Valerie Harper’s Family Gives Sad Update About ‘Rhoda’ Star’s Cancer Battle
It's really hard to hear someone so vibrant is going through something so dark, but Valerie is doing it with the same grace she always has.
Fans of Valerie Harper, best known for her roles in the iconic sitcoms “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda,” are feeling devastated this week after the actress’s family has revealed that doctors have recommended the 79-year-old be placed in hospice care after a long battle with cancer.
“I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can’t [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won’t because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she’s been here on earth,” her husband Tony Cacciotti wrote on Facebook, according to Fox News. “We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible. There are two special ANGELS on this planet masquerading as humans who live and work together, that has made it possible to have all of Val’s needs taken care of.”
“For those of you who have been in this position, you will totally understand that ‘it’s hard letting go.’ So as long as I’m able and capable, I’ll be where I belong right beside her,” he added. “Many, many thanks for your outpouring of kindness and support.”
Harper Diagnosed With Incurable Cancer In 2013
Harper originally beat lung cancer back in 2009, but four years later in 2013, she was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. This form of cancer is incurable, and though Harper was told at the time that she only had months to live, she has been able to keep fighting for the last six years thanks to the incredible medical care that she has received.
Harper’s daughter Cristina Cacciotti spoke out this week to reveal how heartbreaking this has been for her father.
“My mom is the center of his world — from personal to professional,” she said. “She is his everything… She used to joke that [my dad] should court one of the older ladies at the gym. She didn’t want him to suffer or to be alone.”
It has been very hard on Cristina as well, as she remembers getting a difficult phone call from her mother back in February while she was in the hospital. It was hard to understand what Harper was saying because she has aphasia, an impairment of the brain’s language function.
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“She was trying to communicate, but it was hard,” said a tearful Cristina. “She’s my mom and she’s always been my best friend. She said that we should be focused on our lives here and making the best out of any situation. She believed that when you pass on you only go somewhere else.”
Harper Herself Discusses Her Cancer Battle
Back in 2017, Harper herself opened up about her cancer battle and how grateful she was for the care her husband was giving her.
“[This is about] facing a disease that really doesn’t have a good diagnosis,” said Harper at the time. “I happen to have a fabulous caregiver who is my husband, Tony Cacciotti. He’s been taking care of everything. Everything in my life. It’s just the most wonderful thing. In fact, my husband doesn’t let me go anywhere alone. He drives me everywhere. He’s incredible.”
At the time, Harper was still exploring treatments, and she was glad to have made it five years into her diagnosis.
“People are saying, ‘She’s on her way to death and quickly,’” the actress said. “Now it’s five years instead of three months… And the thing is, everyone is going to die in one way or another. So why don’t you fight it? I’m going to fight this. I’m going to see a way.”
Harper’s strength that she has shown throughout this battle has inspired millions of fans from all over the globe. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as she continues this fight for her life.