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Kathy Griffin Just Revealed This Surprising Side Effect From Cancer Treatment

The comedian announced on a talk show that she's officially cancer-free.

In August, comedian Kathy Griffin shared publicly that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and would be having surgery to treat it. Now, four months later, the star is cancer-free and on the road to recovery after her surgery. That said, there is one lingering issue she's dealing with, which she opened up about on the Nov. 30 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

While appearing on the talk show, Griffin explained that due to the surgery to remove half of one of her lungs, she is experiencing a surprising side effect, and it's taking longer to heal than she expected. Read on to find out what Griffin has been dealing with and to hear more about her experience with cancer.

RELATED: Celebrities Who Battled Cancer and Won.

Griffin's voice has changed.

Kathy Griffin on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on November 30, 2021
Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube

When Griffin joined host Jimmy Kimmel on his show, she first addressed the audience. "Okay, so I have to explain my voice," she said. "You guys, listen to my voice. So, I had surgery. You're not going to believe this. So I've never smoked, but I got lung cancer. And in August, I had half of my left lung removed—I'm not even kidding." She explained that because of the way an intubation tube touched her vocal cord, it changed her voice. "I'm like Minnie Mouse meets Marilyn Monroe, I'm not even sure," she joked.

Griffin noted that her vocal cord will heal eventually, but added, "I'm sort of enjoying it. I'm like a good two octaves higher, I think … It's higher than Mariah Carey, I know that."

She's opened up about her vocal cord issue on Instagram.

Kathy Griffin at the Los Angeles LGBT Center's Gold Anniversary Vanguard Celebration in 2019
Ovidiu Hrubaru /

Griffin has also been sharing updates about her post-surgery experience on social media. In a post from Sept. 5, the 61-year-old actor shared, "My voice hasn't come back yet, as you can tell, and it's been a month." She said that one of her vocal cords was "paralyzed" and that "[her] recovery is taking longer than they thought."

In additional posts in the weeks that followed, she shared that she was getting "something modern done": a collagen injection in her vocal cord to help it heal. "I've never gotten collagen before, so my vocal cords are going to look 16 years old," she joked in a video on Instagram. Unfortunately, the injection caused Griffin a lot of discomfort, which she talked about in another post.

She's been joking around about her voice.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin)

Griffin has been consistently finding the humor in her cancer story, whether that means laughing about her doctors testing out their comedy material on her or making fun of her changed voice. In two separate Instagram posts, Griffin teamed up with famous friends to pretend the surgery caused her to have their singing voices.

"The weirdest thing happens, which is when I sing, my voice is fine," she says in one video. Then she lip-synchs as Sia sings her hit "Chandelier" off-camera. In the other video, she performs a comedy bit with Jenifer Lewis that ends with her lip-syncing as Lewis sings "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going".

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Griffin first revealed her diagnosis in August.

Griffin shared that she had lung cancer and would be undergoing surgery in an Instagram post on Aug. 2. "I've got to tell you guys something," she wrote. "I have cancer. I'm about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed." She added, "The doctors are very optimistic as it is stage one and contained to my left lung. 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."

In the post, Griffin also noted that she had never smoked and was vaccinated against COVID-19 ("The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious," she wrote). She also urged her followers to stay up-to-date with their medical checkups. "It'll save your life," the comedian added.

RELATED: The First Thing Sofía Vergara Did When She Was Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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