Def Leppard just launched a US tour sure to satisfy die-hard fans. That fun got a blow yesterday when guitarist Vivian Campbell announced that his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is back.
“I’m saddened by the fact that my cancer has returned,” Campbell told Def Leppard fans. “However, I’m beyond consolation that its return will prevent me from being able to do my job for a while. I’m still working on a schedule of treatment with my doctors, but I will see you all very soon.
Campbell has fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for years. He missed out on Def Leppard’s last tour for the same reason. His slot was filled by Trixter’s Steve Brown, who will carry his banner again on this tour.
In November, 2013, the Def Leppard guitarist told fans that his earlier relapse had shocked him.
“For anyone who knew anything about cancer, they’d probably say, ‘Well, that’s not unusual,'” says Campbell. “But I didn’t. I got my diagnosis in the spring of 2013 when we were doing the Las Vegas residency with Def Leppard. And as soon as we were done with that, I started six months of chemo.”
“And I just kind of naturally assumed you do the chemo, you do a scan at the end of the chemo and it shows that you’re good, and that’s it. But apparently not. It was, like, ninety-something percent gone, and it was what they couldn’t see on the scan that came creeping back. And it came back so fast.”
— Dan Gabriel (@danpgabriel) June 21, 2015
Back in January, Campbell was cautiously optimistic as Def Leppard geared up for the tour.
“Well, I seem to be in a good spot at the moment. You can never be too certain with these things, ’cause they can come creeping back. But after three rounds of chemo over the last two years, I did a stem-cell transplant in October. And the first PET scan that I did on New Year’s Eve came back really, really good – there’s no sign of the tumors – so I’m hopeful that we’re on the right path. I mean, that’s certainly the way I’ve been thinking.”
“I’m not letting it concern me at all. But continuing for the next few years, I’ll be doing more scans and follow-ups and stuff, just to make sure, but I’m certainly feeling healthy, you know?!”
Def Leppard fans have given an outpouring of support to Campbell.