Valerie Harper Says She's 'Ready To Go' and Has Made Peace With Her Cancer Diagnosis

The Mary Tyler Moore actress opens up about her cancer diagnosis and how she stays positive

Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Valerie Harper was glowing and happy while talking about her cancer diagnosis in support of Lung Force, an organization that unites women to stand against lung cancer and promote lung health, in New York City on Tuesday.

The 75-year-old actress, who beat lung cancer in 2009 and then was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2013, told PEOPLE she’s “feeling good.”

“Sometimes I feel icky, but I’m feeling very good in New York,” she said. “Maybe because I’m working or I’m talking about cancer in a positive way – I think that might have something to do with it.”

Harper said her rare form of cancer isn’t progressing and her doctors have never had a patient like her.

“The brain is usually one of the later places it lodges in your body,” Harper said. “And they don’t know how it got there because the meninges keep out bacteria, infection and chemotherapy. It can’t get into that area because the lining is a protection.”

She said her doctors couldn’t be happier with what they see and she goes for cancer screenings about every two months.

But she is taking it day by day.

“When I wake up in the morning I don’t say ‘Oh, I have cancer. I say ‘Another day. How you feeling? Good? Good,’ ” she said. “And when I do have little twinges of something I go ‘Oh my god, is that a headache? What is that?’ And I say wait a day or two, it might just be a headache and usually it is so far.”

The Mary Tyler Moore star said she is at peace with her diagnosis.

“I’m ready. I’m ready to go,” she said. “Maybe that s the secret. That I’m absolutely – I don’t want to, my God, I want to live to be 102.”

She added, “But I am not banking on anything, really, because we shouldn’t. We don’t know what’s around the corner. I think you just take each day and get the best out of it and do what you can and have fun.”

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