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

After over a decade of suffering from Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Jennings Carney has decided to fight back. She has currently undergone two proven treatments in Basel, Switzerland and is planning to return for two more. She is also planning on going to Houston, Texas for a six month period to undergo experimental treatments that look promising but are not FDA approved. She has exhausted all the FDA approved treatments here in the United States and will not accept that this is all there is for her. She has dedicated her fight to help others understand this rare cancer and to find successful treatments in the United States. Her strong faith in God and will to never quit has turned a 6 month life expectancy to over two years presently.

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 Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147

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

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not So Terrific Tuesday

Well today began early this morning in a world of pain for Sunny. The doctor had told her that because she had lost a lot of weight that there was a high likelihood of intense pain from the injection. They sort of hinted to us that there was the option of rescheduling...obviously they don't know Sunny too well. Overnight the pain was excruciating and we communicated via text and cell phones because hospitaal has strict rules about when guests have to go. When I got there a little after seven she was literally in childbearing delivery room pain for those of you that can relate and it's a helpless feeling to not be do anything. she asked me to reach out to our pastor at about 3:00 AM yunzer time to start a bigtime prayer chain. Can't begin to tell you how it felt to get Pastors text back immediately that the praying was already underway.

The good dr mars called for Der pain team...and when they came they listened asked questions and determined that the best course was to do exactly what has worked for back home after immobilzations. I am glad to report that although the scans had to be pushed back to Wednesday, that she was able to catch up on some much needed rest as the afternoon and evening passed by. The plan is to still return to the states on Saturday.

It was physically hard for her and mentally draining for both of us but I can tell you she never completely lost her sense of Sunny. She managed to mention to every nurse and doctor that the tv goes only to two stations after nine and one was a "porn" version of MTV and the other was a continuous loop of Weakest link reruns. (she joked she knew all of the answers). By lunch she was able to get up and shuffle over to her table and eat a couple of the shrimp, although she left the black noodles alone. Actually when I saw it I thought of Indiana Jones in Temple of Doom and wondered where the heck the monkey brains were. I went out to Starbucks and got her a Rasberry Cheesecake which she ate entirely with her hospital gelati.

I can only tell you that the chilled squid surprise for lunch was actually the highlight of the food portion of her day. For dinner she was served two enchilada looking things oozing in some type of hot sauce garnished with a whole red chili pepper. Honestly I can't make this stuff up. I guess the Swiss Miss was replaced in the kitchen by Ricardo Ricola, mad pursuit of that well known food genre Swiss/Mex. Holy crap. I went out and scored us two Big Mac meals "take away" for a mere 28 US dollars. Forgot they don't but ice in the Coke light cups and if you don't know what happens when holding a McD bag with two drinks no ice not filled all the way try it sometime....on a tram....and then exit real fast when one is crushed in your hand and coke light runs onto the floor almost drowning a full grown border collie that happens to be lying at your feet because for some reason you don't have to be s seeing eye dog to ride these trains. Once again stupid amerikan strikes.

So seriously getting back up to Zimmer 4 and getting back to her Sunny has flipped to BBC Entertainment station and some show called Doctors which I guess is a weekly drama but is so surgically graphic it makes CSI and ER look like Dr Seuss. I don't think noticed the pumping open heart surgery going on mere meters in from of her thank God because she was getting resituated in bed. She began to nod off and on and I am happy to say that when mandatory Departue Zeit comes at 8:00 I was able to leave her in a much better state than when I first saw her at 0700 that morning. Walking out of the now mostly darkened hospitaal A few doctors were by the lifts in Der lobby(Zimmer 0). with the pitted patter of feet smartly echoing off the antiseptic like floors and whispered German bouncing off the walls I felt like that kid in Pink Floyds the wall. All that was needed was just another brick.

it's hard to fathom the incredible journey that Sunny's fight to beat Carcinoid has taken us on but I wouldn't want to have it anyway other way. Se will beat this. this is another lap in the race. The blessings we have been given as a result of prayers answered helps both of us and I think family and close friends to have the peace that comes with having the faith that if Sunny is willing to do her part God will always do his.

I haven't quite the knack yet of keeping these things short or even concise at times but I will try again tomorrow. Please pray. And then do it again. Thanks and goodnight from Basel.