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 3, 2013

Missing You and Remembering You-The Holidays

Well Sunshine I waited to after the holidays were done to do this post...but you knew that...I told you at Plum the time this gets out to the "blog-world" it will be the third...two months since you traded your tumours for you baby...miss you...proud of you...inspired by you...happy for you yet still cry over you...alright enough know how the emotions change like the colors of a rainbow....they blend...they morph....(did I just quote Mork)they are constantly changing like the tickers at Wall St...and the pattern of the waves at Vero(nice connection of man and nature)they are up and down....they are controlled and they are as untamed and viral as a mama bear fearing for her cubs...they are comforted by faith yet pained by a simple Bryan Adams

Ok...this conversation is going to go in a bunch different directions as you know sometimes my brain gets ahead of my mouth....and forget about my fat little fingers trying to keep up...damn Suri...anyways I owe you two weeks of collecting the small chats we had...the things that happened over the holidays to put on the record..the feelings of a joyous season that somehow wasn't quite as blissful as years past...Alright I am going to say it again....I am so happy that you are no longer suffering and are rejoicing with Him...but the human part of me wishes I could have had a Sunny Santa leave you wrapped under our tree so we could unwrap that big smile...those green eyes as wide as a Irish Clover..those small cheeks....oh well before I cross over into MA rating I know you get it....the fact is every day is like that...I rejoice...but I hurt...its a vs. flesh...

Remember how you ached when your dad you were angry that he passed in you never got a real you felt like one of the anchors was ripped off your boat of life...I just feel like we were on the Titanic...sharing a fabulous cabin...(kids quarters attached of course)we were having the time of our we sailed from one world to the next...and then that damn iceburg named Frostus Cancerous cut things long goodbyes....just a sense...a hug...a squeeze of the hand...then cold...its funny how you don't realize how fast a hand and lips can drop in temperature until you are there...two heart....still beating...anyways...the voyage was awesome and I would rebook the ticket ASAP if I had the chance...I know you would do the same...doesn't mean the ending doesn't sting...just means your life was worthy of the ultimate Award...screw the got the real Prize...the one real voter...right now we feel as if we are on the small dinghys floating in a cold ocean...bobbing up and down...but we know that we are not alone...

I am not even sure if I will share this conversation because I have no idea how we got here with the talk...I am crying over an analogy to a movie that I watched with Austen when we lived at Deely and he was three because he loved watching the boat used to crack up and make fun of the two of us because we would only watch the last hour and twenty minutes...his laugh....his...damn I did I take one of favorite movie memories and twist it...maybe thats what happened over the was and will be one of favorite memories of you....a million stories...a million special magic moments that you made for not just us...but a whole community...and yet somehow its not a screenplay adapation of real life events...its real life that we try to fit into cinematic magic of what once was..."Its A Wonderful Life" just got a whole lot more vivid...

But it is a wonderful was a life that was transformed by you...your decision to fight and heed His calling to take that little hundred and change frame and make some two ton deep footprints on all of know how I cried tears of joy every year when we watched Jimmy Stewart say Clarence I want to live...I want to live...and then so forth...and I know you never quite appreciated it as much as I did...(you never did understand black and white except when you shot it yourself)...but you pretended to tear up to make me not feel so wussish...thanks...but you made the same said...I want to live...this disease won't drown me...this cancer won't stop me from making a difference...these tumours won't keep me from smiling or praising God...again I stop...because I tear up...You are now like Clarence...(although you looked a lot better in a tattered torn white tee shirt...) got your wings...and we can gather and give thanks for the message He shared through you to us...well at least me...I guess I shouldn't speak for changed my perspective...thanks honey...I can't imagine what I would have missed out on if we hadn't shared 21 years....half our life...

