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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

90 & Counting

Sunshine...Sunshine...I LOVE U....You know how many times we have started this been a hard one to finish and share with everyone....numbness has set in at doesn't even feel like you are gone completely...or sometimes at all....and its been 90 days...I know I know its stupid...of course you are up there...but when does that reality utlimately and without a doubt register with my little mind....damn..I can't even do this but we are going are still everywhere here....and thats a great thing...but it also keeps you so close its as if you are coming back from a long vacation or something...took some time to get some much needed R and R....your voice I still here....literally...except when I need it...or want it...its not there...and when I hear it I can't get an answer...its like you are present but not wanting to hold us back....I have no idea how to put this into words right now so I am going to switch gears....

Its snowing again...(did it ever stop)...its so frickin pretty and serene outside right now that I wonder do you see us as in a snowglobe....are we lights flickering from high above....sorry honey....I know this is stupid....I don't want to talk about the pretty snow either....I am just trying to sort out so many thoughts right now that snow seemed safe...but its not a question of trying to finish....

Ok back Sun sorry....took a tissue break...the bible is a great playbook for fact its really the only book I read now a days...(don't have much time to read as you know...yes..I still read sections of your bestseller when I go visit fact read a section tonight..which I will come back to...patience.....)but the bible has a few absolutes that are above all the other pearls and is we all will die at some point....and Jesus would die for our sins and then rise is a fact that no one not even an atheist can dispute...the other is the theme of the whole book and requires believing in and having faith for what was not seen by when we lose a loved one Sun at what time does that reality truly set in....I am telling you right now it wasn't November 3rd or the day we buried you....or my birthday...or Logan's...or Xmas....or New Years or Nolans hasn't actually happened yet....I still expect you...what does this have to do with Jesus rising from the dead...well I was thinking does my failure to fully accept closure make me crazy...or an unbelieving fool...or someone who should be on the "he's not doing well watch him" list....I refer to John 20 and the story of Thomas...I know doubting Tom....the story is only told in John and simly refers to the fact that Thomas was not with the others when Jesus appeared before them the first time....what was he doing?He gets his moniker Doubting Thomas and yet for all we know he could have been mourning privately...praying...he could have been visiting Mary the mother of Jesus....he could have been the type that grieves better solitary...we don't know....anyways Sun...he is told by the others that Jesus was alive and appeared to them...but he refused to accept until he saw and touched for himself....that would give him closure...and then a whole week goes by....imagine how the others were trying to convince him...or tease him...depends I guess...and he must have been tired of hearing about it...what else could they have talked about ....and he was the only one who couldn't jump in the conversation...wits end??? who knows.....but what does Jesus do....he doesn't ascend and blow off Doubting Tom.....he doesn't make Thomas go on the rest of his life without the answer....he doesn't hold the fact that Thomas can't take it on faith without seeing....He comes back and gives Thomas what he needs to believe 100% that what they had told him was true....He gives Thomas his closure...

Sunshine... I pray that I will have my moment of closure...not that you are going to appear and I will touch your hands whatever....the point is that Thomas got his closure on a much bigger stage and of importance than we are dealing if He can do that...than He won't let me linger in this state of pseudo Sunny gone acceptance reality that I struggle with...I guess this is my "week" some point He will show me that you are with him in such a way that it will be like touching the will smack me in the face and at that point closure....not forgetting...but closure...not struggling everyday in limbo-land....wanting the world to see that I have moved forward and doing the best I can....yet inside these walls....and when a certain song comes on in the car...or when a Sun sets in a certain way...or when I hear your voice....I don't understand where you have fled to I know 90 days has came and went....but it feels like yesterday that I was lifting your legs onto the couch down here next to where I am sitting right now...Its funny I slept there for months as you needed me to be able to run things up and I snored....and I was never really sleeping anyways....I can't even sit on that couch now...I got the Valentines Day catalogs in the mail and I read them....Why?....I studied the new Charmed Memories and Pandora items....Why?  CLOSURE....I pray for it....I really am trying...and you know we always said...if you don't think you can do it today...fake it...(no not that...)if you can't face whatever you have to face that day with a smile...fake makes the world better...well I am faking it pretty good most days...but I could use that smack me in the mouth rattle my teeth and no doubt about it moment that just says Sunny's gone.....its OK....She's gone...but its OK...

Gotten pretty good at playing the role of the "happy faced widower"....but there ain't an Oscar for that I have to keep on until the role becomes reality....keep on until I get my moment....just cry my ass off moment....a heart wrenching...gut check....emptying of the tearducts....type cry...not start...stop...who is watching....grow up....stop it she won't want you crying...not those tears...the kind I can't just turn off....

So now Sunshine...I have probably made a few of the folks who will see this nervous....that is fine I guess...I am way beyond worrying who thinks "I need to suck it up".....or "How can he say that with his supposed 'faith'"..or "Man up quit being such a wus....your boys need you..."....I don't care....because I suck it up every morning...I have tremendous faith....questions yes....but faith also....If I am a wus...oh well...give me the Zebra print skirt...and no one better question where our boys fit into this picture....

So yes Sun you are right...this wasn't the most uplifting rah rah talk we have had...but thats came from the depths of our hearts...and in its purest emotional structure....and not for any other reason than we can share our private feelings like this ; not for pity or to make others cry....but to be an outlet for just one person who may be experiencing the same feelings and not knowing anyone has felt the same way....its been 90 days and I can't tell you how good it feels to have just ripped open the emotional vault tonight with you and laid this out....tomorrow will be uplifting....I promise....even if I have to go for the Oscar and Emmy....(and yes I will come back to your book and the section I read earlier...but me...)