DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell, who feared the return of his cancer would prevent him from touring this summer, rejoined his bandmates on the road at the end of last month. LEPPARD is currently headlining a massive summer tour with STYX and special guests TESLA, and Campbell — who suffers from Hodgkin’s lymphoma — was initially afraid he would miss at least part of the tour due to treatment.
Says Campbell: “The doctors and I have scheduled the rest of my treatments through the end of the U.K. tour in December and the travel agents have done their thing to ensure that the travel fiasco of [June 27 when Vivian missed the show in Birmingham Alabama] will not be repeated; all future travel to rejoin the tour will be on days off, thus allowing a 36-hour cushion should something go wrong.
“It’s ironic that the most stressful part in all of this has not been dealing with the actual cancer or the treatment, but rather the struggle that I’ve had to endure with my bandmates and management in trying to convince them that this is not only logistically doable for me, but that it’s a big, big part of my recovery. The stress that this has caused me has been immense. Perhaps it’s something that only other cancer patients can comprehend; while everyone else wrongfully assumes it’s ‘best for you to stay in bed and recover,’ the truth is that continuing to live your life the way you want to is the best therapy. Doing so raises a big middle finger, f*ck you to cancer.
“I do not for one minute believe that this disease will kill me. However, if I happen to be wrong about that, I would much, much rather die on my feet than die on my knees.”
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