What Will Kathy Griffin's Cancer Recovery Entail?

Kathy Griffin recently took to Instagram to post a message about her lung cancer diagnosis. In the post, she explains that though she's never smoked, she developed Stage One lung cancer and will be undergoing surgery to have half of her left lung removed. She reassures fans that she'll recover in about a month, and says it was fortunate that she is fully vaccinated for COVID-19, as "the consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious." According to Griffin, her doctors are optimistic about her prognosis, and she will not have to undergo chemo or radiation. At the end of her post, she asks that everyone get their regular medical checkups. "It'll save your life," Griffin said. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, more people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer worldwide. While it usually affects people who have smoked, it can affect those who haven't, like Griffin. However, other risk factors for lung cancer include exposure to secondhand smoke, radiation therapy, family history of lung cancer, and exposure to other carcinogens like radon gas, asbestos, nickel, chromium, or arsenic. Luckily, it seems likely that Kathy Griffin will make a full recovery. Here's what that will entail.

Recovering from lung cancer surgery

Three days after the original post, Kathy Griffin took to Instagram again with an update, saying "this cancer surgery was a little more than I had anticipated." She goes on to say that during her recovery she'll be relying on non-narcotic pain killers, as she has a history of prescription medication abuse — in June of 2020, Griffin was hospitalized after an intentional overdose, but according to her post she's been drug-free for a year and knows she can recover without the narcotics. At the end of her post, she says, "Y'know what? I fear drugs and addiction more than I fear cancer. So, I think I'll be ok."

According to Healthline, a hospital stay for lung cancer surgery is typically two to seven days. According to her Instagram posts, it appears Griffin stayed in the hospital for about three to four days. Recovery at home can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on age, overall health condition, and how much of the lung was removed. People who've undergone surgery will need help with daily tasks, and will probably be advised not to lift anything over 10 pounds for a few weeks. 

Most recently Griffin posted an Instagram video from her home, joking about her husband calling her for help from the kitchen while she was resting in bed. He had inadvertently cut himself while preparing food. Griffin walked in to find his hand bleeding everywhere and called 911. Although she sounds a little short of breath and hoarse, she's already back to laughing and joking, and says her husband is okay.