John Dutton’s Cancer & Health on ‘Yellowstone’ Explained

Paramount Network

A lot of fans are wondering just what’s up with John Dutton’s health after the first two episodes of Yellowstone in Season 2. At the end of Season 1, fans were wondering if Kevin Costner was even returning because it looked like John was dying of cancer. But now things are confusing. Here’s a quick explanation for what’s going on with John now and what really happened in Season 1. This post has spoilers through Season 2 Episode 2 of Yellowstone

I was confused myself when watching the first two episodes of Yellowstone for Season 2 and thought at first that we were being told John never had cancer. But that’s not actually what happened.

Michele Ellis, a big fan of the show, reached out to me and explained just what went down with John’s health. She said her father had passed away from colon cancer, so she was watching John’s story very carefully.

She reminded me (and I can’t believe I had forgotten!) that John was operated on in Season 1 and then two weeks later, he went out and rode a horse that needed to be broken. He tried to hide his pain but it was very visible to the cowboys watching and they all started whispering about it. People do like to gossip!

John went to an auction the next day and ran into an old friend whose son was in charge of analyzing the results of the mass that was cut out of John. His friend confronted him, and then Jamie later talked with the doctor and told him to stay quiet about what was going on with John.

Ellis summarized what happened to John this way: “He actually had the cancer; it was removed. The scan that came back (post-surgery) had the mass on it and the knee jerk reaction was that the cancer came back, not that they ‘got it all.’ But being the stoic, stubborn man that they’ve written him to be, of course he didn’t go to the doctor like they advised him to.”

So that’s what is going on with John Dutton’s health. Yes, he did have cancer last season and it appears that it was successfully removed through surgery. They thought it might have returned when they saw a mass and he started having symptoms again. But it turns out that the problems were being caused by an ulcer that later ruptured, and John remains cancer-free.

This is great news for fans who were worried that Kevin Costner might be written off the show or that his character might die from cancer. He’s in the clear and it looks like we’ll have Costner around for Yellowstone for a long time. The show wouldn’t be the same without him, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.