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



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our International Cancer Journey--5 Years Later.....

Sunshine I Love You....Its a week before Christmas and with everything that we have going on for some reason earlier today I was taken back to where we were five years ago...getting ready for that first trip to Basel....and so I am going to share what the feeling is like now...not revisiting old posts...don't need to...I have been encouraging everyone to give of themselves this holiday season and to not stress the small stuff...create an experience...give your time...give your presence...and so when I look back to where we were five years ago the week before Christmas I can describe the emotions...the feelings...the whole thing...no need for a DVR...and this is not a downer conversation sweetheart...this is just what it is...because as I look back for some reason on that week I am not sad...tears I guess a little...but not sad...memories...seared in my brain...wouldn't push reset on that time at all....you and I both knew that those three trips to Basel invoked so many different parts of the emotional prism...tugged...no yanked at the rope that was our faith....but also brought us so much closer together than we had been since before the kids were born...it was literally you and I (and yes for a great few days each time Peter....)isolated with each other and our faith halfway across the world...some kind of crazy cancer forced Euro honeymoons....but this week five years ago we didn't know that yet....

This talk is not for anyone other than you and I but I will share it...this is not to encourage or discourage....just a honest stripped down to the core honest recollection of where we were five years ago...yet I know that we should share it because five years ago seems like yesterday yet so much has changed...so much was learned...so much was endured....so much was experienced and so much is gone....don't take anything for granted....don't waste this chance we have here to Love each other and maybe just maybe show what that Love looks like cancer and all...we grew closer...we fell in Love more with each step of that journey because we chose to...and as that Love strengthened....nothing could come between us....nothing could ever remove the sense that all was good...because He was with us and in charge and if we kept supporting each other....pushing each other...hugging and Loving each other who the hell was going to derail that....so blessed...

Yet I digress....five years ago this week before the holidays was one of angst...nerves...it had been a whirlwind few months leading up to this week....diagnosed again that the cancer was back...ravaging the liver...chemo-immobilizations at Presby...researching potential cures which led us to Europe...having to raise the funds....first wiffleball tourney....first race...all of that....sitting down with our boys...wow...that couch seemed so small....not big enough for all of the tears that fell that night...looking back I see now how we had so much to do....so much to comprehend...so much to take action on...so much to pray for...so much to just take care of that we didn't have time to have our heads spin....that would happen later...we were going to Basel frickin Switzerland home of Novartis  on January 2nd...treatment for Monday the 5th...although we had honeymooned in Jamaica neither of us had ever even had to get a passport let alone been to Europe...and what the heck was Basel...internet research....real city...money center...old city...modern banks...cold....say what????

Nervous...you bet....apprehensive....damn straight...scared...of course...what if scenarios running through our heads....we talked about them every night that week five years ago....what kind of Christmas could we have just in case it was the last one....did we do enough to get the kids prepared...family invading our space...had to....lists to write for kids schedules....to dos...phone numbers for contacts...dinner drop off lists....laundry instructions....rides to games...practices...Pivik teacher contacts...prayers....would New Years suck????would this be the last holiday season....did we forget anything....wills done?????.....we had so much stuff to try to get our arms around that at night when I would wrap my arms around you and squeeze probably too tight in hindsight but not wanting to ever let you go that you were too tired to say "let me sleep"....you were already...

We had faced a Cancer Christmas before in 2004 when you had the right lung basically removed....it was a hard road back but life was getting back to normal...no life was better than normal...we had taken on the challenge....had been blessed with His healing touch and we had learned from it....to the point where I think we had put it out of the realm of possibility that it would return....I know I was back to my things are great life is a party outlook on life....you were feeling great looking even better and really running this ship we called a family....so when this came...it had been a real awakening...not that it should have had to have been....you think when you have beaten it twice...have had three miracle boys...one ovary and all...with everything we had been through....you think you would appreciate each day as a gift...the present...you did...I slipped back into the trap of feeling we were invincible...immune now...God had delivered us again....late 30's....house....career...life was a party because we had beat last call so to speak....so yeah honey...I wish I wouldn't have pissed away a few of those moments in hindsight....but again I digress...

This was different....timetable....no cure...brutal treatments here...Europe....story now was all over the local media....the articles in the Advanced Leader...the whole community knew we were going to Europe...they rallied behind us...amazing outpouring of Love that is still humbling me five years later...but this story was evolving so fast...at the supermarket getting hugs and best wishes and if you need anythings....at church...called up front for prayer....at the school bus stop....hugs...at the gas station hugs....it was an unbelievable few months leading up to this week five years ago....

So there we were...in bed....the kids would have their last day before holiday break the next day a Friday...we had one of the most open I guess you could say life altering conversations we would have....never shared this openly...nor privately for that matter....we were both just reading our Bibles....or at least trying to...you reached over to me....looked at me and asked "are we crazy for doing this?  What if it doesn't work?  Are you positive we are doing the right thing going to Basel?"

