'To have that heal up, it takes a couple of good years. I think I'm all right now,' the country singer who had an operation for lung cancer said.
Country music icon Merle Haggard has been given the all-clear after a two-year battle with cancer. The "Okie From Muskogee" singer/songwriter had surgery to remove part of his lung in 2008 and admits it has been a struggle to get his health back.
Haggard, 73, scrapped a series of shows in September, prompting fans to worry his cancer had returned - but he was given a big health boost just before he was feted at the Kennedy Center Honors earlier this month.
He tells RollingStone.com, "It took a long time to get over that surgery. It took the best part of two years and I'm just now feeling like I might be able to reach over and pick up a garbage can with the right arm. They removed an upper lobe of my right lung, and they had to go in underneath my arm. It's quite painful and irritating to have that. You know how tender that is underneath your arm."
"To have that heal up, it takes a couple of good years. I think I'm all right now. I went down and had a check-up just prior to going back for this little gig (Kennedy Center Honors) and I was clear. I didn't have anything, and that's an awful good sign."