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 26, 2013

Bounce Back Monday

Sunshine....I LOVE hard as last nights talk was it felt so good to get it off my chest....I think I have been holding emotions in for so long that just need to come out every so often....the fact is that this is really the one true outlet that I have that allows me to feel so close to you besides driving up to Plum Creek...parking by the steps and sitting down and talking to you....I love doing that as you know but as quiet as a cemetery is this is so much better...this is your computer....this is your desk and chair...Oscar farts next to me...and snores and makes those cool dreaming dog sounds....this is our home and I feel so much closer to you doing this than I feel at the grave....I have you all to myself here you aren't just another alpha numeric plot waiting on a stone marker surrounded by other alpha numeric plots with stones on a grassy hilly landscape...I am truly honored and blessed by the way to have this forum to talk to you and maybe someone who catches up later with our talks can pull something out of it that helps them or at least keeps the connection with you alive in some way....everyone should be so lucky....

So I vented yesterday...I had a minor meltdown...not sure exactly what triggers those moments but when I figure that out I will write the sequel to your book....go on tour...and Ellen...Oprah whoever invites me because that is the mystery to all of this hurt and grieving....there is really no rhyme or reason to it....I can be fine for periods...and then it can be a song...or a commercial...or an episode of Raymond that we watched...or AFV which you used to tolerate and make me turn off in Florida...or the sunset...or a glimpse at a photo...or in the case of last night..actually early this morning before I got up...the arrival of a new photo...Susan has the mother day pics that you sent over and after everything I was feeling yesterday she was up playing with them and sent me one with you and I sharing a smooch on the bench out front...our last mothers day together...actually the day before but the boys and I and Laura were so touched and honored (yea I am overusing that word tonight...lay off) surprise you with that time to take family photos without your prompting and the boys were so patient..and it was an amazing day...though you thought the photos were all terrible afterwards because you were too skinny...or looked sick...and we actually never got to see them until after you got your wings ironically...Are you ready...YOU WERE WRONG....those pics, at least the ones I have seen so far are so frickin awesome and special to not just us...but I put the pic from this morning on Facebook and it drew so many likes and comments that all confirmed that maybe you were a little to harsh or demanding on yourself and kind of missed the point...YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL....I can't tell you how many people sent me notes saying your smile....those eyes...our love that gushes from that picture as I sneak a nibble on your ear and Laura caught it...WOW...not one comment regarding how skinny Sunny looks or "boy she looks really bad in that picture...." were never realized or appreciated how photogenic you were....I joked earlier with Kylee that between you and her mom we should have done the Girls of Cancer Calendar as a fundraiser because it would've always admired Princess Di (used to annoy the hell out of me)...and I can say that although not a fan of British royal family....your beauty and grace and natural presence was regal...thats the word...your dad called you his little princess...but you grew up to be a beautiful queen to us...(and sometimes even let me pretend I was the King..)....

That was the first thing I saw this morning after posting our talk from last night...and boy it was so unexpected to see you in my arms...after I just had got done earlier moping about how that was one of the things I missed the most...just holding and squeezing you...and there it full color...not asked for....not even specifically prayed for....who prays for a copy of a pic from almost a year ago that you don't even know still exist....God works in mysterious ways...His jerked me at first...I shed tears...but these were so ok get these eyes emptied because damn your hero was stunning...and because I knew that somehow someway once again He had sent me a sign saying "its going to be OK..."....

I came downstairs to make an egg and put the dog out and I heard Ace get out of the shower....and off our back porch....hovering above the Oakmont CC shrouded in an early morning winters frost that special six AM ish not quite dark not quite light sky was what the weather guy on WTAE called the Orange Winter was hovering like a basketball waiting to get dunked on that historic full and orange...It is rare...I called Ace in his room and told him to look out his window...(you know how much 16 years old love hearing hey kid check out the sky...its really cool..)but you know what he must have...because when he came home after practice today he asked me who else had seen the moon...I told him just him , me and your mom from a much better view...nolan was still sleeping and logan was in the shower...he said it was the coolest thing and not one of his buddies or teachers had seen it...please pass our sincere THANKS to Him when you come across Him again because that was another special moment...a sign...two before six thirty...He doesn't waste time when His plan calls for action....

So then a few hours later...stressing...working....not stressing about you...although I kept the I-Pod open to that pic all day so I could glance or stare at your laughing eyes and haunting smile...stressing about know...the overwhelming it seems morass of people we owe money too...and I was approaching the breaking point yesterday....I must confess I didn't really see a way out...I have deals closing ...but you know how the time lags between closing and checks...could we make it once again with His help...I wasn't sure...but I prayed the Jonah prayer that Pastor had covered Sunday...don't know why...just came to me and seemed like the right thing to do....and an hour later heard back from a client that had spoke with late last week and I think a retainer big enough to stem the tide was blessed enough to be confirmed...I sat down literally on the floor after confirming the next step and once again ...yes..cried...tears of unbelievable relief...tension releasing tears....built up anxiety over you being gone and how I was screwing up things here with the least for that moment....I knew He was saying as long as I am with you how dare you call yourself a dare you think I can't get you out of dare you think you are dare you get to wits should know better by now..."OH YE OF LITTLE FAITH"....or as I am fond of saying from time to time...what a dumbass I was...

And it was such a heavenly kick in the ass that I broke was a good me...Then Vicki called and Mike and us our going to do dinner will be great to see them...haven't had the chance to see much of your family lately although I do talk to Pat a couple times a week...and we see Jesse a few times a month...anyways it was yet another sign that out of the blue the traveling Irishman is back in town from the road and you know its always a good time with those two...

So all in was bounce back Monday....I am still going to hurt....and trust me I will have more conversations like we had yesterday but thats once more quote  Bono..."you got stuck in a moment....time to let it go...don't get stuck in a moment..."...and I as am learning thats the key...we all will have our moments....and I guess as Ok as that is....its not Ok to get stuck on thanks for sending all those divine prayers our way....(my way in particular)...late last night....and damn...He sure answers even if you think you have reached the point of life is screwed....He is keep praying and putting the word in for all of us down here...and thanks for making this Monday so much better than Sunday....

For those that haven't seen the pic I mentioned go on FB its there...