After revealing that she has terminal brain cancer, the ‘Rhoda’ star said in a new interview that she is ‘scared’ for her family, but she is ready to die. So sad.
Valerie Harper, 73, made the tragic announcement on March 6 that she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and in two new interviews she revealed how scared she is. The iconic TV actress appeared on The Today Show on March 11 to talk about her tragic illness, and she told host Savannah Guthrie that she “doesn’t want to go” but she is ready to say “bye bye” to her family. On The Doctors, she admitted that she wants to be “less afraid of death.” So inspirational.
Valerie Harper Talks About Her Illness On ‘The Today Show’
Valerie looked stunning when she appeared on The Today Show, and she certainly did not look like someone who has been given three months to live. She opened up to Savannah, and admitted that her terminal illness scares her.
“It is incurable so far,” said Valerie, who admitted that “she is ready to say bye bye” to her family. She was so sad and honest when she said “I don’t wanna go” and “I’m scared. I’m scared for my family.” The Rhoda star even revealed that she has tried to reason with her cancer!
“I said listen you little guys [the cancerous cells], you can live if you don’t kill me.” Valerie said her husband of 34 years, Tony Cacciotti, “got hit like a ton of bricks” by the diagnosis, but they are “committed to facing this challenge together.” Valerie was also interviewed on The Doctors on March 11, where the doctors noted that her brain cancer could be a secondary cancer related to the lung cancer she suffered in 2009.
Valerie Opens Up About Her Cancer On ‘The Doctors’
Following her Today Show interview, Valerie sat down with the The Doctors doctors Travis Stork, Lisa Masterson, and Andrew Ordon, along with her own team of doctors to examine her diagnosis of brain cancer. “What I have is rare. It’s also incurable, so far. [Those are the words] I’m looking up — ‘so far’ — because they’re doing research as we speak,” Valerie told the doctors. “More than anything, I’m living in the moment.”
“I really want Americans and all of us to be less afraid of death,” said the inspirational Valerie. “Know that it’s a passage, but don’t go to the funeral before the day of the funeral. While you’re living, live.” Valerie admitted that she has broken down several times over her illness.
“I have moments of really sobbing, but I let myself do it. I really cry and then I go, ‘OK, you’ve been the drama queen. Are you over it? OK, now, make the pasta.’ And I do.” Valerie was then shocked by surprise appearances by former co-stars Ed Asner and Cloris Leachman. Ed said via telephone “I think you’re the greatest.”
“I’m absolutely devastated by this news. Valerie has given such joy, laughter and love to the world. I join her fans and send much love and positive thoughts to her and her family during this difficult time.” said Valerie’s former co-star Mary Tyler Moore.
Valerie then admitted that her loving husband Tony knew about her diagnosis before she did. “I didn’t get [the diagnosis] because my husband hid it,” Valerie shared. “Poor baby. He was so bereft. [The doctors] said there is nothing we can do for her, and [she has] three to six months, maybe.”
The doctors admitted that Valerie’s cancer is extremely rare. “I’ve taken care of over 10,000 patients with lung cancer in my career, and I’ve never seen this exact presentation,” said Dr. Ronald Natale. “The blood-brain barrier is part of the problem with brain tumors, explained Dr. Rudnick. “This blood-brain barrier, from an evolutionary standpoint, was designed to protect us. It was there to protect you against bacteria and infections, but unfortunately, now, what we find is that this barrier also protects us against chemotherapy.”
Valerie finished her interview by saying that she had been overwhelmed by the amount of support she had gotten from her fans and the public. “There’s so much love out there for me. It’s been great. It’s been an actually lovely experience for me.”
Valerie Reveals She Has Terminal Brain Cancer
In an interview with PEOPLE magazine, The Mary Tyler Moore star bravely announced that she has been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare kind of cancer where cancer cells fill the fluid membrane surrounding the brain.
“I don’t think of dying. I think of being here now,” Valerie says. “I’m well past my expiration date already.”
Valerie is so inspirational. She has remained so upbeat and positive with her diagnosis, and her main concern is her family.
What do YOU think HollywoodLifers? Does Valerie have the right attitude?
— Eleanore Hutch