SUNNY CARNEY
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



Monday, April 29, 2013

A Hard Week Two Years Running

SUN I LOVE YOU....I have been struggling lately to keep everything normal around here....but it's been a hard go of it....as we near six months to the day it has seemingly got more difficult where for awhile it seemed to be improving....don't have a clue as to why because each morning starts a new uncharted journey on this new reality of ours....I know that our love kept us strong and was the glue that covered a lot of cracks....Emotional Elmer's....not having you next to me....not having you to share life's special moments with everyday....not having you be able to share a ride with your oldest now licensed little guy....not having you to just hug and hold....wow....love hurts....

I recall that as May rolled around a year ago we had to sit down yet again with our boys because of the scan results....it was a bummer of a week but we prayed....made plans to go to Nashville to see another specialist....switched meds and tried to get you to put on weight....you were fighting hard but the tumors were growing in new areas and rapidly growing in the old trouble spots....the weight loss was tough on you and it hurt all of us to see you like that....we were not filled with pity....but rather with anger at times(as in damn why can't she get a break)...to admiration(as in boy how can we complain when she keeps going forward....refusing to give up)....the nights began to grow long as you really started to have sleepless painful night after night....laying next to you rubbing your forehead , heating the hot pads, and especially praying and talking with you was and will always be a very very dear period to me....the connection of our hearts...we were all in....we were literally living the blessed life of taking it one day at a time....able to thank God for little things and pray for the big things....

I still struggle because all in all we had a good life....a blessed life..three great boys...a home...friends....family...neighbors....fundraisers....hope....faith...and yet....it is gone....or at least so much of it seems to be gone....I hear your voice still....your laugh....looking at pictures abounding in the house I fix on your smile and those eyes.....and the happy times....and I cringe as I vividly recall the trips to the beach ....to Disney....the holidays....the garden...mothers day....you hugging your little trick or treaters in costumes you made...the bride in the dress you designed for our day....ugh....there will be no more holidays...no more Pandora charms from your boys....no more costumes....no more Disney....heck even Kennywood may be too hard this year....

This is not to be negative....it just is what it is....it's part of the process....I can't keep this in check all the time or I will actually go crazy....you were my confidant....my best friend....my inspiring Irish princess ...tumors, swollen feet, too skinny, better half....we had a heck of a ride....and I would never go back and ask to have a different trip....or travel partner....but I so wish our journey was still a present one not a bunch of memories....oh how I wish that....

I LOVE U BABE ....we all do.....

ME

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And Time Keeps Going By....Bye Bye....

Always you....always....I can't help the yearning I have in my heart to just reach over and rub your forehead....to squeeze your hand....to feel the softness of your lips....it is not even a hurt now...just a longing and a slow stark realization that it can't nor won't happen...some movie once had a cornball and oft used line "you complete me"....I now update that...I never recognized how whole I was with you until I live incomplete....and I am not alone....many are made just pieces in this puzzle we call life....the corners or the borders ripped and tossed aside....the idyllic image on the box cover left rendered a futile reminder of what should have been...or should be....

I LOVE U SUNNY....

I MISS OUR LIFE....CANCER AND ALL

my puzzle had its pieces spilled across the heavens....the master builder took His angel and my cornerstone....

Now I can get back to what I wanted to talk to you about tonight...it has been a real tough couple days....I stress about the boys....I worry about finances bigtime as bills mount and deals slowly move along...I roll that "we will make it d$ce" as I pray....not for blessings for us...but for peace and guidance...for that comfort that we had even in the midst of the diagnoses and the surprises along the cancer journey....we gave it all up ...and we had peace...I am really trying to keep that approach...but you know when it says two or three gathered together....well without you my two is one...but I can't focus our time tonight on money issues...or stress...this is a time I just wanted to share how much I really miss having you around....its finally spring...its now nearing Mother's Day...damn...I thought at first....I wish I could cancel or skip ahead....but then I keep passing the pictures we took last Mom's Day...actually the day before...we surprised you...and damn....I wouldn't trade the memory of how touched you were....how you felt like a queen....how your boys shone in their patience....(ant bites and all)...how Laura got all of the images just in case memories waned...(like that could ever happen now)....and how now that I have no idea what to tell our boys...your babies on Mothers Day this year...every commercial on TV during a game advertising this Pandora sale or flowers or whatever...we all look away...but I will remind them how special they made you feel on the last Mom's Day you celebrated down here...and that they should always cherish that....because you took that to the heavens...

Spring....Flowers blooming...grass cut...bees...stink bugs...you bothered with none of the annoyances and relished all of the gifts of life being reborn anew....each bud...each stupid dandelion...we planted our last batch of tomatoes and peppers with your mom's help about this time last year....and that last garden kicked ass....now in a ironic symbolic marker....its just brown vines...twisted wire meshing...collapsing brick wall beneath....

