Tags: valerie harper | brain | cancer | remission

Valerie Harper Terminal Brain Cancer Nearly in Remission, Doctor Says

Image: Valerie Harper Terminal Brain Cancer Nearly in Remission, Doctor Says

Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 03:38 PM

By Michael Mullins

Valerie Harper's terminal brain cancer appears to be "close to remission," according to the 74-year-old Emmy Award-winning actress.

In a recent interview with NBC's "TODAY Show's" Meredith Vieira, Harper, who is most known for her roles in the 1970s sitcoms "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda," said she might have bought herself a little more time.

Valerie Harper Terminal Brain Cancer Nearly in Remission, Doctor Says In the segment, Harper's doctor, neuro-oncologist Jeremy Rudnick told Vieira, "I'd say that we're getting pretty close to a remission," adding, "it defies the odds."

Despite the positive news, Rudnick warned, "The problem is that at any time this can change," adding that the cancer can "develop resistance to the therapy and it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

"So is it about buying time in the hopes that something better comes?" Vieira asked.

"Life is about buying time," Rudnick replied. "Exactly," Harper agreed. "That's what I always say."

Physicians initially gave Harper three to six months to live in January when she was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which is caused by cancerous cells spreading into the membrane that surrounds the brain.

Despite the grim prognosis, Harper remained positive.

After revealing her illness in March in People magazine, Harper told NBC's Savannah Guthrie, "I’m not dying until I do. I have an intention to live each moment fully."

Since her diagnosis, Harper has been undergoing chemotherapy as well as several homeopathic remedies including acupuncture and Chinese tea, US Magazine reported.

Harper's husband of 34 years, Tony Cacciotti, expressed his excitement that his beloved wife might have more time with him to NBC.

"Going from having three months to live, or less; we're into our sixth month, and now there's even hope beyond right now we're looking at, I never planned on this," he said. "This is overwhelming."

As for Harper, the actress appears to have come to terms with her condition and has prepared herself for whatever life has in store for her.

"We're all going to die, but because I have a finite time — or have been told so by my doctors — I just want to live every moment to the fullest," Harper told Vieira.

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Related stories:

Valerie Harper 'DWTS': Terminally Ill Actress to Go 'Dancing With Stars'

Valerie Harper Acting in TV Movie Despite Terminal Cancer

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