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Kathy Griffin reveals lung cancer diagnosis, drug addiction and 'obsessive' suicidal thoughts

·4 min read

Kathy Griffin is recovering from surgery after revealing Monday she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

"Surgery went well and as planned. She’s in recovery now and resting," Griffin's representative Alex Spieller told USA TODAY Monday. The comedian, 60, took to social media to share the news earlier in the day, adding that she has never smoked.

“I’ve got to tell you guys something. I have cancer. I’m about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed,” Griffin wrote. “Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!”

She added that her cancer, which is "contained to my left lung," is in Stage 1 and her doctors are "very optimistic."

"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.”

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USA TODAY reached out to Griffin's reps for comment.

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In her tweet, the Emmy Award-winner noted that her condition could have been more serious had she not been "fully vaccinated" against COVID-19.

“Of course I am fully vaccinated for Covid. The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious,” she added. “Please stay up to date on your medical check ups. It’ll save your life.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin, seen here in a 2019 file photo at the opening of Paula Abdul's Flamingo Las Vegas residency, revealed on social media she has lung cancer.
Comedian Kathy Griffin, seen here in a 2019 file photo at the opening of Paula Abdul's Flamingo Las Vegas residency, revealed on social media she has lung cancer.

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Celebrities shared their support for Griffin in the comments.

"Love you so much!!! I’m here if you need anything. Don’t hesitate," TV personality Ross Mathews commented.

"Sending you lots of love Kathy," wrote fellow comedian and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" star Caroline Rhea.

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Kathy Griffin reveals addiction struggle, 'obsessive' suicidal thoughts in 'Nightline' interview

Griffin revealed in an interview with ABC News' "Nightline" on Monday night that she's struggled with drug addiction and contemplated suicide in the years following her controversial 2017 photoshoot with a prop resembling the severed head of former President Donald Trump.

Though Griffin told co-anchor Juju Chang she'd been "dallying with a pill addiction in a way that wasn't good" before the controversy, she added her addiction "really kicked into high gear when the Trump thing happened."

"After that happened, I just thought, 'Who cares?' " said the comedian, who said she became addicted to pills prescribed to her by a doctor.

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As she fell deeper into addiction, Griffin said, suicide "became almost an obsessive thought" and she "started really convincing (herself) it was a good decision."

"To be told by people in my own industry, 'It's over. Leave the country for five years. You've shamed our industry,' on and on and on. It definitely got to me," she said. "And so, I got to the point where I kind of agreed. Like, maybe it is time for me to go, and I've had a great life, and I don't think there's a next chapter for me."

She added: "I just thought, 'I'll just take a bunch of pills, and I'll just go to sleep."

After a challenging detox that involved tremors so severe her husband Randy Bick had to help her brush her teeth, Griffin says she's now in recovery from her addiction and optimistic for her future.

"I feel like, at 60, I'm gonna get a next chapter, and that's the thing everyone said wasn't gonna happen," she said. "I thought, 'Even if I do get a next chapter, what is that? I'm gonna be sitting around here never working again?' And it's like, no. I think kind of anything is possible."

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In July 2017, Griffin shaved her head in honor of her sister Joyce, who was battling cancer. Griffin later announced that her sister died that September.

"My sister Joyce passed away peacefully last night. Check out this beautiful moment," she wrote alongside a video of her sister in the hospital, sharing while also providing a link to the American Cancer Society.

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If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free, confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also reach the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or the Crisis Text Line by texting "START" to 741741.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kathy Griffin reveals lung cancer diagnosis, undergoes surgery

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