LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Actress Valerie Harper talked about courage and hope in the face of her terminal brain cancer diagnosis during a visit to “The Doctors” Monday.
“I just thought that while I’m still able, because it is brain, to speak, to show you that I’m cooking my husband’s dinner, I’m walking on the bluff at Santa Monica, and more than anything, I’m living in the moment,” she said. “I really want Americans, and all of us, to be less afraid of death and know that it’s a passage… don’t go to the funeral before the day of the funeral. While you’re living, live.”
Harper, who is best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda”, was joined on the syndicated health talk show by her longtime husband, Tony Cacciotti, and former co-star Cloris Leachman.
The 73-year-old iconic actress revealed to People magazine last week that she was suffering from a rare, incurable form of cancer.
Dr. Travis Stork told CBS2’s Carter Evans that he asked Harper why she decided to talk to the media if she only had a few months to live.
“Valerie said something really profound. She said, ‘Dr. Travis, this is not for everyone.’ She said, ‘This is my way of dealing with it,’” said Stork.
Harper is undergoing experimental chemotherapy, but Stork said her condition is extremely difficult to treat.
“Think of it as her brain is being bathed in cancerous cells, and it’s just so hard to target them all,” said Stork.
Harper plans to spend her remaining days close to loved ones.