Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson as of late talked with Full Metal Jackie and clarified how he confronted being mortal when he had tongue cancer. He said (transcriped by Blabbermouth):

“When I got the diagnosis, I was surprised. I didn’t figure I would be… I figured I would be extremely worried over possibly never singing again, in any case, really, I wasn’t; it didn’t concern me in the slighest.

‘Cause I understood that life – all parts of it: life, kids, family, getting up in the morning and taking a gander at the daylight, noticing the dead leaves in the autumn; all that stuff – was quite a lot more valuable than anything to do with work or job or anything. In this way, better believe it, I think you simply attempt and experience each minute.

I think the intriguing bit is the ‘facing mortality’ bit, because, actually, that is the bit that has had minimal measure of impact in what my life approach has been in the wake of getting over the cancer thing. Since being terrified of dying is a straightforward one, since it’s going to happen at any rate eventually. So having had a little thought, when you get diagnosed [with] cancer, ‘Oh my god, I might die.’

Be that as it may, at that point you simply make a stride back and go, ‘Do you feel sick?’ And the answer is, ‘Not exceptionally. Not at this moment.’ You’re not going to die tomorrow, and you’re not going to die next week. So, in fact, what truly has changed? Not a whole lot – with the exception of that you have this disease and you’re going to try and get rid of it.

So, having got rid of it, I then truly adopted the strategy that it wasn’t dying that was the issue, it was living. [Laughs] And living turns out to be much more essential, because it’s so amazing.”