Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed Saturday that his cancer has returned and will force him to miss the opening dates of the band’s summer tour.
“I’m saddened by the fact that my cancer has returned,” Campbell posted on his Facebook page over the weekend. “However, I’m beyond consolation that its return will prevent me from being able to do my job for a while.”
Continued Campbell: “I’m still working on a schedule of treatment with my doctors, but I will see you all very soon. My apologies.”
The 52-year-old musician’s announcement came just days before Def Leppard was to begin their summer amphitheater tour with Styx and Tesla.
However, the band’s opening show Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, will go on as scheduled, according to Rolling Stone, with Trixter guitarist Steve Brown once again filling in for Campbell.
Campbell will only miss the first few shows of the tour, a rep for Def Leppard told Entertainment Weekly, as his treatment regimen will be tailored to allow him to continue to work.
Campbell was first diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, which affects the lymphatic system, in 2013.
“I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of ‘the cough that wouldn’t quit,'” Campbell wrote on Facebook in 2013 while in the midst of chemotherapy. “Otherwise, how would I have known?”
He wrote the following November that he was “officially in remission from Hodgies,” and in 2014, Campbell stated the cancer was still in remission although his excitement was tempered.
“I’m trying not to get too excited about it as I heard that same phrase late last year only to be disappointed again a few months after when it returned,” he wrote on Facebook. “The plan is to do a stem cell transplant as soon as the tour is finished.”
Just after completing his chemotherapy in 2013, Campbell told Rolling Stone that he was playing guitar “better than I’ve ever played in my life.”
“Unlike an athlete, it’s not like a physical thing where your body packs in when you’re 30. You actually get better and better,” Campbell said. “And also having this whole f—ing chemo and cancer bollocks, the fact I’ve been able to work through it has really helped me mentally. And I’m really enjoying playing my instrument again, which I wouldn’t have honestly been able to say 10 years ago.”