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Valerie Harper's cancer terminal: "But guess what? Not today!"

Jaclyn is an Idaho native who currently lives in Milwaukee. Having worked in radio, TV and as a newspaper reporter, she is an avid pop culture and news junkie. She also has a passion for photography and cooking (but is still learning to ...

One day at a time

Valerie Harper is denying claims she is cancer-free, but she is doing everything she can to live her life now.
One day at a time
Photo credit: Nikki Nelson/

Valerie Harper is not letting cancer get her down. The 74-year-old actress is refuting earlier claims she is "cancer-free," but she does have positivity when it comes to her diagnosis.

Valerie Harper wants you to be "less afraid of death" >>

"My last scans have been positive, and my doctors are very happy," she told Closer Weekly (via People). "[The oncologist] looked at the scans and said, 'Oh my God, Valerie, this is very encouraging.'"

Harper had only been given months to live when she first got her diagnosis, but she decided to ignore that and went on to appear on Dancing with the Stars. She said she is not in remission, but her doctor is by her side through the whole fight.

"He likes to say, 'I give you a treatment, and it's either responsive or nonresponsive, and you are having a phenomenal response," she said, adding that she still has a big fight ahead of her. "In response to a recent erroneous quote concerning my health, I am not 'absolutely cancer-free'. I wish I were. Right now what I am is cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future."

The Rhoda star said she is undergoing treatments, and all she can do now is try to keep a good attitude and spend her life the way she wants.

"My cancer is incurable and terminal, but guess what? Not today!" Harper told People. "There is all manner of suffering in the world, not all of it by any stretch related just to cancer or to illness, but all kinds of suffering."

Mary Tyler Moore "devastated" over Valerie Harper's sad news >>

Harper is still acting, and is appearing on Hallmark's Signed, Sealed, Delivered, premiering Sunday. But for now, she is inspiring others to control their destinies, no matter what the diagnosis.

"Don't go to the funeral before it is time. So my time is looking good today and that's how we are all supposed to live our lives — one day at a time."

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