Valerie Harper talks cancer: I'm ready to say goodbye, also ready to say hello (Video)
Valerie Harper recently opened up to OTRC.com about her cancer diagnosis, explaining that she's feeling ready to live.
The 73-year-old was diagnosed with a rare condition called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain. She received the diagnosis on Jan. 15 and revealed the news earlier this month. She was told she has as little as three months to live.
The "Mary Tyler Moore" alum, who has remained largely optimistic about her disease when talking to media, wants people to understand that while she has accepted her diagnosis, she isn't giving up.
"It's not the whole truth," Harper told OTRC.com. "People magazine was accurate - I am ready to say goodbye - I'm also ready to say hello. The diagnosis of three months could be - it also could be one week, given where it is. It could also be a year. Because my doctor Natalie from Cedars said, 'Valerie, I have people who have lived much, much longer than three to six months' ... they can't predict, because nobody knows."
(Watch Harper's interview with OTRC.com above.)
The actress, who is known for her numerous roles over the years, went on to explain how having the right mentality is imperative to facing the disease.
"The thing is, accepting what's true - we are all terminal, nobody's getting out of this alive," she continued. "We would not have life without death. It's a passage. It's part of life. And that's what I've come to realize."
On March 11, Harper also opened up in an interview with the "Today" show about her cancer diagnosis, saying: "I'm not dying until I do - I promise I won't."
"Life is life and we wouldn't have it without death," she added. The "Today" show appearance was her first TV interview since disclosing her diagnosis last week.
Harper rose to fame playing Rhoda Morgenstern on TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda." She won four Emmys in the role. She also recently released a memoir called "I, Rhoda."
Harper is also known for her role in her own family sitcom, "Valerie," which debuted in 1986. Jason Bateman played her son. Harper left the show after two seasons and was replaced by Sandy Duncan. The series' name was later changed to "The Hogan Family." Harper also guest-starred on "Drop Dead Diva" in 2011 and 2012.Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).