SUNNY CARNEY
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



Monday, April 23, 2012

HOPE

Last week a friend of mine sent me a CD of music written by a man with a brain tumor.  When David Bailey was diagnosed he was told by many doctors he had six months to a year to live, sounds familiar.  David, spent his time writing inspirational and Christian music while he fought through his treatments.  David lost his battle after a 14 year fight but he defiantly gave the world his gifts. He proved the doctors wrong in so many ways.  One of his songs, "Lived Forever", he talks about the day the doctors gave him the news.  He said the doctor may be smart but the Lord is my doctor.  On the inside cover of his one CD titled "Hope" he writes the following:

Hope is...the river of life between the shores of love and the bridges that joins the two.
Hope is...the first ray of sunlight in the dawn of each new day.
Hope is...the song of the dogwood that echoes in the dead of winter.
Hope is...the journey to the undiscovered and the safe harbor that awaits your return.
Hope is...a silent street at midnight in the middle of the city.
Hope is...life at the oasis, vision at the summit, and peace in the valley

Hope surrounds you like the mist surrounds the rocky coast; it is with you as you sleep and greets you as you wake.
it is the shirt upon you back, the belt around your waist, the sandal on your foot.and the prayer within your soul.
Remember the nervous flight of the autumin leaf;
Hope is the wind that catches it, carries it, tenders it,
and finally delivers it the rest beside the acorn.

Hope is the art of faith;
it is where theses songs were born
and how they found their wings.


These are words I've wanted to say but don't know how to say them.  Hope is all I have to hang onto.   Today I had a day of cancer frustration.  I went to Hillman to receive my treatment and for a scheduled appointment for my oncologist to discuss my big scan results from Friday.  These scans will determine one if the Switzerland treatment has done anything.  Two it will hopefully why my pain has increased in the last six months.  They are to be sent to Switzerland so that I can plan out my next treatment step.  When I got there of course my insurance was not covering a treatment that I have been getting for two years and has always been covered.  Which meant until I go home and do the three hour phone calls to straighten it all up, NO TREATMENTS.  Then I go to my appointment and the scans have not even been read yet.  They want me to wait while they rush a reading.  Like I am asking for them to grade a term paper or something.  This is my life on film, I was not letting them rush through the reading of them and giving me a half attempt for a report.  I have been there and done that show before.  It is not reading tea leaves or tarot cards.  This is terminal cancer you are looking at. The importance of a great report is what will determine my fight.   So we reschedule it all.

 I started to get upset and angry that both Mark and I waisted a whole day.  Mark taking off work and me struggling in this unexpected freezing tempsI thought about my hope.  I felt like nobody who are suppose to be taking care of me had no respect for me or my time.  They go on with their lives after the make the typo error for insurance codes or take their time in looking at few scans.  They don't see their time as an hour glass like I do....what does it matter if I need to wait.   They are not going anywhere.  I felt a tear ran down my face.  Not a tear of sadden but a tear of defeat.  Then I starting thinking about hope.  The words above which I read as I waited for Mark to get ready to take me to the appointments start going over in my head.  "HOPE SUNNY".....I kept hearing.  I looked at Mark who normally would be fuming and cursing.  He seemed like he could care less that we waisted our time.  I said no more about the day while I wiped me tears.  Then I thought, "find something good in this or you will go crazy".  I then realized that If I had treatment I would not be able to go to Nolan's basketball game tonight.  At that moment I had HOPE.

Whatever the results are I put in God's hands.  It's not going to change my love for my children, my toughest fight or my FAITH AND HOPE!!!! So what is a few day.  Not to mention I got to go to his game. 

I will be getting my results later this week.  I promise I will write a post on the results, the next game plan and why my pain is so bad.  However it may take me a few days for me to disgust and make plans.  Please understand that. 

With love,
Sunny