Valerie Harper, who disclosed last week that she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, made an appearance on “The Doctors” to discuss her life, as well as her sickness. Harper was joyful throughout her interview on the show, focusing on the positives she has been experiencing, like the outpouring of love she’s receiving from fans.
When asked how she found out about her diagnosis, she revealed that her husband, Tony Cacciotti, initially hid it from her, not wanting to believe it was real. However, when he came clean, and the couple got a second opinion, it was confirmed. Harper says she gave herself time to be sad, before deciding to move on with it. She says her motto throughout this ordeal hasn’t been “Why Me?” – but rather, “Why not me?” She pointed to her excellent health coverage, wonderful doctors, and the “greatest husband in the world,” as proof she is prepared to take this on.
There were also some surprises in store for Harper, starting with a phone call from fellow “Mary Tyler Moore Show” cast member Ed Asner. Asner jokingly tried to convince Harper to ditch her husband and move in with him. Later, an appearance by Cloris Leachman made the whole thing feel like even more of a reunion, as they talked about their former cast mates, and jokingly argued over who Mary Tyler Moore liked best, between them.
Toward the end of the show, when asked if she had any parting words for the audience, Harper smiled, saying, “Embrace yourselves, know you are perfect, even with all your flaws,” adding, “Experience your own wonderful humanity.”
Harper ended the show talking about an invitation she received to a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, known his working creating economic and social development in poorer regions, in April. In the only time Harper’s emotions got the better of her in the interview, she said with tears in her eyes, “He’s done such great work, I really hope I can make it.”