Country music legend Merle Haggard is hoping to return to the recording studio after undergoing lung cancer surgery at the end of 2008.
The singer/songwriter, 71, is making a steady recovery after his operation in November (08), and he has started to exercise on a stationery bike at his home.
He tells People magazine, "I'm doing real well, a little better every day... I'm going into the studio to see how my voice sounds."
And he admits he "got real lucky" because his cancer op wasn't a big deal: "Most of the reports were like, 'He's got six months to live!' There was never any indication of that.
"I lost the upper lobe of my right lung where there was a tumor suspended like a fruit on a tree. But there was no chemo.
"I feel like I've extended my life. I'm in better shape than when I went in."
And Haggard is already planning his next tour: "I need an enormous amount of money to maintain my lifestyle so I've got to go to work. The economy requires it!"