Valerie Harper Discusses Cancer Diagnosis on 'GMA'

"Rhoda" star discusses her diagnosis with a rare and incurable brain cancer.
7:55 | 03/12/13

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Transcript for Valerie Harper Discusses Cancer Diagnosis on 'GMA'
Such a classic moment. Over 00 million of us were watching from the sitcom "rhoda" stars our dear friend valerie harper. First captured our hearts as mary tyler moore's neighbor in the sitcom and her new autobiography "i, rhoda," made us laugh, made us cry. Today she's doing it again as she bravely faces a rare and incurable type of cancer that spread to her brain and, valerie sharper, joins us live this morning from los angeles. It is great to see, valerie. You're looking -- not as -- thank you. Thought as great to see you, darling. You look like a big beautiful daffodil. I know. It is springtime. Spring, spring -- rebirth and that -- valerie, i have to say this to you, we -- we adored -- we adored your character rhoda but we love valerie harper and you have really allowed us into your hearts and thank you for allowing us to love you like this. I know every day is different. How do you feel today, valerie? I feel great. I have been feeling so much better than I did in, say, december when I had a few weird symptoms, oh, let me tell everybody, you guys at the table and everybody across america, this is bronchitis, it has nothing -- nothing to do with my condition in terms of the cancer, and it's going away with the help of a great doctor, but it's a lot of media I've been doing and then I got this infectio fine. Don't go by my vice. I know. That's part of the reason why you wanted to go public. Any little thing happens and people exaggerate and it is a very, of course, we know what you're facing and you've been so open wit. You've always been upbeat. You've always been positive. This isn't anything new for you but how helpful is it to have this outlook now? It's great because I can apply it to this new challenge and I felt a responsibility because the book ends with me saying I'm cancer-free, and this insidious disease four years later snuck back and I still have the message of frequent testing. I was getting screened every six months in my lungs, completely clear. After a wonderful surgery extended my life then, dr. McKENNA OF CEDARS-SINAI AND THEN I'm back add cedars again, I was on with you guys in january when we were testing.We did not know what it was. And two great hospitals there, roosevelt and then sloan, they both said this is what we think it is so I came home where i would be comfortable and settled and really had to drop out of my tour which stefanie powers is doing right now. Uh-huh. Yeah, she's tallulah and carrying on which was great and that's a lot of jobs. You know how you feel about that. The crew -- yeah. You don't want a show to close so that's good and the book is continuing, but I am doing book readings, I'm going to the movies with my husband. I'm living very normally thanks to some stabilizing two pills only, morning and night and I'm feeling really good and while i am, because it is a brain situation and where I can talk to people, I thought let the extended family know at the same time one message through "people" magazine to get it out there and then let's discuss it which is we're all terminal. We really are, and we have a lot fear around death and i thought, maybe I can help somebody if somebody doesn't, you know, get any value of it, it's nothing. It's -- in the old days they say, you know, the newspaper comes out, it serves people or it's under the canary cage the next day. You know what I mean? It doesn't matter but tony and i decided we would do this because I want people to be less -- and I want them to know the new realm of cancer that you can die with cancer but not of it and that -- there's a difference. Oh, yeah, and my darling, harold gould who was my dad on "rhoda," he played morton morganstern, 13 years with battling and winning with prostate cancer and there's just a lot of things happening and my wonderful doctors natali and rudnick at cedars are even going right now on a specific course of medication for me that is not chemo. It is not chemo but you are receiving some sort of treatment? Oh, I'm on chemo now. I'm on chemo. We're trying it because of where my cancer is in the blood/brain barrier. It's just around the brain. This is what's so educational and so helpful for people. You are living with cancer. You are living your life and i know that's why it was so important for you and for tony and you talk about your dear husband and your daughter christina and thank you for allowing us to be in the extended family but I know your immediate family and friends, it seems like you're trying to comfort us, valerie, and we want to comfort you. I know, but this the joy of this. If I was gone you'd be having memorials. This way we can, you know, share back and forth, the twitter and the facebook and people have been offering me jobs and i think I can do them. I mean right now so far if they're willing to take the chance and I'm getting great advice from lots of folks, maybe not applicable to me, but i really welcome their concern or their telling me about a cancer doctor or a treatment or an alternate method. I'm sure you got a lot of that, right gentleman. Yes, and I got a lot of people asking me to pass along information to you along those lines, and it's because people love valerie. The concern, yes. The concern is legitimate. And the embrace and I want to tell them how supportive and loving and exciting it is to feel this in the here and now and that's it. Everybody, don't go to their funeral until the day of the funeral. Live this day -- I'm serious. Thank you. Live this day, yeah. Yeah, you know, your words are just ringing so true to many of us. To many of us, and I loved in your article and you said, stay as long as you can and I think that's what we all want to do and we have a finite amount of type, all of us and so -- that's true, yeah, and I -- I'm sorry, robin. I just wanted to get in that i have the most -- my husband -- when I first had the cancer four years ago, why you, val? Why not me. I have a fabulous husband. I have health insurance from my union. I wish it for all americans. Amen. Everybody should have a chance I have of extending my life and tony saying, we'll extend it long enough till something comes up that is a cure and my doctor said it's incurable so far and I love that, not a shred, but a possibility. We all need to live in infinite possibility like you did, exactly like you did. Well, bless your heart. This is all about you, valerie. This is all -- thank you for allowing us to love you. Please take care of yourself. Keep in touch and we love you. I will. Thank you for that love. I feel it and I return it. Tenfold. Bye-bye, babe. Bye-bye, honey. Lara.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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