So lets talk about Xmas...actually I was going to lead with the fact that the bracelets you bought on our last shopping excursion I gave to the boys on Xmas Eve after church and they are unbelievable...but as I write this now I want to share with you what I was thinking when we went out that October day to Monroeville...I remember wondering if this was really borrowed time(months we thought we had) why are we going to Monroeville Mall....can't stand this frickin place...why are you going anywhere when the Dr. told you to rest because you were susceptible to germs....I could run and get em...give me a list...I remember how as I parked in the last handicap spot...which you hated...put the placard on....and went around to get the wheelchair because your calfs were so swollen it hurt to stand...I remember how you said you loved me and thanks for taking you knew it wasn't easy........................................................................sorry I lost it for a few moments there...I recall getting the step stool which we put in the back of Denali so we could swing your legs out easier as you latched onto me to support you(sorry but I have tears streaming down my cheeks so I mistype oh well) sat down...we went in to the mall and had an unbelievable had so much energy as I pushed you into store after got tried things scolded...sorry you smackeddown the girl at Rue 21 I think(all of those teeny bopper stores sound the same) who was miserable having to double up because her co-worker had a baby..I remember how we laughed our ass off when Paul Blart came whizzing by and because I said screw that I wasn't having you bump into a kiosk he had to swerve and took out a mannequin adorned with female "lovelies"...he was pissed until you gave him one of your Dick Gift Cards and said lighten up dude there are more important things than having a t-shirt that said save the ta-tas over your handlebars...he was speechless when we told him that months...borrowed time...oh remember...then we went into Things were amazing as didn't let the girl sell you something different than what you had come pulled out your I-phone....pulled up the catalog...showed her...she said oops...and then gave you an additional ten percent off the sales said engraving...I thought you blew engraving and jewelry boxes for each boy thrown ready by Wednesday ,Halloween....neither one of us imagined it would be Lisa picking it up for us as you lay in the hospital....damn...sorry...I still have issues with how it played out...I am not bitter just a bit hazed....God knows I would have squeezed you and never let go for the entire two and a half days we were there....I miss hugging you so much....I miss kissing you on New Years Eve....if you were sleeping in bed or not....who cares...I never did...

I don't want to jump all of the way ahead to New Years just yet....although I will share my one resolution...going to tell a couple of our friends out here(I will make sure that I tell them don't say a word) who we know are like the Advanced Leader front page that I the weight loss isn't really due to working out and change of diet...but that I miss you so much I am not eating...stress induced eating anxiety are right not too funny in a sense...but if you hear how often I get asked the question are you OK are you eating?  you would be a bit more receptive to the dry humour in it...

Back to Xmas...I have the benefit of going back through the notes on my phone that I saved that day and night....and the benefit of having  a week pass...let me share the highlights of what still sticks out in my would have loved it and forgotten all about the swollen legs and would have made your day....I didn't know how to handle your stocking so I didn't put either one of ours out....actually gave the dog mine but took the M off...didn't wrap a darn thing...made sure each boy had the same number of gifts though...(as if it mattered but somehow your voice was chirping)....shared a special shopping trip with each boy over that last week as they bought for their brothers...etc...(and I can't help but mention here a little disappointed no one offered to take them out to shop for their dad or brothers or stocking stuffers...but I told you that would happen...the world goes on especially with the frenzy of Xmas)...anyways I was cool watching them each shop for one another...they each put thought into it...I was proud and knew they had gotten the wasnt expensive but it was well thought out...I got the ornaments to place on Christmas Eve....but I guess most importantly we got ourselves to church for the five service at 4:45...thanks to Donna Zachar who ironed,  bagged, and basically proved she may be half Chinese with the boys dress clothes....that day...when I called her from the Mills at 3:00 as Logan and I were leaving tripping over the Santa line....she stepped up....anyways we got there early....after praying with each one for a blessed night....sat in our usual seats...felt your presence...thanks...boys looked great you were proud I am sure...they are really growing up to be spitting image of you....

I am going to break this into two parts...sorry but its not easy having these public conversations and yet I don't want to short change the promise I made to you....I will finish it tomorrow night....I promise...I am going to reflect on the past two months without you...and reflect on how for two months you have not had to take one pill...give any bloodwork...cry out once in pain...scream for help because you need to get out of are free...I love you  and I will ....