Natalie Cole

Lisa O'Connor/

Here's a bit of unforgettable, and sadly regrettable, news from Natalie Cole.

The second-generation Grammy winner has revealed that she was diagnosed with hepatitis C during a routine visit to the doctor, a disease she most likely contracted, her doctors say, as a result of past drug use.

"I've been so fortunate to have learned so much from my past experiences," Cole said. "I am embraced by the love and support of my family and friends; I am committed to my belief in myself and in abiding faith to meet this challenge with a heartfelt optimism and determination."

"This is how I intend to deal with this current challenge in my life," declared the singer.

If that doesn't work, she can always lean on the shoulders of Pamela Anderson, Steven Tyler, Natasha Lyonne and Naomi Judd, all of whom have gone public, confirming they are afflicted with the liver disease typically spread through infected blood.

Cole's doctors, meanwhile, say the 58-year-old is responding well to treatment, though she has "suffered significant side effects," including fatigue, muscle aches and dehydration. But according to physician Graham Woolf, "she is recovering from these."

"Natalie has had a terrific response to her medication and is now virus negative," Woolf, the Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said. "This gives her an increased chance of cure."

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