Def Leppard fans got some bad news this weekend when guitarist Vivian Campbell posted to Facebook that he would have to bow out of playing with the band for a while due to a cancer relapse.
Vivian Campbell, who has played guitar for Def Leppard since 1992 following the death of Steve Clark in 1991, posted the following to his fans.
“I’m saddened by the fact that my cancer has returned. 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. My apologies.”
The Def Leppard axe-grinder has had his ups and downs in his fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Def Leppard is just starting a North American tour. Entertainment Weekly reports that Trixter’s Steve Brown will fill in for Campbell, as he did last year when Campbell was fighting cancer.
— Dan Gabriel (@danpgabriel) June 21, 2015
Back in November, 2013, the Def Leppard guitarist announced that his cancer was in remission. But it later returned.
“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.”
“Well, I seem to be in a good spot at the moment,” the Def Leppard star said. “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?!”
Upon news that Campbell was once again in a fight for his life, Def Leppard fans rallied around him, prompting his response on Father’s Day.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support and well-wishes that everyone has sent to me. Thank you all so very much – it means a lot to me. Looking on the bright side: at least I’m getting to spend father’s day with my daughters. Yay for that!”
[Image via David Becker / Getty Images]