The Art of Care

Balancing care for a loved one with medical professionals, residential staff or home health employees can get complicated quickly.  Defining your role as a care partner can be difficult. How do you let go and trust “those professionals”? How do you know who should take the lead and when? I’ve cared for my mother with dementia over 30 years and my father with brain cancer for 4 ½ years. During this period, I found myself standing at a crossroads several …

In Going Public, Valerie Harper Is in Good Company

Actress Valerie Harper’s March 11 appearance on the Today show to discuss her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer made her the latest celebrity to go on television to talk about a personal life-and-death health challenge. There was a time the famous tended to keep quiet about serious illnesses behind a protective cocoon of press agents, limousines with tinted windows and mansion walls. Often fans found out about their conditions through terse press releases asking for privacy, or though hints picked …

Valerie Harper Will Open Up About Her Cancer on TV

NEW YORK (AP) – Actress Valerie Harper plans to discuss her brain cancer with some television doctors. The daytime talk show “The Doctors” said Harper will appear Monday to talk with Travis Stork, Lisa Masterson and Andrew Ordon, as well as her own team of doctors. The 1970s sitcom star has been diagnosed with a rare brain cancer and told she has as little as three months to live. She said her husband briefly withheld the diagnosis from her because …

Valerie Harper’s Rare Brain Cancer: What Caused It?

Actress Valerie Harper, who’s been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, has a rare type that often spreads from another form of cancer, such as breast, melanoma or, in Harper’s case, lung cancer – which she battled in 2009. Called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, it affects about 5 percent of cancer patients and the first signs are “similar to stroke symptoms,” including trouble speaking, numbness of the face, double vision, or difficulty swallowing, says Keith L. Black, M.D., professor and chair of the …