DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott spoke to Billboard.com about the status of guitarist Vivian Campbell, who is undergoing stem-cell treatment in his continuing battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"The latest that I'm aware of with Viv, they were harvesting stem cells from him and do whatever they do in a Petry dish with them, and then they were gonna carpet bomb him with chemo for a week and he was gonna be kept in the hospital...Then they're gonna put the stem cells back in and do whatever they do, wave the magic wand and say 'Abracadabra,'" he said. "Hopefully by the middle of November they're gonna let him out. We were under the impression he would be in the hospital until Christmas, but the last email he sent me, which was about two weeks ago, said, 'It looks like I may be able to get out of here by mid-November."
Elliott added that he and the other DEF LEPPARD members "don't bombard [Vivian] with emails and phone calls every day going 'How are you doing? How are you doing?' 'cause it's like saying, 'Has your hair grown any longer since yesterday?' It's a slow process, so you're best waiting. He'll contact us when he's got something to say, but it's all fingers crossed and thumbs up and very positive vibes going around — coming from him, which kind of rubs off, really. It makes us think there's a good outcome for this."
DEF LEPPARD has tapped TRIXTER guitarist Steve Brown to fill in for Campbell.
Brown made his live debut with DEF LEPPARD on September 28 at the pre-game show at the first of this year's three NFL International Series games when the Oakland Raiders hosted the Miami Dolphins.
Video footage of Brown's debut appearance with DEF LEPPARD can be seen below.
Campbell — who before joining DEF LEPPARD in 1992 was well known for his work with DIO and WHITESNAKE — went public with his Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis last year, but announced in November 2013 that he was in remission.
The term "remission" means that the symptoms of the cancer have either been eliminated or reduced. When the tumor is completely gone, doctors call it "complete remission."
However, Campbell revealed earlier in the year that the cancer had returned and he was battling the disease with a new high-tech chemo treatment.