A sigh of relief. Kathy Griffin is recovering after undergoing surgery to remove part of her lung, Us Weekly can confirm.
“Surgery went well and as planned,” a representative for the 60-year-old comedian told Us in a statement on Monday, August 2. “Kathy is now in recovery now and resting. Doctors say the procedure was normal without any surprises.”
Earlier in the day, the Emmy winner revealed that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer despite never being a smoker and was about to have surgery.
“I’ve got to tell you guys something. I have cancer,” the Suddenly Susan alum wrote via Twitter. “I’m about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!”
She remained hopeful that the surgery would eliminate the need for any further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation. “The doctors are very optimistic as it is stage one and contained to my left lung,” she explained. “Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this and I should have normal function with my breathing. I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less. It’s been a helluva 4 years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I’m gonna be just fine.”
The Illinois native was referring to the aftermath of a controversial 2017 photo shoot that showed her holding the severed head of Donald Trump. As a result of the picture, she lost jobs, canceled tours and turned to pills for comfort.
“I thought, ‘Well, I don’t even drink. Big deal, I take a couple pills now and again, who doesn’t?’” Griffin said in an interview with Nightline airing on Monday. “Also, my age was a big part of it. I mean, who bottoms out and tries to take their life at 59? It’s almost a joke, right, and by the way, someday, this will all be comedy. Trust me … I was laughing to stay alive. And what I found is I felt like if I can’t make others laugh, then there’s no purpose for me to live. There’s no reason for me to live.”
During this period, the Grammy winner admitted that she considered self-harm after she received death threats and her work continued to dry up.
“I started thinking about suicide more and more as I got into the pill addiction, and it became almost an obsessive thought,” she told Nightline. “I started really convincing myself it was a good decision. I got my living revocable trust in order. I had all my ducks in a row. I wrote the note — the whole thing.”
With help from her husband, Randy Bick, she got sober, and she’s now committed to overcoming her battle with cancer.
“The irony is not lost on me that, a little over a year ago, all I wanted to do was die,” she explained. “And now, all I wanna do is live.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).