Controlling What Happens: Legal Documents and Your Health

Controlling What Happens: Legal Documents and Your Health

By: Caitlin Haney
tweet me:
Learn about the legal documents you may benefit from as a #cancersurvivor in Austin or at #CancerCon:
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 12:00pm

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG Helping Individuals


This April, the largest gathering of the young adult cancer movement will take place in Denver, Colorado. CancerCon will bring together hundreds of survivors, caretakers, and industry professionals for three days of events, speakers, and socializing.

I have the honor of presenting one of these sessions on the topic of Controlling What Happens: Legal Documents and Your Health. I am a young adult cancer survivor who is also an attorney that practices here in Austin, Texas. I realize that many patients and their caregivers do not know what type of documents they need to adequately address their concerns about the future. The goal of my presentation is two-fold: educate people in the cancer community about the types of documents that they may benefit from and share techniques for having these types of discussions with family members and loved ones. I understand that these discussions are never easy, but they are especially difficult for people who have already received a life changing diagnosis.

On Thursday, March 24, I will be conducting a run through of my CancerCon presentation at the Austin Bar Association, located at 816 Congress, Suite 700. The presentation will begin at 6pm and is expected run an hour. This event is open to all members of the cancer community, including survivors, their caretakers, and industry professionals. During the course of the presentation I will explain the difference between Medical and Statutory Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Last Wills and Testaments, Testamentary Trusts, HIPPA Releases and other health-related legal documents. There will also be an opportunity for people to ask questions about their own specific situations. RSVP for the event here.

I was diagnosed with Goblet Cell Carcinoid on December 18, 2014, the day after my 28th birthday. A week earlier I underwent exploratory abdominal surgery in order to determine how much of my large intestine needed to be removed to save me from Crohn’s Disease, which I have been living with since I was 17. My surgeon decided to remove my entire large intestine, including my appendix, where the cancer was located. The surgeon did not suspect cancer at that time, but when the pathology came back we discovered I had Stage II Goblet Cell Carcinoid. After my abdominal incision healed we made a trip to MD Anderson and confirmed that by sheer luck we managed to remove the cancer before it had a chance to spread. During the course of my surgeries and subsequent procedures, I had to personally have the types of conversations that are necessary to adequately protect my wishes for how future medical decisions would be handled.

The event is free but please RSVP online here or to