Becoming Sunny Susan: A Carcinoid Survivor’s Memoir

“My story is one many of you can identify with – an uplifting look at a life that I am determined to live well, despite all of the obstacles that I have been dealt,” says “Sunny Susan” Anderson about her new book, BECOMING SUNNY SUSAN. “At the heart of the story is the idea of LIVING with cancer.  It took eight years to correctly diagnose my rare disease, carcinoid/neuroendocrine tumors. Then, they said I would die in just a few more years.  That was eighteen years ago, and here I am!  How have I fared?  Very well. Read the book to find out how I have lived a happy life, even with cancer.”

Susan Anderson's Book, Becoming Sunny Susan

When Susan Anderson began her search on the Internet in 1995 for information about carcinoid cancer little did she realize that she would later create the first carcinoid patient website and become an extraordinary advocate for others seeking information and support.  In recognition of her passion, dedication, and leadership she was selected as the 2012 Winner of the Warner Advocacy Award, established by Novartis Oncology in 2009 to commemorate the life and work of the late Monica Warner of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation.

Susan’s book is a memoir of a woman with a rural upbringing who loves music, reading, and traveling; is devoted to her family, especially her beloved husband, Howard, who she describes as her best friend, and her wide circle of friends; and spends countless hours on her carcinoid/NET cancer advocacy work.  Becoming Sunny Susan chronicles her life from growing up and attending school in rural Missouri in the 1940’s and 1950’s to her first marriage and her children Scott and Cynthia to finding her soulmate in Howard Anderson and a second marriage that has spanned more than 4 decades.

Susan and Howard Anderson in Maui

Susan and Howard Anderson in Maui

Susan’s journey is an all-too common one for carcinoid patients.  She suffered with abdominal pain, vomiting, flushing, and bowel problems that baffled her physicians for 8 years before she was properly diagnosed in 1995.  Two years later she found a carcinoid/NET specialist, Dr. Richard R.P. Warner, to treat her.

She decided to put up a website “to assist others by providing solid medical information and links to the same.”  Susan wanted to make sure that others with these rare diseases would have the guidance they needed so they did not have to spend years trying to be correctly diagnosed.  On April 27, 1997,, was born.  Since that time people from countries around the globe have turned to Susan’s site as well as sending her e-mails.

Susan’s impact on other patients is evident by the accolades she has received.  Here are just a few examples:

  •  I looked at Susan’s photo and I cried.  It was not long after my diagnosis of carcinoid in 1997 that I found Susan on the Internet.  She, along with the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, was one of the pioneers of carcinoid advocacy y on the Internet and when I saw her photo on the website I realized I was no longer alone in fighting this disease. – Teresa, Pennsylvania
  • Upon being diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in 2002, I felt so fortunate to discover Susan’s wonderful website with answers to many of my questions.  Susan is an inspiration, her zest for life and tenacity to keep fighting is a blessing to anyone who knows hers. – Marilyn, Arizona
  • You inspire me; I don’t know anyone else with my type of cancer. – Laura, Montana
  • Susan has given us a lesson in how to be pro-active and overcome adversity. She is a true heroine to those who face devastating illnesses. I give this fascinating memoir my highest recommendation! — Luanne

To order Becoming Sunny Susan from, click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email