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Friday
Mar082013

Valerie Harper: I Got an 'Amazingly Shocking' Diagnosis

Leslie Nestor Miranda/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Valerie Harper isn't letting her terminal brain cancer diagnosis slow her down.  In a newly-released online video, the Rhoda star is sharing her story in her own words.

"I recently got an amazingly shocking diagnosis from my doctors that I had an incurable, very rare form of cancer. I just wanted to share this clearly and impactfully," she said in the People magazine video released Thursday.

According to People, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Valerie actress received the news on Jan. 15 after a series of tests that revealed that cancer cells had spread into the fluid surrounding her brain.  Doctors told Harper she had a rare condition called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and only has three months to live.

"I don't think of dying," the 73-year-old actress told the magazine.  "I think of being here now."

Harper, who previously battled lung cancer in 2009, started feeling discomfort in January, including numbness in her jaw, during rehearsals for Looped, her one-woman show.  After three spinal taps, tests revealed the new cancer diagnosis, which is a rare form that only accounts for 2 percent of all cancers, according to People.

In an interview that aired Thursday night, Harper's Mary Tyler Moore co-star Cloris Leachman told the TV show omg! INSIDER that she'd recently spoken to Harper and refuses to think of her as someone who's terminally ill.

"I think of Valerie as the most joyful, spirited, energetic, alive person in the world, my brain won't make any other picture.  It won't.  It just won't process," said Leachman. 

The second part of the interview will air Friday night.

Harper will discuss her diagnosis in an interview on TV's The Doctors set to air Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  She will be joined by her husband, Leachman and Mary Tyler Moore co-star Ed Asner.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio