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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can I Have A Sunless Meltdown?

Sunshine....I LOVE U....I can't tell you how long January felt....but its over I the time this hits the press at least...You are always nearby here....this house is filled with your love...your paint jobs...your decorations... your photos....your soft voice I swear that I still hear call me ....not the MAARRRRKKKK yell when you were in pain or when I screwed up...this is the serene you...ssshhh..M...a....r...k...I can hear it the wind the the middle of the night and the middle of the don't care what anyone thinks of this...I am just being brutally honest tonight...not negative...just honest...heart wrenching those that don't want to laugh and cry with us should punch out now...And just for the record I prayed before I started down Tearjerker Boulevard and I got the greenlight....Jesus wept....shortest verse in the bible...but do you think he only wept once?....I have strong thoughts that it was recorded once this way but since he was feeling what we feel as man-God....He wept more than once...many times....and then I imagine he snapped out of it...prayed to his cool must that have been....his father literally was God...and then went back out and made the blind to see...the deaf to hear...the lame to walk...the hooker to be forgiven...whatever...he just I can have the weep tonight...its not a bad thing...

How did this come about? It was a tough week as you know....the boys have been trying to get to me....not on purpose I think...but just draggin ass in the morning...I blow up finally....they push...I run around from different event to freeze...I know boo frickin hoo...but after this long month I reached the end of the rope yesterday....I laid it bills piled shit just seemed to be pouring out of the septic tank of life...I gave it up...and it was as if an avalanche of peace came tumbling over I am not being negative tonight....the Lord has know what...I had no one to are there...I had no one to tell how He answered prayers especially work ones...My partner is AWOL....angel waiting on I know you hear and get thankfully HE does too...but missing the person who mattered the most to you for so frickin long in your life its like brushing teeth without may work but it ain't working...missing the Sun....when there was a reason to give celebrate if you will prayers answered...well it left a vast hole in my day...just being honest....if Mark has a good thing and Sunny isn't there does Mark really have a good thing?

So I prayed and I prayed some more....and I turned to the Book....and I have no idea where this came from but it does correalate to my angst and feelings right now...of being alone with good news...of having no one special to share it with...but trusting none the less....again....this is not negative...I opened to the Mary and Joseph story...a dude and his chick...she most likely in her teens....he barely twenty...whole life ahead of them...typical Greenfield of Bethelem couple...engaged...obviously still at third base at best....and Mary gets her angelic vision and then Joseph does....And I know this story has been played out over and over again from both sides...Mary mother of Jesus...Joseph didn't leave...imagine his thoughts...but here is my spin tonight on this story...each of the four books Matthew, Mark, Luke, John....has different accounts or none at all of the birth story...Matthew who I seem to relate to the best tells how Joseph was ready to divorce Mary to "save her shame"...go figure that culture....compared to ours...but then that Angel visited....and it says he listened and Mary told him first....he probably thought her news was how do you say now...Wack...and then heaven also says later they never had union until Jesus was that is an overlooked scripture...but my guess is the angel told Joseph hands off...because we know how sassy you were pregnant...and well enough adult readers get this to appreciate that Joseph not only accepted but had willpower/obedience...Mark and John take the story from the "The Word Became Flesh" approach...jumping in after what we call a fast forward....Luke tells the story of how not just Mary but Elizabeth (John the Baptists mom) were touched and more importantly for our talk here how not just any angel but Gabriel...visited Zechariah ,Elizabeths husband,  and told him that he would be a father to one who would come before the Lord....and unlike Joseph...Z doubted ...and questioned.."they were old..barren(obviously not a virgin)and he lost his the ability to speak...thats right...unlike Joseph who accepted the GOOD NEWS after heavenly intervention....Z still couldn't yank free from his flesh wisdom...."Its impossible...don't care Gabriel..."

And now Sunshine I take a progamming break...because I can't make this stuff up...its literally 12:40 and I just got a call from Timmy sharing the good news of his new son's birth....three days before scheduled C-section...and 9 pounds and everyone doing well...I am if this needed a reaffirmation that it was right message....I don't know what drew me to the birth story on this cold January night turned into February morning....but the baby came before midnight....holy crap...Timmy has a boy...congrats did good....

Back to our story....I was down earlier because I had good news....prayers answered....I was being a schloop...not wanting to give thanks because boohoo no one to share with....Joseph had good news....he got his peace and accepted it....Z got his good news and refused to accept it...I wasn't completely accepting but thanks God for Timmy's call because I have no desire to lose my ability to speak....I accept the good news...

Lesson learned do we handle the blessings He wants to give us....we pray...they get answered and what do we we we we find reasons not to continue in our hurt and our blah blah blah moods...or do we give thanks because once more though undeserving we are blessed....I struggled....thats where this talk started....I have my answer....Thanks for being with me and listening Jesus...I cry now thinking how foolish I was earlier to question....your patience with me and those like me is so unmerited but so appreciated...

Thats more thing...please continue to put the word in up there for Karen and Noah, for Lori Nixon, for Gunsales family, for Mandy's father, for our boys and me, for Kylee and her family,  for the new addition to the Lynch family...for all of us that I may have missed...