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Cancer-stricken actress Valerie Harper: 'Incurable is a tough word'

March 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, March 11 (UPI) -- U.S. television actress Valerie Harper says she is trying to live life to the fullest since being diagnosed with incurable brain cancer.

Harper's first television interview since revealing her cancer diagnosis last week aired on NBC's "Today" show Monday.

The 73-year-old actress said she was diagnosed less than two months ago during her book tour for "I, Rhoda a Memoir," and was told by doctors she only has months to live.

Asked if she remains hopeful, the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda" icon replied, "More than hopeful, I have an intention to live each moment fully."

So, when did the reality of her prognosis hit her?

"When I heard incurable," Harper replied. "Incurable is a tough word... . A lot of people were calling -- 'Can I come by the house?' 'Are you in a wheelchair?' Because they hear it as this death sentence. Which it may be. But I'm not dying until I do. I promise I won't."

Harper said there are times when she feels sad.

"I don't mean this to be Pollyanna," she said.

"I allow myself the grief."

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