When Valerie Harper was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare form of brain cancer, in 2013, she was given three to six months to live. But nearly five years later, the Emmy Award-winning actress known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on and Rhoda is still surviving — a miracle, her doctor told . Not only that, but she's thriving, even managing to work every now and then. Her husband of 30 years, Tony Caccioti, called her energy "remarkable."
"I'm still here," Valerie told the publication. "I still have cancer, but I'm okay and most of my days are good."
A new chemotherapy drug mitigated the cancer for the first few years. But when seizures and cognitive issues indicated the treatment wasn't working anymore, Harper's doctors replaced it with an experimental drug that did.
Besides the medications, Valerie credits her husband's support as her secret to beating the odds.
"I've had a few seizures, and Tony watches me like a hawk, like a real caregiver," Valerie said. "He's been incredible."
As far as advice for other cancer patients? "Get yourself a fabulous husband or wife who's really committed to you and you living .… Get yourself a Tony. Get your somebody who's going to do it."