Sick singer Aretha Franklin is refusing to let her mystery illness slow her down and aims to be back on stage in the spring (11), according to her cousin.
The music legend underwent "successful" surgery at a hospital in Detroit, Michigan last week (ends05Dec10) to treat an undisclosed ailment.
Subsequent reports suggest Franklin, 68, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and although family members have refused to confirm the nature of the star's illness, her cousin Brenda Corbett reveals the singer is determined to make a full recovery.
She tells the Detroit Free Press, "Aretha is doing better than doctors expected. She has a long life in front of her and will be back in concert, on stage, late spring or early summer."
Corbett also insisted Franklin will not discuss the nature of her troubles until she is ready, adding: "It's her private business, and she's just not ready to talk about it. Give her time to heal. When people ask for their privacy, respect them for that."
Franklin's sister-in-law, Earline Franklin, adds, "Aretha is doing absolutely wonderful. All the prayers and well wishes have supported her, and she's doing well."
The soul singer, who cancelled a number of shows over the summer (10) on doctors' orders, is reportedly expected to be released from hospital at the weekend (11-12Dec10).