Valerie Harper Appears On ‘The Doctors,’ Talks Brain Cancer Treatment
Valerie Harper made a guest appearance on the health talk show The Doctors on Monday to talk about how she’s managing to live fully, despite her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer.
“I just thought that while I’m still able, because it is my brain, to speak, to show you that I’m cooking my husband’s dinner, I’m walking on the bluff at Santa Monica, and more than anything, I’m living in the moment,” she said. “I really want Americans, and all of us, to be less afraid of death and know that it’s a passage… don’t go to the funeral before the day of the funeral. While you’re living, live.”
Both her longtime husband Tony Cacciotti and former co-star Cloris Leachman joined her on The Doctors. Ed Asner, another former co-star, phoned into the show, telling Harper, “It's time to dump Tony and move in with me.”
Harper was diagnosed several weeks ago, and might only have three more months to live. Two of her Los Angeles-based doctors also appeared on the show, openly discussing what makes Harper’s cancer so difficult to treat. They explained that the blood brain barrier that serves to filter infectious agents can't be treated by chemotherapy. Although, there’s a 50% chance the doctors could identify an aspect of the cancer that will allow them to perform an experimental treatment.
Harper, 73, is best known for her character Rhoda Morgenstern, who was the sidekick to Mary Tyler Moore's Mary Richards in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, before branching into the spinoff, Rhoda. Harper won 4 Emmy Awards for playing the character Rhoda.