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.
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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
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I waited a week before posting this news because I wanted to wrap my head around the results. Also, with so much support by my side sometimes I HATE posting disappointing news. Just speaking about it to me gives this cancer why to much time. I don't mind being asked how I am doing or what's going on, but when it's not so good news I just don't want to linger about it. I had to lay out a "game plan" before letting the news out. That way all the questions will be answered. Once I know the plan of attack then I can get on with it and start punching. Its the way I like to do things....compartmentalize and move on.
I want you to know that I am fine with the results. I will do what I need to do and have faith that each treatment leads me to a cure. Again I put my trust in "The Man Above" and know that I can get through it all. Please keep me in your prayers but mostly keep "my men" in your prays. Let them use this journey as an example of strength, faith, and hope.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Several of my doctors continue to assure me that for the advancement of my cancer I am doing quite well. Although I appreciate their attempts to keep me positive, I understand that their concept of "doing well....considering" is NOT the same as my hope. They are masters of the medical facts, statics and science, but I know they are not masters of my faith. When they say that, in my mind they are actually saying, "I can't believe you are still here". It really makes me want to be a witness to them so that they can add faith to their knowledge. Not so much as, "look at me I'm still here. I'm still working, I'm still walking. I'm still a mom", but more of I still have belief that YOU the doctors will cure me through my faith.
A few weeks ago a friend sent me a book titled, "10 Hours to Live". When I open the package and read the title I was very intrigue. Of course Mark told me not to leave that book laying around in case the boys pick it up, he not realizing that between the covers was not about how to die but how to live. I read the back cover first, like I do with every book, and realized that the author of the book was the one that had been told he had 10 hours to live. So of course I had to read more because after all it takes more then 10 hours to write and publish a book let alone have it mailed to me. I must say I could not put it down and completely finished the entire book in three hours. Since then I have been rereading it and studying the whole concept. That concept of believing you can be healed through Scripture. This book has furthered my knowledge of how to fight this monster with faith. I have learned what it really means to believe in the true power of God's healing.
Through pray and faith my perseverance has grown even more since I spoke with Orchard Hill Church. The past two weeks my strength has truly been tested. Through Scripture and pray I have battled through it. It seems like when I conquer one part of this cancer or the treatments that comes with it another pops up. In speaking with several cancer patients that seems to be the trend with the journey of fighting the beast. Lately, when I open my eyes in the morning I just lay there for a few minutes to see what is next to conquer. A few days of bone pain leads to nausea. Then I get over that only to awaken to a mouth full of ulcers from the chemo. I can continue but I don't want to give the negative any credit. It's almost as if you don't know what affliction will be next. Thursday I went for a CT scan and the nurse that was administrating the IV made a comment, after reading the novel called my records, that cancer is always an uphill battle. Out of no were I answered back, "I'd rather be going uphill then downhill". She laughed and promised me she would tell that to her next patient. My point being is that when you have hope and faith you see things so differently. You know that while you are climbing the mountain or even falling downhill a bit, you are not alone.
Please listen to the great message about perseverance tomorrow at 3:00 PM on Word FM (see link above) in Pittsburgh that is station 101.5.