Beaming happily, Valerie Harper visited Queen Latifah's talk show on September 30 to discuss how a combination of holistic remedies and a positive attitude have enabled her to participate fully in life despite her cancer diagnosis.
Valerie explained that she's chosen to use holistic remedies combined with Western medicine to battle her cancer. Among the alternative health options she's using are Chinese teas, acupuncture and guided imagery. Her East meets West approach combined with her belief in focusing on today rather than worrying about tomorrow drew a standing ovation.
Queen Latifah asked Valerie how being on "Dancing with the Stars" has affected her body. At 74, Valerie admitted that she has some knee pain from the dancing. However, she noted that she has lost weight and is happy about it. She began her sessions on the show emphasizing her desire to shed some pounds and keep moving no matter what.
Throughout the discussion, Valerie emphasized her belief that a positive attitude will help her battle with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which initially offered a grim prognosis. However, this is not her first battle with cancer. She previously had lung cancer.
Ironically, in her new book "I, Rhoda," Valerie wrote that she had recovered from that cancer, confessed the actress, sighing as Queen Latifah held up a copy of the memoir. When she learned about her new diagnosis, it was too late to make changes. Now, however, both Valerie and her physicians are hopeful that the result will be as positive for her new battle.
Valerie's neuro-oncologist Dr. Jeremy Rudnick recently said, "It is actually getting close to remission," according to the New York Daily News.
Looking embarrassed, Valerie said that she has had to take it easy during the practices and rarely even breaks a sweat. And her illness seemed to slow her ability to succeed on "Dancing with the Stars" on September 30.
Valerie admitted that she had problems remembering steps in addition to her knee pain.
"I get so mad at myself!" she wailed as she flubbed and flounced her way through her dance routine.
But considering her initial prognosis, it's clear that Valerie cherishes every minute of her life today. And even though the show consists of competition, we're willing to bet that every participant on the show as well as the viewers are rooting for Valerie to win her battle for life.