Valerie Harper, sitcom star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda,” announced she has incurable brain cancer last week but that she intends to live every moment to the fullest.
Harper is 73 years old and became famous for her role of Rhoda Morgenstern on both of the aforementioned sitcoms. She received four Emmys for her role.
“I can’t say it’s terminal,” she said. “I’m saying it’s incurable so far, but we’re all terminal. No one is getting out of this alive. The key is, don’t go to the funeral until the day of the funeral.”
Harper said she has received a plethora of support from family, friends and fans since she announced her diagnosis.
Harper has been having symptoms for about eight months now. Her doctors have told her she may just have three months to a year to live. However, she remains in high spirits and has hope. She is receiving chemotherapy in case it is able to slow the cancer down.
Harper appeared on “The Doctors” and NBC’s “Today” show Monday to announce her diagnosis and is also on the cover of “People” magazine this week.
She said she is learning to cope with the idea of death and trying to live in the moment with the time she has left in her life.
Harper survived lung cancer several years ago, as she outlines in her memoir “I Rhoda.”
“I’ve had a great run,” she said. “I’m going to be 74. Life does not owe me a shred. I don’t want to go, but it’s the reality, and I’d love people to have less fear about death and encourage them to be here now.”