Valerie Harper


Valerie Harper is facing her final days with steadfast optimism.

In an interview airing Monday, the TV icon sat down with the Today show's Savannah Guthrie to talk about coming to terms with both grief and inner peace after revealing last week that she has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Doctors have reportedly given the 73-year-old Mary Tyler Moore vet between three and six months to live, but the actress says she's determined to focus on "infinite possibility" and the hopefulness of "miracles."

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"Incurable is a tough word," she explains, adding that while many people see the diagnosis as "this death sentence," she remains undeterred. "I'm not dying until I do. I promise I won't."

"More than hopeful, I have an intention to live each moment fully," she says.

Although Harper reveals that "I don't mean this to be Pollyanna—I allow myself the grief," she is relieved to have come out in the open about her health situation.

"I also feel so much better not hiding," she notes. "It feels awful damn good to be open about it, face it and see what you can do. If you die, you're not a failure. You're just somebody who had cancer. And that's the outcome."

Harper, whose inconsolable husband initially hid her diagnosis from her, also makes it clear that she is not saying her goodbyes just yet.

"What I'm saying is keep your consciousness, your thoughts open to infinite possibility and keep yourself open to miracles."

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