Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon’s Mesothelioma Case

Who is Warren Zevon?

Warren Zevon was an American rock singer and musician who was best known for his cynical opinions on life in his lyrics. The bulk of Zevon’s songs possessed historical or political themes. Zevon was born in Chicago to a Russian father and American mother. His family moved to California when he was 8 years old. At the age of 16, his parents divorced. Distraught and confused, Zevon quit high school and moved to New York to become a folk singer. 

In the winter of 1975, Zevon flew back to California where he roomed with then un-known Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. There, he collaborated with other soon-to-be famous musicians including Jackson Browne. A year later, Zevon released his first album. 

Two years after the release of his first album, Zevon earned critical acclaim and worldwide success with his second album, Excitable Boy. Zevon led a life of paranoia and intense fame; he is regarded as one of America’s true rock and roll legends.

Warren Zevon’s Mesothelioma Case:

Zevon often described a lifelong phobia of the doctors and the medical industry, claiming that he refused to seek medical assessment regardless of his problems. Shortly before playing a Music Festival in Edmonton, Zevon started feeling dizzy and developed a persistent and painful cough. After a period of suffering from shortness of breath and intense pains, the music legend was encouraged by his dentist to seek medical help. Upon seeing a doctor, Zevon was diagnosed with Stage IV peritoneal mesothelioma cancer.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is strongly associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. Stage IV mesothelioma is regarded as inoperable and has a median life expectancy of 8 months following diagnosis. 

Zevon refused to be treated for the cancer and instead opted to focus his remaining time on producing a final album. 

On October 30th of 2002, Zevon, on the last legs of his life, was featured on the Late Show with David Letterman. Zevon was the only guest for the hour-long show. Him and his band played a number of songs throughout the show, while speaking in great detail about his mesothelioma diagnosis. Zevon was a frequent guest of the show in years past, often substituting as the show’s bandleader. 

Zevon previously mentioned throughout various interviews that his mesothelioma cancer was expected to be terminal within months following his diagnosis. However, Zevon lived for over a year and got to enjoy the birth of his grandsons in the Spring of 2003. 

Warren Zevon died on September 7th of 2003 at the age of 56 in his Los Angeles Home. His final album, titled The Wind, reached certified gold in December of the same year. Zevon received five posthumous Grammy nominations for his work on his final album. The legendary musician was cremated and his ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Los Angeles. 

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