As Valerie Harper‘s longtime battle with cancer continues to burden her life, the beloved Rhoda star’s husband, Tony Cacciotti, wants her to be as comfortable as possible. So when doctors approached him about moving his wife of over 40 years to hospice care, the Golda’s Balcony actor respectfully declined.
“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,” Tony, 79, explained in a Facebook post shared to Valerie’s account on Tuesday, July 22.
Valerie was first diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in 2013. The condition, which occurs when cancer cells spread into the brain’s fluid-filled membrane, came as a shock to the couple considering The Mary Tyler Moore Show actress beat lung cancer just four years prior in 2009.
At the time of her second cancer diagnosis, doctors told Valerie and Tony — who are the loving parents of their adopted daughter, Cristina Cacciotti, and Tony’s four children from two previous marriages — that she only had around three months to live. Amazingly enough, The Hogan Family actress not only beat the odds but went on to live beyond their expectations by six years. Wow!
Although he acknowledged their professional opinion and concern, Tony couldn’t imagine leaving Valerie’s side. “We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us,” he said, all while doing “my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible.”
The Longest Yard actor also addressed the fact that he refuses to give up on Valerie despite any controversial opinion. “For those of you who have been in this position, you will totally understand that ‘it’s hard letting go,'” he wrote in the heartbreaking social media post. “So as long as I’m able and capable, I’ll be where I belong right beside her.”
Even though the past few years have been plagued with Valerie’s cancer battle, Tony told Closer Weekly their bond has actually grown stronger because of the struggles. “Our marriage has deepened,” he exclusively dished to Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “We have an extraordinarily strong friendship [and] that’s the foundation of our union.”
Valerie and Tony are in our prayers.
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