Recovering from Lung Cancer
- Kathy Griffin has been on a mission to restore her voice after complications from lung cancer surgery, and detailed her latest upcoming procedure in a video update to her online supporters.
- Admirably, the high-spirited personality has been doing her best to keep her energy going despite a recent week in bed during some down days, and now the latest procedure.
- When healing from lung cancer, it’s important to keep close contact with the members of your care team to let them know about the severity of your pain and discomfort, as well as any anxiety and stress that you may feel.
Having suffered enough from surgery complications, Griffin—on a mission to restore her voice—has yet another minor surgery under general anesthesia to get through, which she detailed in a video update to her online supporters.Read More
In between doctors appointments and hospital visits, the Los Angeles-based lung cancer warrior has recently performed a couple comedy sets, headed out to catch a red carpet film premiere, and even squeezed in a Paul McCartney concert on her “good health days,” as she says.
For this latest appointment, she shared that she will receive fillers down her throat. “So you guys can make fun of me, I guess I’m getting fillers again,” she quipped. “They’re trying to make one vocal chord more plump so it can touch the other one,” she explained in simple terms during her peppy “Kathy’s trying to get her voice back update.”
View this post on Instagram
“There’s a syringe going down my throat! What are you guys doing today?” she continued with her typical sassy sarcasm.
“This is my new current normal,” she wrote in a prior post with a pic of herself in a hospital bed. “Never know how I’m going to feel. Friday, I had a doctor appointment, EKG, thought I was gonna be knocked out for the day, ended up feeling well enough to do this later on that night…Made it to the Paul McCartney concert!!!”
View this post on Instagram
Griffin’s personality may be naturally peppy, which can help immensely during tough times, but we can’t discount the fact that she is going through a lot. Just because there are laughs doesn’t mean there aren’t tears. Every person deals with cancer and its aftermath a different way. Humor works for some, but not for others, and that’s okay. All in all, the overall transparency the bestselling author provides throughout her healing journey is commendable, and is likely helping many others out there get through their own difficult time.
Healing from Lung Cancer
Kathy Griffin, a non-smoker, was diagnosed last August with stage one lung cancer, and had surgery immediately after to have half of her lung removed. Although she has obviously had some setbacks since, the survivor, overall, has been progressing. It is not something that happens overnight.
When healing from lung cancer, it’s important to keep close contact with the members of your care team to let them know about the severity of your pain and discomfort, as well as any anxiety and stress that you may feel.
“It’s critical after surgery that you do keep active and keep your body in the best possible condition,” says Melissa Culligan, a thoracic surgery nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center
While Griffin appears to be listening to her body with these recent symptoms, she has also appeared to be back to her active self. Keeping active and overdoing it are two different things. It’s all about balance, and listening to your body.
Learning More About Lung Cancer
After a lung cancer diagnosis, the patient is understandably in a state of shock. That’s why it’s important to go through the steps clearly with your doctor, and preferably have someone with you that you trust to help take notes and help you understand the process.
First, your medical team will stage the cancer with imaging, a CT scan is typical, along with an MRI, and also MRI scan of the brain. Your medical team will then need to get a sample of the tumor biopsy, and perform some routine tests. The most important is the PD-L1 test, which helps direct the use of immunotherapy, but also more complicated testing looking for gene mutations in the tumor.
“There are two main types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, which is about 85% of lung cancers, and small cell lung cancer, which is about 15%,” Dr. Patrick Forde, director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Program and associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins, told SurvivorNet. “Within that non-small cell category, there’s a subtype called non-squamous adenocarcinoma, and that’s the group of patients for whom genetic testing is very important on the tumor. Genetic testing is looking for mutations in the DNA, in the tumor, which are not present in your normal DNA.”
Additionally, Dr. Forde noted that non-smokers should make sure genetic testing is performed before going directly on immunotherapy.
Symptoms of lung cancer typically include:
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Constant coughing that becomes painful over time
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in voice or difficulty speaking without getting winded
- Pain in the torso, mid- and upper-back, and shoulders
- Discoloration or a sudden change in color of mucus and saliva
- Griffin had surgery to treat her disease, which, as she has shared, impacted her voice and her vocal chords. Lung cancer surgery impacts the body in various ways. It may cause fatigue, leaving the patient feeling weak and tired. There’s also the risk of infection after surgery.
Signs of infection after lung cancer surgery can include: shivering, feeling nauseous, swelling or redness around the surgical wound, and fluctuating temperature. Speak with your doctor if you experience any of these things.