is why the tumors are flaring up either? I have my doctor writing letters and fighting the insurance company but he tells me he's been through this before with other patients and its not been successful. I had a friend reach out to me about how to fight it but I have tried all his suggestions and nothing. Afinator was working for me. So this is very frustrating. Does anyone know where there is a study or clinical trail going on so I can participate in it? My oncologist will send me anywhere to get the drug.
These are just a few options. Several others on the back burner but these are the three we are entertaining now. Please if anyone has any information on the above please email me below.
I know the true answer will come in pray. Last night Mark and I were praying about all this and relief of the pain. In the middle of the night I got up to take my steamy shower to help with the pain and it came to me to reach out in my blog. I try really hard to keep this an upbeat positive and God written blog. So please take this as a positive out pour.
Well off to get the new bone treatment that is replacing ZOMETA. Sounds promising for bone lost!!!!
Stay warm my friends,