"I feel very comfortable in my life," Fender told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times for a story published Wednesday. "I'm one year away from 70 and I've had a good run. I really believe I'm OK. In my mind and in my heart, I feel OK. I cannot complain that I haven't lived long enough, but I'd like to live longer."
Fender started his career in the late 1950s and hit the charts with "Before The Next Teardrop Falls," "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and "You'll Lose A Good Thing." He has won three Grammy Awards, the most recent in 2002.
He was to have surgery in early January to remove the upper left lobe of his lung because of a fungal infection, but surgeons found two large tumors and left the lobe intact.
Fender underwent chemotherapy in late January but stopped because of its side effects. A scan later found nine more tumors.
He was resting at his home in Corpus Christi, said Vangie Huerta, his wife and manager, adding that she did not ask doctors to estimate how long he might live.
Fender, who has canceled all performances, has decided to resume chemotherapy at a lower dosage.
"We can prolong his life with medication or chemo, but it's not a cure," his wife said.
Fender received a kidney from his daughter in 2002 and a liver transplant in 2004. He has had problems with diabetes and hepatitis C.