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, January 5, 2013

Then & Now

Sunshine I love you.  I don't think I have told you that to start off one of these in awhile(and you know how I hated to go back and reread anything I you with pictures...the satisfaction is in the creating..not the revisiting) I am going off memory and I know I always tell you throughout and at the end that I love you....but I wanted to just lay it out from the onset(just in case you forgot)....its funny some people have a problem saying those three little words...but I am so glad that we felt it....then we said those three words...then those two even smaller words at the altar on that hot ass July afternoon...and thus became one....everything that is good in my life now started with those three little words decades an aside....(if you are reading this and are feeling it....say it...and take it forward...if you had it and lost it...if you had it and its trite or a cliche...than make it real again...its worth it)....I guess I wanted to start with that also because I happened upon "yet the greatest of these is love" and sure faith and hope are silver and bronze but only one  is the Gold medal of living principles...without it we would have missed the chance to start our journey in '91...Austen, Logan, and Nolan would be cool names in a book, not our three amazing miracles...we would have missed the chance to grow close as the world would have told us "your life sucks....move on or quit"....without love you wouldn't have accomplished what you did and inspired me and so many others like you have....without love....can't imagine it....we were like a hand going into a well broken in baseball glove...or that old baseball cap that fits perfectly and is the favorite no matter how disheveled it is on the just put them on...they fit...they fit comfortably...they feel right...the world feels right...and I am sorry but that line from Jerry Macquire that the whole world knows....(no not you had me at hello....the other one)our love didn't complete each other....because to say it did implies a finite ending...if we were "complete" than we were changes constantly for the grows forges bonds that late night infomercials could hang airplanes laughs, it cries, and it prays as one...even though two are next to each doesn't need to prodded or just I said it just feels right....I guess thats it....perfect love is a reflex...its instinctive....its knowing what you need to hear or not before you even speak to me first....its knowing when to hug and hold without an inkling from you....its recognizing your heating pad is lukewarm as you sleep next to me and heating it up and replacing it for you while you sleep...its you knowing just when to push me to work harder even as I rubbed eye boogers and wasn't awake yet fully....its you grabbing my hand in the middle of the night as we both slept and not even realizing it to the morning when you had a sweaty palm curtesy of muy....

now that we have defined love( I am not even sure where all of this came from)....I will seque into where I thought I was going to take this conversation initially as referenced in the title...I wanted to go back to the spring of 1991....I know the post that walked through our last few days together forever perserved those "closing" and final moments...I wanted to share the other side of the story for a bit...the "opening" or early moments that we shared without which this blog would be moot and null...I realize now that the best thing that happened in my years of enjoying Jim Beam is that it led to some oversleeping at Dickinson...which led to some less than desired grades...which led to the decision to transfer to Pitt....which led to "Get a job this summer your brother is working at Eat n Park and he can get you in"...and there I was....chaffing brown polyester pants, Arrow Bradstreets shortsleeves finest and a clip on brown bow did I woo you with that getup....of course the first time I saw you in the "green skirt" you were so weight conscious that you actually were proud of the fact you could take the skirt in a 360 turn around your waist to show off..."chicken legs" as we laughed at later...(you never let me live that comment down)....I remember not much changing until you came into the restaurant to get your check after class at Bobby Mo and you had that damn Maddy Hayes business look...tanned...carefree...and that was it...screw had me at HOT...I was working the counter(five hours for ten bucks of tips or something as you recall...the new guy station...break him in with the counter cranks...) but I had the best fortune because you sat in one of my deuces....(C7) to be exact and waited for your boyfriend who doubled as a conniving professors assistant straining the ethics of that relationship....TD I called him...(tall and dorky) and you eventually would too...anyways in he comes with his purple Grand Prix parked out front...sweater vest that would make Carlton Banks envious....and he saunters up to you and says in my nebbing earshot...."are you ready....I told you to be ready to go...."....Dick move on his part and his fate was sealed...because I saw the hurt in your eyes...and you glanced over and saw that I had of course witnessed the biggest mistake that schmuck was ever going to make....letting you have a reason to get away...creating an turned red and rushed out....following him...I guess I should have full disclosure for our listening audience and confirm his name was also Mark...same spelling....same name...wrong guy...

It was just a few weeks later that we both got assigned to the Friday graveyard and the other green park mamas as the song on DVE went waiting on groping, flirting, smoking drunks at good old store #11...making $100+...and me...working non-smoking...waiting on the beatniks because apparently The Record Graveyard kicked them out...and Starbucks was a vision in Buck Rodgers dream sequence...making $40 in coins...getting shirt stained with chilli and shakes because I picked up you and the girls wasn't fun....but I looked forward to it because I knew it was our one guarranteed way to connect for the week...(remember cell Facebook,  no texting...hell even this blog wasn't possible)...I had til  about five when you were done  and I was still hokeying the back to get to know you...You were starting to realize that TD was an ass and I was only more than happy to let you bitch and gripe about how he treated you....but I couldn't push because you still had visions of his big house in the south hills and he had connections in the accounting field which would jumpstart your career after graduation...I just listened.....I don't think I was ever that quiet for that long in my entire life when you started waiting around for me to get done and offered me a ride home all of four blocks to my parents the '77 Firebird...with the red cloth and 8Track player....and of course the SUNNY O tags...and then when we got to my parents house we would sit...sometimes double parked on Denniston...sometimes in the driveway behind...whatever...we would sit and talk...well again ...mostly you would talk and I would hour....the sun sometimes came up...not a kiss or anything...just being there for you...somehow betting on the fact that you would realize that you had the wrong Mark in your life...

Then in a variation of Pastor Franks line...."you fell somewhere by accident" earned your nickname Grace back then and when you missed the wet floor sign cone in the main station and went down ultimately spraining your wrist neither one of us could have realized where that would lead to...TD got pissed that you had to go ER and were in a arm brace and couldn't be his show piece at some lame concert(I don't know was WHAM still around....putz....)...I took the initiative and called from the to go phone at the end of my shift to see how you were....(first time spoke to your dad)...then next day as I picked up your shift I ordered and had your favorite flowers dropped off...(made sure the card read ENP as to avoid confusion) weren't expecting that, called me(again on the to go line....we probably cost them a few shekels over the next year...)and thanked me...the game was afoot...

That was Tuesday....two nights later there was going to be a house party at one of co-workers(Char) who though we weren't 21 yet was cool with all of us drinking and hanging...(this is where I divert from the actual events and leave out the part where I send Theresa down to the State Store for a Shark Bite kit for us to enjoy on the way...because I don't condone drinking and driving that never happened...) wanted to go and wanted to go with me...and so thats the start of our first I guess you can call it sexiest sling sporting 20 year old vixen ever(ironic that you had medical apparratus with you then) and me whisking you to the lower hill to a house party with twenty of our co-workers....we walk in ....."Aw Mark and Sunny...didn't know you guys were together..."...the dopiest secret grin and smile I or any Irishman could ever have(and again nothing to do with the Shark Bites you mixed up on the way over....)it was finally happening...

Now I am going to stop our story for now...pick it up later...I just wanted to let everyone know that we were fun...we had fun...we fell in love..."Nothing happens except by the grace of your accident"

Before I let you scoot for the night...I read a scripture today that I wanted to share...I know we talked about this once or twice because you lived this...

"Each of you has been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others.  So use your gift well."  I Peter 4:10

I hope to figure out my gift soon because I got to see you recognize,  accept, and utilize yours....

Good night sweetheart...

Love you