Kathy Griffin says recovering from surgery while maintaining sobriety is ‘more than I expected’

Kathy Griffin says recovering from lung cancer surgery has been more challenging than she expected.

The comedian, 60, revealed her cancer diagnosis on Monday and underwent surgery to remove a mass in her lung the same day. It was also the day she revealed she's one year sober after a secret painkiller addiction, so now recovering sans narcotics is an extra hurdle.

“To be honest, this cancer surgery was a little more than I had anticipated," the My Life on the D-List star wrote on social media. "Tonight will be my first night without any narcotic painkillers. Hello Tylenol, my new best friend!” 

Griffin went on to share that, "The last night I was in a hospital was in June 2020 when I tried to take my life and overdosed on prescription pills. With over a year clean and drug free, I now know I can do this and anything I want without those devil pills."

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She ended with, "Y'know what? I fear drugs and addiction more than I fear cancer. So, I think I'll be OK."

Griffin's surgery — to remove half of her lung — was a success, her rep reported on Monday.

In a Nightline interview that ran that night, Griffin, a non-smoker, explained she had long had a mass on her lung, which she had X-rayed every three years, but it hadn't grown. Once she kicked her painkiller addiction she felt pain in her body and thought it was arthritis. A scan showed the mass — stage one cancer confined to her left lung — had grown and had to be removed. If the surgery works, it's expected she won't need radiation or chemotherapy.

Griffin said her addiction took hold amid the backlash over her infamous 2017 photo shoot mocking Donald Trump. At her lowest point, she attempted suicide. She was placed on a psychiatric hold and went through detox when she got out of the hospital. She's now one year sober, crediting Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for helping on her sobriety path (even though she's never had a problem with alcohol).

“The irony is not lost on me that, a little over a year ago, all I wanted to do was die," Griffin said on Nightline. "And now, all I wanna do is live."

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