Wow.....

I hadn't expected that...I guess we both may have been thinking that as the tickets arrived...the plans were to the point that turning back was becoming less of an option everyday....I was reading James...actually had reread the same first few verses over and over because didn't want to turn the page...I don't know...but when you reached over like that I remember just reading that verse "Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance"....we laughed out loud at the irony....sat quiet for a minute...still holding onto each other....should we pray?....a few verses later on same page from James....."But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.".....so we agreed that we pray.....believe....trust...have faith that it was right thing to do....let it go...give it up...whatever and all of the above and that we would enjoy the next two weeks with our boys and family and friends....we would let it go....

Private moment....decision made...and once made we still had some nerves....but an incredible sense of peace...can't describe it....it was as if the connection or realization was made that you and I were going to do this...halfway across the globe...He was going to be with us...and that was going to be good enough....that was it....so yeah...this week five years ago was a hectic crazy period but ultimately a crossroads on our GPS of life that we had to chose the path....and glad we did....

So now five years later....a lot has happened since...but the message and lessons you tried to share even back then still hold true now...probably even more so....face tests and trials head on with His guidance....and have faith that it will be OK...get the big picture and don't ever worry or fret the small details...it was an amazing time and I am so thankful we got to share it....

LOVE U

ME














Sunday, December 15, 2013

Another One Hits 16

Sunshine I Love You....wow....I know its hard to believe....Our Logie...Lucky...is the big 16....two man-childs over the PA DOT hump one more pending....(I am not rushing....ssshhh..)....I know its late...but they just got home from the Steelers game...thanks to my brother for taking the b-day boy...and thanks to the special family friends who generously called Nolan yesterday and offered four tickets....I stayed home and warm...(they have underachieved...and lets be honest if I am freezing at a game now it will be to watch our man-children play...or it better be a meaningful game...been there done that...took the shirt off...got enough of those stories...)....man-childs had a great time and saw a win...of course b-day boy informs me he has to finish an outline for school tomorrow...ugh....I asked him all afternoon..."do you have homework?....no dad its done....oops I forgot this one class...."....wasn't even on the parent portal so I can't claim to be the sucker...but I am going to push his permit test back at least a week now...rascal...(and not the word I was thinking we he dropped this on me at 12:30....)....and he has the nerve to get irritated at me when this always happens...like somehow its on me...or its not his fault....(I know...looks like your side....takes after me....shut it...)....but he tests so smart...I have to keep finding the right buttons...and I will...but please throw in a prayer to go with mine....because I don't want to gray....

and now wow...Pandora has one of the U2 songs playing that you used to rock Logan too...and we used to hold him too...and its a rare one....Running To Stand Still....God I miss you at times....I can't imagine how these boys do it....they are so strong in how they go about their days...with their friends....with their teammates...with their schoolwork...with everything...to say I am proud of them would be like saying the Pillsbury Doughboy occasionally dabbles in pastries...I am sorry back to our talk....

We used to spend a lot of time "debating" the birth order issues....how much attention for each kid....did we treat our boys differently....did we push or favor any of them????....(and btw..as Send Me An Angel by Real Life comes on Pandora...yep....cheesy 80's one hit wonder...but foot still tappin...)....we used to have intense discussions...(ok....you would yell at me and we would argue...but we did it out of love...)...because you thought that I ignored Logan when it came to sports for the "golden child"...and yet in reality it was frustrating as hell for me because I think that because everything involving sports back then came so easy to Ace that Logan didn't feel it was worth it to try..."Logan want to go catch....no dad...tired...Ace...want to go catch...sure dad race you to the yard..."...and reality is after Nolan was born and we had three....neither one of us had experience of middle child....I was oldest of two...you were youngest diva of seven....that's right...said it...pffftt...so we didn't let Logan quit...but I so enjoyed building Thomas sets with him across the whole first floor of the house....and Lego cities...and just hanging...and now ironically he plays the same sport and same position I did through high school....goalie...and is damn good...but each one of them was and is so different as they grew and as they grow...

And so I guess after all these years I will share with you that you were partially correct...I did favor "golden child"...but not "the"....because I have learned that all of them are golden....If you gave me the chance to hit the Mega Millions Tuesday for $550 million but our boys couldn't share it....I would say screw it...each of them is golden....is priceless...and its not up to chance or odds to realize that...so we love each of them in the unique way they love us back....Logan has always been in the middle....at times it seems Ace and Nolan go out of their way to annoy him....gang up on him...Ace because I think he feels the need to assert himself as the "eldest"....and Nolan because Ace just suckers him in to his little games....they love each other deeply but they definitely have those "brother" moments...