You would be so pissed....haha..

This was about the time of year that you would ask each of your boys want they wanted to do for their "special day"....and boy how they looked forward to just hanging out with mom...one on one...playing hooky...no take that back....because hooky implies they were skipping out on learning....no classroom in this world could have taught them more about life and love on those "special" days than you did....in fact no matter how shitty you felt and how hard you tried to hide it...we...well they got it...they knew that their mom was giving up herself to make them feel like the most precious kid in the world...

Which takes me to two closing points....one is a reminder I got tonight just before I started our conversation from Phillipians 2 and just slapped me back into how you lived everyday...and how I...nay...all of us should live everyday....

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others."

So as I get frustrated yet again by the dumbass computer with its Windows Updates that just derailed me and got me on the laptop...(see...much calmer than normal)...I want you to put a word in for Carol and the other MS fighters...for Lori Nixon and her family and her treatments...for Susan Watson and her family who I haven't connected with forever as they move on....for your mother...for Justin and Holly's baby...for the families in Boston grieving....and for those healing and dealing with nightmares....for Viola...don't know why but just felt led to put her on list...for Hilton Head Lori and her family...for Kylee and family...for the Gleason family...for Lisa....and of course for our boys....this house...and me...but put us last....thats the right way..

I LOVE U ALWAYS.....

I MISS U TREMENDOUSLY....

I HAD THE BEST WOMAN EVER...

ME.....

















Monday, April 15, 2013

Terror and Prayer

SUNSHINE I LOVE U....I can't even think about starting our talk tonight without leading off with that...I don't know what you see in heaven or not....on one hand I truly believe you are with us in a way...somehow protecting or rooting for us...yet if so...then I guess you might feel our discomfort...our hurt when something like today happens in Boston....and doesn't that go against what heaven is not to be....no pain...no suffering...I don't know ....I will have to wait to find out the answer...

I am drawn to the memory of 9/11....but in particular how young are kids were back then and how they really had no concept back then of what was happening...and kids our boys age then are now some of the victims...losing life and limbs...losing family and friends...I know what I feel and how I cry when I think of the innocence lost to our boys by your passing....and just like Sandy Hook...I get choked up now when I see images of little ones getting rushed away in a wheelchair...or of the father cradling his infant like one of those baby carriers we never got as he rushes away from the scene....

Those that attacked Boston today....whoever they were...took advantage of what makes this country so great.....one of our strengths...and used it against us...hoping to maim and kill...but also to strike fear in our daily life from here on out....sure we celebrate the opportunity to gather....as friends... family... co-workers....strangers...fundraisers...to cheer each other on....to continue old traditions...to make memories...to renew relationships...to establish new ones....a beautiful day...just like that Tuesday on Sept 11 almost twelve years ago...so they think we are vulnerable...we are weak...we are exposed...that their attack will radically change how we think or live...striking fear and paralyzing us to the point where they eventually win....

They won't win...they can't win...because what these cowards whoever they are don't...no can't understand is that we are not defined by an event....we are not defined by a evil yet futilely pathetic attempt to make us see the world the way they want us to see the world...or to get their message...we are not defined by murderous attempts to spread a certain religion or again a "message"....we already got it....whoever you are...."you hate us...."....good for you....you cowardly bastards...we get it...and we say....so frickin what....

You only hate in life what you are not.....what you can't have...what you can never be....and that is what defines us....we are a spirit....the American Spirit...you can't grasp it...you can't have it....you can't kill it....and yes....whoever you are you little pricks will continue to try....and you will succeed at some point again...because we are an open society that will not live in fear...look at how NYC  has bounced back...how that site in Lower Manhattan ...like an American Phoenix rises again....God...how you must hate that whoever you are....but that is who we are...that is what defines us.....not what you pathetic little lost people try to do....but in the heroic God-given greatness response that we have to your evil....

So I tell the boys tonight....we need to pray for Boston...pray for those families and the victims...pray for the American Spirit....but do not go through life afraid...but be damn secure in where your ultimate journey will take you....reuniting with you...their mom....and live accordingly....not in fear...but in faith....

And recognize that the news today was terrible...but the American Spirit still shone brightly amidst the chaos....and that is what the little bastards can't grasp...whoever they are...so we pray....not to a dude....but to the Almighty...and we go back to living...changes will occur....but what makes us unique will live on...it has to ....because He does....

That's it...all I got....

GOD BLESS AMERICA...

I LOVE U ALWAYS SUNSHINE

ME





















Friday, April 12, 2013

Promises Kept

Sunshine I hope you know...I LOVE U...there...and I promised you last night that we were back....no more hiding behind internet down or boohoo I can't finish...(no pun intended....)....tomorrow your baby takes his drivers test...damn I wish you were here for that...its a huge milestone in a man's life...and Austen is a man now....hate to admit it but your little red haired baby...my "golden child" is growing up so fast...I cry now...not of sorrow...but because you snuck him out to the parking lot and took him driving and he is going to take his test in the SUV he picked out for you back in 2004....

