VIDEO – On letter writing day Dan speaks about how learning to pen changed his life forever.
MACLEANS – The Philippines is no stranger to tragedy: Musician Dan Hill on a nation that needs all the help it can get.
“News cycles come and go. We’re so inundated with natural disasters overseas: tsunamis wiping out hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia and beyond, earthquakes devastating Japan, and now, typhoon Haiyan. Everyone has heard the latest statistics of the Philippines’ most recent disaster, from wind speeds to numbers of people perished to the exponentially greater numbers of people rendered homeless, to the 10 million citizens whose lives have been seriously upended. I suspect the litany of statistics keeps most of us in North America at some remove. More…“
MACLEANS – Dan Hill tells all: The singer-songwriter’s candid and moving account of prostate cancer, along with a video interview and new song—for your iPad
Five months ago, Dan Hill—award-winning singer, songwriter and author—was backstage, 30 minutes away from performing a concert, when he got a call on his cellphone. “Dan, you have cancer,” said his doctor. “Prostate cancer.”
He went on stage and spent the next two hours singing as though he might never sing again. Or so he was told. “It was almost like going into a black hole. I don’t remember anything.”
In the April 16 issue of Maclean’s magazine and reproduced in this e-book special, Hill has written a candid and moving account of what it’s really like to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“The first nurse speaks with a strong accent. ‘Compared to when you were 18, how hard are your erections now?’ I squirm and confess I can’t recall.” Maclean’s visited Hill at his home in Toronto to talk more about his experience of cancer. “Imagine,” says Hill, “that someone said, ‘You can have 10 more years, live a full life—meaning sex life—or you can have 30 more years, but you may not have a sexual life in a typical sense.’ What a decision to make.”
He says he wanted to write the article for “men like me who are oblivious. Don’t make the mistakes I made and just ignore it.” Recovered from surgery now, he’s running and performing concerts. “One of the things I did to make myself feel better is that I kicked up my running even more. I knew that I had to stay active, that I had to keep living as if my life was actually going to unfold naturally because when you stop, when you freeze, and you think about it, that’s when the demons come and can drag you down.”