Each of them has traits from both of us...but this talk is about Logan...so having said that he definitely has your short fuse....no time for BS type attitude...he has your soft eyes....your facial features...(actually he and Ace are mistaken for twins or each other so its comical)....he is so frickin smart that he doesn't want the pressure of doing well so the bar gets raised....I think he is content being in his comfort zone...small group of really good friends...girlfriend...knows everything about the Pirates including facts that I forgot....reminds me of myself....has helped friends that have reached out to him in times of their grief or struggles...(sometimes  late at night which I know shouldn't but does irk me....remind me of anyone????)....he does an amazing job relating to the kids at his group at church....younger...they love him...real patience....real affinity for it....real passion and sense of pride....(again remind me of anyone????).....he is so damn dear to me....and as he grows I can see your influence....your lessons....he gets it....does he come and out and always talk about it....no....gets that from me....but when we do talk he opens up like you....unless I disagree with something he says...and then he isn't afraid to speak his mind....(yes dear....just like you....)....but he has had to grow so much faster than we ever did....so I still am  in awe that prayers get answered and faith shines on as he goes day by day....

Ace now is at that age where he feels the need to push me at times....and then tries to con me...God is he like me....and Nolan is still the baby man-child who wants peace on earth goodwill for all and tries to make it happen...that leaves Logan somewhere in the midst....he pushes me...but also does his damnedest to make you proud....needs to work on his con game....and probably could care a lot less who he makes smile at times around here...because it can be his way or highway....which is a great thing....you...over time he will grasp the concept of compromise....or his girlfriend will teach him haha...

But after taking all of them to Dr Wolfson last week for true physical and flu shots for first time since well you know....(and yes they have had sports physicals and such...just not there)....he met with each of them and after would pull me aside privately and tell me how each of them was so well adjusted...and how strong and adjusted they seemed....and how proud I should be of them....I took a step back....I see them every day....we have our ups and downs...our laughs and our "attitude adjustments"....so I guess I still am blown away when someone who is a professional in the field...and who has known our boys since ever....shares that they are doing well....answer to prayer...testament to your guidance....and proof that I haven't screwed things up yet....

So Logan has come so far over the years...and I chose not to go all weepy with specific stories of him over the years...because you were there....don't need to....they are precious memories...for all of us...but we move onward....with your blessing.....you set the example and we are trying to follow....Logan is one heck of a kid....one of my "golden childs".....you did good with him baby....you did good....and I won't drop the ball and neither will he...(as I Promise You by When In Rome comes on....yep...can't make this shit up.....sorry one of our cheesy songs....going to break...)

Emotionally drained....sorry....I have that peace but it still hurts me to realize that my mother can wish me happy b-day but my kids mother can't wish my kids happy b-day....still one of those hard things....but not going to get stuck in it....

LOVING YOU SUN

ME






























Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How Did You Do It?

Sunshine I Love U...I never get tired of saying that...I want you to know first of all that this is not a woe is me or us talk...I told you last time I grabbed the heck out of His peace and learned not to give in...so many worry about not giving up...well hello...that's pretty extreme for almost all of us....giving up....implies a permanence...but so many of us...including me from time to time over the past year plus...have given in...let the voices or feelings of the moment control my day or whatever...and I would give in...because after all I am not giving up....wrong...I guess it took time...no playbook remember...to realize that just settling for not giving up wasn't good enough....giving in just sucks you in....makes you focus on the what ifs...why her...why God...depresses you...and it builds....open that door and everything changes....I guess I am finally able to say...I won't and I don't give in...no need to...we had it all....love...passion...ups and downs...a journey...I got to squeeze your hand one on one as you left this place and got your wings...how many get to say they did that????  So no .....I won't give in....this is a great life...I was and am blessed baby....

But I talk to you tonight because I have a question to pose....after doing a number of positive posts I am overwhelmed by the messages and notes I get from people who are both reaffirming but also need a positive message...I guess I should have been careful what I asked for...that if one person was touched by these talks then it was worth it...but there are real people...real lives...real pain...that reach out to me...that say thanks...and than share their story...its so hard to realize how much hurting is around us...its humbling to think my little dumb posts on FB and our talks here can possibly help...I watched you do it everyday...on the phone...in person...or here on this blog...and yet you weren't drained...you were invigorated...I feel drained at times...I am afraid to say or write the wrong thing and let someone down...I don't know how you did it...I know who you trusted to help...but damn with all you had going on physically you had to be even stronger emotionally...faith...He was your well you drank from I see now....

Anyways I will continue....its not me because I just sit here...pray....and type...as much as I thought I was a good writer He provides the message...I am thankful He gives me the ability to put it into simple words...so it can help...you inspire me yet again....still learning lessons that you probably tried to teach my stubborn ass many times in the past...got it..

I LOVE U SUN

ME