Valerie Harper, a TV legend for her performances as Rhoda Morgenstern on two seminal sitcoms — “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda” — is doing her best to stay positive after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
Doctors have given Harper as little as three months to live, as previously reported. But Harper says she could have a week, a year … or some other outcome.
Harper told USA Today: "I can’t say it’s terminal. 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 chose to undergo chemotherapy to slow the spread of the disease, the publication reports. She’s still reportedly hoping for remission.
"I’m alive. I’m feeling good. I’m trying to live every moment as much as I can,” Harper added.
Harper said she worries that people "have a picture of me in a bed or a wheelchair or in trouble. Three months may be accurate [for her life expectancy], but it is not the whole truth. I could have a seizure within a week because of the nature of this cancer." She also says she could live much longer, the publication reports.
“Harper says that even though she is undergoing chemotherapy, ‘I feel better now than I did in December when I first started feeling symptoms,’" the story reports. “She said those were ‘few and far between’ but included some back pain and nausea, and ‘a weird feeling in my jaw.’"
Harper hasn’t given up on a miracle. "My husband says if we can slow it down, more stuff may come up," she said, expressing hope that new treatments will be found. “They are working fast and furiously for all of us; they’re not doing this for Valerie Harper because she played Rhoda. They are doing this for cancer patients."
"Miracles occur," the actress adds, "or people die the next day."
The report notes: “A round of media appearances, which included ‘The Doctors’ and NBC’s ‘Today’ show on Monday as well as the cover story in this week’s People, were to allow her to break the news ‘while I was still able. I figured I’d let everyone know the truth at one time.’”