Natalie Cole has resumed her tour schedule following a break to address problems with her kidney. The singer, however, must undergo dialysis three times a week, for three hours a day while traveling.
“The dialysis is to wash my blood, to keep my kidneys functioning,” she told People magazine. “When they put me in the hospital, [my kidneys were] only about 8 percent [functioning].”
The kidney problem was in addition to her ongoing battle with hepatitis C. She is currently virus negative and says of her return to the road, “It feels great to be back.”
“I feel sturdy and strong,” the 58-year-old Grammy-winner told People Tuesday at a CD signing for her new album, “Still Unforgettable,” in L.A. “And my voice is still here! It’s almost like a miracle because [the treatment] didn’t affect my [singing].”
Cole, who was hospitalized in September after suffering a setback in her treatment, described battling the liver disease as her “biggest challenge” ever.
“I’ve never been through anything like this,” she said. “I’ve never been this ill.” But, she explains, “I love what I do so much. I just keep going. Not much can bring me down.”