Valerie Harper Amazingly Optimistic About Incurable Cancer: 'I'm Not Dying Until I Do'S

Actress Valerie Harper — who recently revealed that she has incurable brain cancer — spoke with Today's Savannah Guthrie (while also battling laryngitis) and exhibited an astonishing amount of calm and positivity. Harper, who was such a hit on The Mary Tyler Moore Show that she had her own spinoff, Rhoda, from 1974 to 1978 — has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, but her attitude is remarkable:

At first I saw, oh my god, three months to live… It's not the whole truth. It's not… It could be six [months], it could be five years. You just don't know. The thing I have, it's very rare, and it's serious, and it's incurable so far. So I'm holding on to the 'so far.' But I'm also quite ready to say bye-bye.

Harper is on chemotherapy and helps by talking to her cancer cells ("Why not?"), and in general, seems to have the best possible attitude about what some might consider the worst possible news. It's clear she's not focused on dying, she's focused on living:

I'm not dying until I do. I promise I won't.

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Valerie Harper on cancer: 'I'm not dying until I do' [Today]