Christmas week...minivan going to the trade in heap of life...you in hospital with Lung surgery...the first one...I had picked out two Durango Hemi's from Leiberth(yea another victim of our Obama Socialism Rocks...)..one candy apple red...one snow white......Austen and I went down...and he said..."Get the red one dad"....so got it...had them wrap it up ....brought you home Dec 24th....Christmas morning....snowing...real snow...not the sporadic lets pretend its snow to make Christmas feel good...real snow...you were sleeping....I paid the salesman $100 to drive it up that morning....with a red bow...and he backed it up right to the front door...we lifted the hatch...flipped that DVD player down...put the rest of your presents in the back beneath the hatch....put in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood and set  the remote to program to play the theme song..."Everything I Do I Do It For You...Bryan Adams...our wedding song...every last romantic bone and nerve in my body  ready to say....Sun...welcome home..merry Xmas...the snow was God...Eight...we call you down...we open the front door....the hatch is up...candy red...snowy white...a holiday candy cane...Marc Burnett couldn't have scripted it better....you come down...the presents stacked in the hatch backed up five feet from the front door...the flip screen down...you say...and I push play..."everything I do ...I do it for you..."....you start balling..."that's our song"..."I know"...."how did you"..."merry Xmas baby"....

I joked that every romantic urge in my inner core was spent for that...but truth be told...you taught me that its never too much to show how special the love of your of life is....later when I would go to Giant Eagle in Waterworks and create the six dozen $40 arrangements twice a month unannounced and unexpected your friends and family would be like..."Mark...have you lost your mind..." "the Vases don't even hold them...."...so frickin what...I remember to this day when you were president of PTA and had the planning meeting for spring carnival after your surgery...I brought that bunch of flowers into PIVIK without a warning and came in to the auditorium and said..."Hey....where's the President.."....your friends cried and you turned red....advice to all young men....treat your loved one to flowers at her office or place of importance...but don't tell her ahead of time...its so worth the reaction not just from her...but from her friends...she will feel like a Queen...as she should...

I LOVE U SUNNY.....so anyways....this began because tomorrow our little red head takes his drivers test...damn....I cry...I remember back to the day he was born...It changed my life...I stop now...I am choked up...Please tell every Angel up there and the Big Guy to pray for him....

I ADORE AND LOVE U ALWAYS SUN....

ME

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Storm....

Sunshine I LOVE U....it's been a real struggle as you know to share our talks..emotionally technically and well....it's been one unshared saved talk after another....someday I guess...the month of March was so long....it truly was madness....the dreary days....snow...cold temps...but you know I couldn't help but think everyday what would you have done today....was it too cold ..or too windy to go to Hillman....or would you have just said screw it...let's go...I play the "how would Sunny have been today with this weather"....is it goofy....don't know and don't care....it helps me get by....because as you know we had to plan accordingly based on forecasts...then we learned that forecasts are like assumptions.....you used to make fun when I would watch Weather Channel and then double check local forecast and yes...sometimes even stress about how you were going to be...and you never quite got why I always wanted to know the radar and up to minute barometric info....I was tired of surprises....some crazy notion that I could eliminate or arrange schedules so you wouldn't suffer...dumbass...more often than not you were right with your bones hurting than the AccuNotweather radar ever was....but I had to do something....

It's ironic in a way that the last thing we watched on the TV together at the end was coverage of Sandy....a storm that wreaked havoc for millions and yet you got peace....the wind and the cold and the humidity would never bother you again....Amen...no more bones aching so bad you would squeeze my arm and stifle screams....no more trying to catch your breath because of humidity and one lung....how could my aerobic trainer be.....well I stop that thought....no more help needed to get off the couch or out of bed or stepstool to get in the Denali or help to use the bathroom because of the swelling in the feet ankles and calves....no Mas....Nada....Nein...Nyet....whatever....you got peace....

So today as the storms blew through I was struck by a comment Nolan made a couple of times....this is the first big storm in a long time....spring is here....and he was right....this is the beginning of spring....your flowers blooming....the rhododendrons will soon be  out in purple white and pink majestic heavenly glory and I will think of you....insert tears here....you loved this time...babies wrapping up school....special day pending with each....new sports season beginning....pictures....Easter.....Mothers Day....ok...now I stop....

Shouldn't have gone there....mothers day....wow....don't want to think about that.....you are in our hearts thoughts and memories everyday.....we miss you....but like the storm tonight....after the thunder....after the bolts....after the downpour....life grows....and slowly we are taking baby steps to grow after you....and speaking for myself .....sometimes growth is two steps forward and then almost two steps back...don't care.....

I will do this again tomorrow I promise....

I LOVE YOU BABY

ME