Enjoying Life's Simple Pleasures After Cancer
- Comedian Kathy Griffin, 61, has had a lot of ups and downs throughout her lung cancer journey—and now recovery—as she continues healing from having half of her left lung removed.
- Food and nutrients are a major part of repairing after a cancer battle, and Kathy has recently gone gluten-free as she navigates her post-cancer anti-inflammatory diet. Fortunately, she lucked out with a built-in amateur chef, her husband of two years, Randy Bick, 43, who helps prepare healthy meals for his love.
- Cancer patient or not, you can reduce inflammation in your body by reducing your intake of foods that cause inflammation. These so-called “pro-inflammatory” foods include white breads, pastas, pastries, sodas, red meats and processed meats.
Comedian Kathy Griffin, 61, has had a lot of ups and downs throughout her lung cancer journey—and now recovery—as she continues healing from having half of her left lung removed. Food and nutrients, as we know, are a major part of repairing after such a battle.Read More
Fortunately, she lucked out with a built-in amateur chef, her husband of two years, 43-year-old marketing executive Randy Bick.
“The husband made #glutenfree macadamia nut banana pancakes. It was a spiritual experience,” the bestselling author captioned her latest foodie post on Instagram.
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Kathy and Randy dated for nine years before their surprise New Year’s Eve wedding, saying their “I Do’s” just a few minutes after midnight, with fellow comic Lily Tomlin officiating the ceremony.
From what Kathy frequently reports to her followers, Randy has been the ultimate caregiver, and is continuously cooking for his love.
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Just a few days ago, Kathy appeared to be relaxing at home in the sun with her “pal,” Inside Edition journalist Lisa Guerrero, 58, who is a dedicated cancer advocate after losing her mother to lymphoma.
“The husband made his famous baked chicken tenders rolled in almond flour and gluten-free pretzels with homemade honey mustard dressing,” she gushed. “The doggies were jumping on laps!”
Some of her other latest “food porn” indulgences? Trader Joe’s Corn & Cheese Arepas. “DO NOT START WITH ME,” Griffin captioned her product pic. “I’m having these for dinner and I don’t need to hear any of your guff about it.”
“I’m coming over,” one follower quipped.
Another wrote, “Oh my gosh, I love Arepas!”
They say that food brings people together, and it is surely one of the hottest topics on Kathy’s Instagram as of late.
Following a Post-Cancer Diet
A diet that reduces inflammation in the body can help reduce cancer. Take it to the bank. That’s what the Cleveland Clinic says.
Normally, when your body recognizes something as being foreign or potentially dangerous—alcohol, bacteria, or pollen—inflammation helps the immune system fight off these invaders.
What actually happens is that damaged cells start releasing chemicals like histamines that sound off an alarm. They cause blood vessels to leak fluids into tissues. The tissues start swelling. Then white blood cells rush toward the damaged cells and help get rid of the toxins and dead tissue.
But if your body stays inflamed this way, it can be a problem. Chronic inflammation is linked to several diseases. It can lead to cancer. It also causes heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s, according to Krista Maruschak, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic.
The encouraging news here is that you can reduce inflammation by reducing your intake of foods that cause inflammation. These so-called “pro-inflammatory” foods include white breads, pastas, pastries, sodas, red meats and processed meats.
You’ve heard it before, but the science is there.
Eat more “anti-inflammatory” foods instead, Maruschak recommends.
- Incorporate as many fruits and vegetables as you can throughout the day.
- Replace refined carbohydrates with whole grains like whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Replace high-fat red meats with lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish.
- Incorporate more plant-based proteins, like beans and lentils,
- Add spices to your diet that have various anti-inflammatory properties, like cinnamon and turmeric.
Healing from Lung Cancer
Kathy Griffin, a non-smoker, was diagnosed in August 2021 with stage one lung cancer, and had a scary surgery immediately after to unfortunately have half of her lung removed. Although she has had some setbacks since, the survivor, overall, has been progressing since surgery left her with a whispery voice. It is not something that happens overnight.
In May, Kathy underwent a procedure where a syringe of fillers was placed down her throat to try to “plump up” one of her vocal cords so that it touches the other, as she described at the time. Griffin’s voice was a bit fragile up until this surgery, but she has made drastic improvements since, and finally sounds like herself again.
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.
Overall, Griffin appears to be listening to her body and adjusting her eating habits a bit, and has been back to her active self for the most part. Keeping active and overdoing it are two different things. It’s all about balance.
Contributing by SurvivorNet staff.