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, February 23, 2015

The Ghost and the Mask

Hey Sunshine...I know you are up there enjoying the heck out of some great heavenly weather...probably wearing some nice little bikini...or maybe that's my dirty little mind picturing you in the midst of warmer better times....anyways I know it has been since Christmas since I decided to reach out to you with the intent of sharing/posting so all could be privy to our little talk....and before you interpret the title the wrong way...this isn't a talk about an old Scooby Doo message or the next movie in the Hannibal Lector series...


And I am not trying to imply that you are purposely haunting or lingering here at the house...nor am I stating that you being gone has left me a mere shell...a mask or clone whatever of what once was...


But...no....you can't chime in yet...(never had the chutzpah to say that when you were here...haha)...but just listen...


The last few weeks have been really hard...it isn't the weather....it wasn't Valentines Day...it isn't anything I expected that is for sure...


Maybe as it nears the time for me to send Ace's Pitt deposit in and my time with him here at the house...a little guy with a big head....who needed his dad to hit baseballs with him...or to drive him home from a friends house...who ran up to me when I got home from work and just wanted to hug and then show me what he could do...


Build that Thomas train...watch this...see Dad...and maybe its the guilt that I wasn't always as thrilled as he was to just sit...and build....and watch...and see...and now the sands of time are so quickly slipping away...


Maybe that's it....maybe it is the fact that I feel every night he doesn't want to be here that I am missing opportunities....and then I hang with Logan and Nolan and yet my heart aches for the one you used to call "Mark's Golden Child"...used to piss me off...I love them all... so much...but I am...we are on...borrowed time...he will be at college before I blink...and life will never be the same....


It snowed...and I had no one to go out and build a luge track in the backyards anymore...no one even asked..."dad can we go sledding?....dad can you go outside with us?...." I guess Sun it happened...our little guys....now the man-childs...have grown up...are growing up...and every moment seared in my memory of things we used to do together zings me a bit when I realize that moment is gone...memories...and that further pulls me away from you....and us...all of us....


Don't get me wrong...they are becoming fine young men...none of us are perfect of course...but so damn proud of them...but I guess I have realized another step in this healing process...the journey...I was able to substitute being with them and sharing with every step of their day...like as if in a dumbass time warp...as if...as a way to stay oh so connected with you....of connected with what once was...of bonded with Sunny...Mark...Ace...Logan...and Nolan...the Carney 5...


So with the unrealized recognition that my world...our world was once again changing...I slid...into a world of Ghosts and Masks....a reality that was in hindsight as meaningless and empty as when I squeezed that tiny hand of yours and had to utter the words...."Do it" to that young doctor when he asked that heartbreaking no win question...


But I "troopered" on....no matter that the Ghost of you here....and I mean that in a great way....and the Masks I wore...and I am not sure if I mean that in a good way now...fooled me more than anyone else....I didn't even know I was still so recovering from you....or that I had donned those Masks again...you think I would have recognized the signs by now...but I have said there is no playbook for this journey and I forgot to heed my own words...and advice...


So going back to the start of our talk...(no you can't chime in yet...haha...I am so bold)...everything got harder...the past few weeks...getting up to make calls and staying with it...work...harder...going to the gym I have been working out much longer and pushing myself...harder...when I go out...drinking much harder...when I stress about life or one of the man-childs I can't let go as easy...harder...


So you see...well you always have....its harder...and I am so not trying to whine...or complain...or ask for anything other than keep those heavenly prayers coming this way...we need them....I need them...harder is a dark place when the cause is Ghost and Masks...It is a challenge that has almost at times broken me...but then I realize that its temporary...and when I feel the lowest under the weight of it all...ironically I put a Mask on and pick someone else up on FB or text or email whatever...and it helps...but doesn't relieve the reason the Mask is on...


So Pandora gives me One right now...and I so get that you are with us...and I really hope you know that when I refer to you as a Ghost...it is meant no disrespect....or to be negative...you had such a dominant larger than life outgoing persona and we were both so all in for each other and this family....and this life...and your fight...it drained me more than I guess I suspected or imagined...that's the journey...


Thanks for listening...(no we will talk off-line...yes you can wait a few more minutes)...We are doing what we can....what we think we should be...but who knows?  we have messed up...we will mess up...I certainly have screwed up...and bet the heavens up there if its allowed that I will do so again...


Really trying...really confused...really empty...


SUNNY


LOVE U SO DAMN MUCH...


MISS U....


ME