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Valerie Harper: ‘Rhoda’ star, stricken with cancer, not saying goodbye

NEW YORK (AP) — She has incurable cancer, but Valerie Harper says she's not ready to say goodbye and she's keeping herself open to a miracle.

In her first TV interview since disclosing her diagnosis last week, the 1970s sitcom star tells the "Today" show's Savannah Guthrie that "'incurable' is a tough word." People "hear it as this death sentence," she explains.

But Miss Harper insists she's "more than hopeful. I have an intention to live each moment fully."

"I'm not dying until I do," she says. "I promise I won't."

Miss Harper, 73, has been diagnosed with a rare brain cancer and told she has as little as three months to live. She got the news less than two months ago during her book tour for her new memoir, "I, Rhoda."

Miss Harper won fame playing Rhoda Morgenstern on TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda." She won four Emmys in the role.

Miss Harper says "it feels awful damn good to be open about (her illness), 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."

In the meantime, she's telling herself to keep "your thoughts open to infinite possibility and keep yourself open to miracles."

The interview was scheduled to air on NBC's "Today" on Monday.

In addition, Miss Harper is scheduled to appear on Monday's edition of the syndicated talk show "The Doctors."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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