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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Sunshine I caught up with you again...42...haha... I never thought I would pass least not this soon.  It doesn't seem like a birthday...well maybe not a happy birthday...I am numb....Austen went out for the boys yesterday and picked up gifts....very touching....but I don't think they remembered a cake....I know it is going to mean more to them tomorrow if there is no cake to sing happy birthday to...I can see the look on Nolan's face when he realizes dad has no candles....I don't care personally(stupid carb free diet and all) but I care because of what having a cake....even a crappy cake always meant to them...for your birthdays and mine....ugh....I can't go pick out my own cake....that isn't the answer....this whole thing is hard....

I miss you not being here telling me to stop claiming it is my birthday weekend so I could have my one gets a weekend...grow up you would I wish you would tell me to grow up just more time...I miss birthday hugs....I miss birthday private time....just the two of us....I miss not having you next to hard as Thanksgiving was I can only tell you the best birthday of my life will always be my 41st and last one here with you....I will forever treasure the big 40 down at Vero when you finally convinced me to get up with you , drive to the beach and see the sunrise....I swam and it was amazing....why the hell did I only do that once all of  those years with you....regrets...turn back the clock...I wish you were here rubbing my head , watching you smile back at eyes dancing like a leprechaun on speed....

I realized today I haven't watched a single reality show in three Godzilla brides, no dancing moms, no survivor, no voice, no housewives, not even Ellen DVD the dumbest shows I used to think.l.but if I could lay next to you and watch two fake blond fake boobed spoiled bitches have a scripted fight in a restaurant in new jersey I would make the popcorn...if I had to get up ten times tonight to help you get out of bed I would come with bells on(your saying not mine)....if I had to clean up after you made kool aid and didn't quite hit the pitcher on your new counter I would and I would do it singing...if the opportunity came to lay next to you and tell you over and over and over and over til the sun came up how much I love you I would shut the tv off, and ramble on.  Sunny, truth is I am more than a bit lost without you. This year marked the completion of 21 years together and 21 years per-sunny and mark....I never thought it would end symmetrically...I never thought I wouldn't have the chance to smile one last time when you said wait, I need a picture before you blow those out...I never thought....

I guess everyone is trying to be helpful when they say time heals,,,,some say time doesn't heal and the holidays etc.   still suck....I can't imagine it hurting more than right now but I can bet Christmas will hurt worse....I wish you were here right now, perking me up, and telling me happy birthday old man, what a great husband and father you are....I miss that...because I am not a husband to anyone now or ever again, and I am having a hard time thinking that the kids are benefitting from my fatherly advice....just being honest here babe....held it in for a little while but it's my birthday so I can say what I want....this sucks...I need you down here...the boys do...your family does....your friends do....we all do...I don't get it, I don't know why it happened and yes at times I am bitter....after all we went through, after all you went through, why didn't you have the chance to speak the words goodbye to your kids....why didn't you have the chance to finish their birthday and special occasion cards, why didn't you have the chance to hug and kiss me goodbye...why did my last kiss fall on cold lips, why was our last hug blocked by a tube....I am really struggling with not saying GD it, but I really really miss you right's been three weeks and I don't feel any sense of closure...I don't feel the relief completely yet that "it's ok, she is in a better place, she has no pain"....bullshit...why weren't you completely healed miraculously down here and he used you that way...there I said's been on my mind for awhile and I think we both thought that was going to happen deep down....why? Why?

It makes no sense.   My birthday wish is to have one last dance with you, like we did at Amy's wedding in September,  it wasnt fancy but it was so real...oh so real...screw the stars, I want dance with my sunny....we held each other so tight,  so frickin in love tight that if cancer was contagious I know I would have caught it that night...we had not a care at that moment....time stopped...are eyes dissolved into each others heart like butter on a not skillet....melting away....nourishing....

Sunshine this birthday is going to suck..I will put my game face on and do my best...but it's all smoke and mirrors and maybe a little alcohol tomorrow....this one will hurt....I love you....

Thanks for all of the cakes....thanks for all of the great birthday memories.....I love you