An uphill battle. Days after going public with her lung cancer diagnosis, Kathy Griffin is recovering from surgery while trying to maintain her sobriety.
“To be honest, this cancer surgery was a little more than I had anticipated. Tonight will be my first night without any narcotic pain killers. Hello Tylenol, my new best friend!” the 60-year-old comedian began on Wednesday, August 4, via Instagram. “The last night I was in a hospital was in June 2020 when I tried to take my life and overdosed on prescription pills.”
Griffin added that she’s more than one year clean.
“I now know I can do this and anything I want without those devil pills,” she wrote. “Y’know what? I fear drugs and addiction more than I fear cancer. So, I think I’ll be OK.”
The My Life on the D-List alum announced on Monday, August 2, that she had stage one lung cancer in her left lung.
“Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!” she wrote hours before she went into surgery. “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.”
“I thought, ‘Well, I don’t even drink. Big deal, I take a couple pills now and again, who doesn’t?’” the Emmy winner told Nightline. “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.”
Griffin, who revealed she wrote a suicide note, was hospitalized and placed on a psychiatric hold. She added her husband, Randy Bick, helped her seek treatment.
“I am so thrilled and grateful. I feel like, at 60, I’m gonna get a next chapter,” she concluded. “That’s the thing everyone said wasn’t gonna happen. I believed [it] wasn’t gonna happen.”
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).