Valerie Harper’s resilience in the face of her terminal cancer diagnosis continues to inspire as she begins to make the talk show rounds today. Valerie appeared on NBC’s “Today” show with Savannah Guthrie this morning, and her appearance on “The Doctors”, in which she’s reunited with former co-stars from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, is airing Monday afternoon. Harper cut to the chase in an inspiring video message she posted to YouTube Friday, in which she points out, “we’re all terminal”.
The 73 year-old “Rhoda” actress taped an episode of syndicated medical talk show "The Doctors", during which she spoke with the show's co-hosts about how she and her family have coped with her cancer diagnosis, as well as how she intends to live out her final days.
Doctors have given Valerie as little as three months to live, according to CBS News. During the show, she was joined by co-stars Cloris Leachman and Ed Asner, as well as her husband Tony Cacciotti.
Harper became famous portraying neighbor Rhoda Morgenstern on TV's “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff, “Rhoda”. She won four Emmys in the role, according to Fox News.
Harper’s team of oncologists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. will also join the panel to discuss her condition and treatment.
Valerie revealed to the public Wednesday that she had been diagnosed in January with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, “a rare disease in which cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane near the brain”. Harper, a non-smoker, beat lung cancer in 2009.
In her “Today” show interview Monday morning, the 70s sitcom star says she's not ready to say good-bye and she's keeping herself “open to a miracle”. She told Savannah Guthrie that “incurable” is a tough word. People, “hear it as this death sentence”, she said.
“I have to tell you I am blown away by her resilience and her resolve in the face of such a dire, dire diagnosis”, said “The Doctors” co-host Dr. Travis Stork.
Harper insisted in her “Today” interview that she's, “more than hopeful. I have an intention to live each moment fully. I'm not dying until I do”, she said. “I promise I won't”.
Here’s a trip down memory lane - in one of the most classic and iconic episodes of TMTMS, Valerie’s character Rhoda throws a monkey wrench in one of Mary’s typically disastrous dinner parties, catered by Betty White’s Sue Ann Nivens, when she unwittingly brings a date, Henry Winkler, aka “The Fonz”, and there’s neither enough seats at the table, nor enough portions of Prince Orloff to go around.