Due to pneumonia in both of his lungs, country legend Merle Haggard has canceled the rest of his February shows which were to be performed in California and Nevada.

Haggard, 78, struggled with lung cancer in 2008. He was reported to have double pneumonia last December, as he tried to push through the pain to finish off the year.

Earlier in the year, Haggard canceled his performances because of health concerns as well, and spent 11-days in the hospital. He had told Rolling Stone briefly before he was supposed to kick-off his tour last Tuesday, “I’m really lucky to be alive. It could have gone in another direction had I messed around a little more. I’m just hoping I’m fully able.”

But it seems Haggard may have been too ambitious in his hopes. A statement from his publicist says that Haggard is seeking further treatment for his illness and “is hopeful that he will be back on the road later in the spring.”

While some may criticize Haggard for the strenuous activity he is putting his body under, Haggard explained that the exercise is a necessary part of his recovery. “They won’t let you rest,” he said of the doctors at his treatment facility, Eisenhower Medical Center in California, “That’s because that’s what you have to do: get over it. They gave me steroids one time and I got up and I was teaching judo lessons.”

So don’t expect Haggard to give up playing shows any time soon. “I always felt better after I’d work because of the exercise it gave to my lungs. When I play, I feel better when I come off,” he said.

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