Aretha Franklin feels "great" after undergoing surgery.

The legendary singer - who has refused to confirm reports she is battling pancreatic cancer - was allowed home from hospital earlier this week and though she was told by doctors she must recuperate for eight weeks, she hasn't ruled out doing some work.

She said: "I feel great. The doctors say I can do whatever I feel like I am up to do. Of course, that doesn't mean any concerts or anything like that. But I can do things around the house, and today I am just piddling around the house. It is good to sit up, too. I also might make one or two business calls. Not too much, just a teeny bit.

"I am putting Aretha together first. We will put Ree Ree together first. This is Aretha time to do whatever it is that I need to do. But I will talk more later."

However, the 68-year-old star is positive about her diagnosis, saying she doesn't need any Christmas presents because her improving health is enough.

She said: "God has given me the greatest gift already for the holidays. I am so grateful."

Aretha also praised the support she has received from "the great sisterhood", saying the support of those closest to her is helping her through her illness.

She told JET magazine: "Sisterhood is so important. It really means a lot because it is solid. The sisters came together over me. They can put it together and they can pull it together. They said, 'What is it that you need? What needs to be done?' Don't think the sisters can't handle it. We can handle it. And we have to be reciprocal in that manner. People don't know whose help they may need. People support you, you support them."

Aretha was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942 and grew up in Michigan where she started singing in her local church as a young girl.

The soul legend - whose hits include 'I Say A Little Prayer', 'Think' and 'Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves' - has won 20 Grammy Awards and had 20 number one hits in the Billboard top 100 music chart.