Valerie Harper’s husband says he will not follow doctors’ advice to put his wife in hospice care.
Tony Cacciotti posted a note on his wife’s official Facebook page Tuesday regarding her current medical state.
“I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can’t [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won’t because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she’s been here on earth,” the note began. “We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible.”
The actress, who shot to stardom in the early 1970s as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later starred as that character in a spinoff, has been battling cancer for years.
Harper was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.
In 2013, she was given three months to live after she was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain, known as the meninges.
But the 79-year-old actress has defied the odds and even participated in the reality competition show “Dancing With the Stars” in 2014.
Her family recently announced a GoFundMe account had been established to help pay for Harper’s medical care.
On Tuesday, her husband posted in his note that “For those of you who have been in this position, you will totally understand that ‘it’s hard letting go.'”
“So as long as I’m able and capable, I’ll be where I belong right beside her,” Cacciotti wrote. “Many, many thanks for your outpouring of kindness and support.”
According to the American Cancer Society, hospice care is most often done at home.
“Hospice care is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. Hospice care provides compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.”
“Although most hospice care is centered in the home, there might be times when you need to be in a hospital, extended-care facility, or an inpatient hospice center. Your home hospice team can arrange for inpatient care and will stay involved in your care and with your family. You can go back to in-home care when you and your family are ready.”