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

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 15 & Catching Up

Well Sunshine I know you are doing fine...I hope you get the hugs, kisses, thoughts, and wishes....daily....not just from me but from parts all around...we miss you...I miss is one of those days that feels like a double edged sword because on one hand it is six weeks since I squeezed that warm hand for the last time...six weeks since my world changed to one without Sun...yet today is also Logan's a weird feeling it had to have been for him...and his brothers as well...birthdays were always your thing....I tried and I try....I got the presents, I got the cake and candles,  I got the cards,  I got the banner to hang(too cold they said for balloons outside last night...don't yell)...I kept things as "normal" as you would have was a good day at the end of it...but it wasn't normal..How can normal include a card from a mother who isn't there to take pictures, to hug,  to kiss, to can't....I guess we are moving from normal to reality...because to me normal was pre-nov 3rd...normal was you telling us to quit licking the leave the candles smile and say Logan and then to do it again and maybe even a third time because one of us wasn't smiling or looking at the camera...Normal was population 5...reality is 4 residents...normal was a family of five....with the usual ups and downs..reality is a lot of testosterone  and no feminine touch to share, control, and love it....normal is tree up , nutcrackers standing guard, and xmas cards arriving daily hung over doorframe...reality is no Sunny stocking hung with care, and no cards to send out yet...(God I miss you)....(just a manners question babe...can you send out thank you cards from your donors and condolence givers for you beautiful wifes funeral the same week you send out "merry Xmas from the entire Carney Family....but not quite entire") I don't think you can...I am still debating on how to handle...and before you tell me who to ask or who to call I am telling you I am making the call on this one....I have a picture I want to use...but I may wait a if anyone who is reading this is wondering...I am not slacking....just being considerate...(how did I do babe..covered pretty well...)

Back to the card...and I will forever call it just the card...the first one to be opened and read by one of the I keep struggling just to do this blog six weeks later..I have the utmost respect as a parent and a writer for how in the hell you got all of those done after being told you had "months"...I can share with you now that I will never approach writing a more important piece than those cards/letters you finished....anyways I gave it to Logan this morning...he sat there for a minute...I asked if he was OK reading and if he grasped what that card was that said simply LOGAN 15 in your handwriting....he said typical Logan manner that he did and was fine and could I go out of his room..I have no clue as to where I would even begin if I was in  your shoes attempting the same letters but as I briefly Facebooked I knew whatever you poured into that was a positive loving encouraging reminder to him....I know you told him how special he is and what a great young man he is growing up to be...I know you told him that though you are not there that you are always with cry but to keep living...I know this because I haven't seen it, nor will I ask to...thats private between Logan and I guess his brothers...I know this because I know you....we had the wonderful blessing of spending more time together than most couples did....and sure it may have been time spent in waiting rooms,  or lobbies,  or just at lunch after....or for late breakfast...whatever...I was blessed to have gotten to know you like I know myself...Its trite,  Its cliche'...but its been so damn hard to not to have you here once the kids get off to school....(God I miss u) I guess I never realized how often we interacted during the day....throughout the day...sorry I am going to break now...too hard..

Ok was a day that none of us will ever forget...the chance to go to fanfest and have the Pirates through Mike and Michelle reach out to the boys was just unbelievable...Josh Harrison,  Alex Pressley, and Jack Wilson will always have a special place in this heart....watching Logan run around with his friends and brothers and granddad made me realize that life does go on....if you make the choice as you always said...if you choose to jump back in and can..if you choose to pull the curtains shut, turn the TV off and wallow in what was you will....I have fortunately have had more of the former and only a handful of hours with the latter because I hear you telling me to get my ass up....(Thanks) reenforced all of this...your boys had the chance not to replace your memory because that will never happen, but to make a new happy one, probably the first true one in six weeks,  and I think they did....will their hearts ache tonight....tomorrow...sure...but you cannot steal a memory...thanks for all who prayed and thanks for answering up there...He blessed us today....

I would be remiss if I didn't ask you does heaven shake when a devil in human flesh pulls what happened yesterday...I don't make shake in fear...I mean shake as if legions of angels volunteered to descend to care for and take comfort...did heaven rejoice when those little angels arrived....I assume so because nothing happens by accident...but damn,  after wrenching my emotions buying the candles, cake, cards, and such that you always did...I wasn't ready to hear that news....the bastard killed his mother first....then went to slaughter the holidays...I can picture stockings hung with names on them, presents bought, wrapped, and gift tagged...I can picture xmas cards that arrived that very day to family and friends with smiling faces that are no more...I am not alone in these feelings....conflicted and confused yet again...seems like we were just here Sunshine....any answers????Why????

I keep thinking of Logan in the midst of all of this....your dad passed and was buried on the 25th of November and then Logan was born twenty days later...the circle of life in a damn personal time to hurt when you have a baby with jaundice and a fifteen month old that was a handful....then when he went to the zoo field trip for the first time and you called me from the parking lot in a panic because that was the only time in a century a zookeeper was killed...the elephant was loose admittance...I remember the call when in tears you said you were holding your Logies....and I recall how down I was with the whole frickin world late yesterday and how bad I needed to have a day like this....the circle of life...he who giveth and taketh...I have no understanding anymore than the next guy but I am thankful I believe in a God that I can ask....I am thankful that my faith is strong enough that I know I won't get the answers but I move forward....I am thankful that you chose to follow the calling and how we drew closer to each other and to Him...

Ironically I have had the opportunity to help friends who are struggling with cancer, either through loss,  through diagnosis, through Facebook...I never used Facebook,  and of course I was never hoping to be adept at learning how to manuever, question, research,  and fight alongside against  Cancer....I think I have helped a little bit in some cases, but I know it has helped me to feel alive again in sharing info and advice with others...pray I don't screw it up for someone..

I am looking forward to tomorrow...can't tell you fact may just Facebook it first...never thought I would say that...if I start tweeting pray hard...tomorrow at church could be a real special day and I hope to have the report back to you tomorrow don't go anywhere.. and please watch over your loved and friends...well you know what I mean...make sure that He is watching over get your rest...I love you...I will carry the torch along with the boys the best we can...

Love you....a love that comes only through blessing...


Proud of you Logan and mom and dad love you.....