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 24, 2013

Taking Off Our Masks

Sunshine....I LOVE U....I can't tell you that I was not struggling to do this tonight...didn't feel like sharing our talk...actually its been a long day and I kind of just wanted to plop down on the bed....reach over just to make sure I could pat you on the forehead like always....go to sleep...funny don't know when or if  I will ever sleep in the middle or your side of that king mattress....still just take up my little slice...don't know why....don't know why we still put the seats down in the bathrooms..don't know why sometimes I think of you to the point I can't really function...yes I know it is time to move on...but certain things trigger memories and some memories are so strong they trigger shutdown....I am learning not to get stuck in those shutdowns but like a quick emotional traffic jam they happen....don't know why the boys won't open up to me and talk about you....we have casual "man" talk and of course you are referenced....or remembered..but I can't honestly tell you how they are feeling deep inside...I mean I know I guess...or I think I know...but should I press....should I wait...its so frickin hard to write this Sunnyless script....kind of like Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen...(I know you weren't like him but we all watched and enjoyed the show) about the Penquins without Mario when he was hurt or retired or more recently without Crosby...same team...but minus a leader...I forget that its only been a little more than two months and the new "game plan" is still a work in progress....

And I know I know...this may open up the pandora box of Mark is lost...he is not doing well...whatever....this isn't about that...this is about reflecting honestly on what its like to lose a loved one that was so close to you , such a part of you that I know its trite and a cliche, but you feel like a part of you has left....the GPS that was guiding your life's journey has decided to recalculate...recalculate....and your don't realize that GPS stands for God's Protecting Sunny...a few of our dear friends are dealing with loss right now and I want them to know that their is no playbook to determine exactly how they will feel and when they will feel it....yes , Sun , the Bible is our ultimate playbook I know...and I use it daily plenty to replenish and refocus....and I refer others to verses....I can't imagine a world without it....but in the interest of sharing the human factor of this grieving process I can't tell everyone that they won't feel like they are living without a gameplan...I didn't say living without faith or hope or love....just missing a gameplan...lost focus...should I not tell them this....I reread the story of Peter joining Jesus for a walk on the water from Matthew 14...good old brash Peter...I think I relate to him the most because he was never one to be quiet...always putting his foot in his mouth so to speak...but recall that after Jesus had just taken five loaves of Towntalk and two fish....and fed a crowd with his disciples that would fill the Peterson Events Center...he told them to sail on...he waited behind...not with them physically..he caught up with them by taking a little stroll on the water...imagine the pace it took....also realize what happened...he could have just beamed himself like scotty right onto the boat...why not?....lesson learned that ties into what I am trying to convey....because he didn't just beam in on the boat and because he walked out to them, Peter was able to say "IF its you tell me to come to you on the water..." someone else Peter had met walked on water....this shows just how confused they all were...its a is it Lord..

So when we are caught off guard and get confused its Ok....when we don't quite know how to deal with a situation its in the Bible...its in scripture...the Big 12 couldn't grasp it all...and then of course Peter joins Jesus for a quick walk until he looks away for a sec...and sinks....and has to get lifted up by the command of Jesus...."You of little faith, why did you doubt?"   And that is the rest of what I feel...I look away once in a while....sometimes Sun,  this is so frickin overwhelming that I feel like I am wearing a mask....showing the world on the outside that I am Ok....stressed to the max about work, bills,  kids, laundry, meals,  rides,  kids health, dog, house, missing you at every turn, and trying to help others that reach out....I can't keep that mask many of us wear masks of different kinds....hiding behind something?  Afraid to let the world, or family, or loved one see the real you....Anyways,  Peter had no mask...but he did look away...he did take his EYES off of Jesus...for a split sec and it became to him a matter of life or drowning...panic...yet there was the Son walking like a stroll in the calm probably blowing in the wind...chilling...lifting Peter up without touching him...and then just asking the million dollar question...."WHY DID YOU DOUBT?

We aren't told the answer....obviously Peter had his reasons for doubting....just as we all have our reasons on occasion to ask why?  or to struggle with what is happening in front of us...Sunshine...I know now its Ok....Jesus didn't let Peter sink...he didn't say "You of little faith, go meet your maker..."  He literally saved him...didn't abandon him even after Peter turned away....even after Peter had his you how much I need to hear that....because I feel like I turn away more than I is just frickin hard to do this all at times without you Sunshine...but I refocus and have the comfort and peace that I am not alone....

So this is not about Mark is hurting....I want to cry for him...whatever...yes world I hurt...but so do everyone of us in some way....I cry..guess what we all cry...this is about how we get back into the boat after walking on the water and almost drowning....there is room on His boat if we let Him help me....thanks for letting me bend your ear babe....I can't say I wanted to do this tonight but I am glad we spoke...