IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson remembered being diagnosed with tongue cancer back in 2015, telling Full Metal Jackie about his initial reaction:
“When I got the diagnosis, I was surprised. I didn’t think I would be… I thought I would be really worried about possibly never singing again, but, actually, I wasn’t; it didn’t concern me in the slightest.
“‘Cause I realized that life – all aspects of it: life, kids, family, getting up in the morning and looking at the sunshine, smelling the dead leaves in the autumn; all that stuff – was so much more precious than anything to do with work or job or anything. So, yeah, I think you just try and live every minute.”
Bruce also said:
“I think the interesting bit is the ‘facing mortality’ bit, because, actually, that’s the bit that has had the least amount of influence in what my life approach has been after getting over the cancer thing.
“Because the idea of being scared of dying is a pretty straightforward one, because it’s gonna happen anyway at some point. So having had a little thought, when you get diagnosed [with] cancer, ‘Oh my god, I might die.’
“But then you just take a step back and go, ‘Do you feel sick?’ And the answer is, ‘Not very. Not right now.’ You’re not gonna die tomorrow, and you’re not gonna die next week. So, in fact, what really has changed? Not a whole lot – except that you have this disease and you’re gonna try and get rid of it.
“So, having got rid of it, I then really took the approach that it wasn’t dying that was the issue, it was living. [Laughs] And living becomes even more important, because it’s so amazing.”