Then, when she became violently ill while driving with no warning, even doctors could not figure it out.
It was only when the Mary Tyler Moore star suffered from what she thought was a stroke, did doctors deliver the tragic news on January 15 - that she had terminal brain cancer and only three months to live.
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Still from the show Rhoda, left: Star Valerie Harper has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and has as little as three months to live, it was revealed today
The cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, from left to right: Gavin MacLeod, Cloris Leachman, Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, and Ted Knight. At top, is Ed Asner
'In August I felt this funny little band moving from my back to my waist,' she told People magazine. She ignored it.
Then in December she was driving in Santa Monica when she became suddenly violently ill.
'My windshield was obliterated with vomit and I hadn't felt sick. Later I found out that is a benchmark for a seizure.'
But even after visiting several doctors who conducted a host of different tests, the results were inconclusive.
Then on January 11, the 73-year-old was rehearsing for her Off Broadway show Looped when the right side of her jaw suddenly became numb. Her husband of 26 years Tony Cacciotti took her to the hospital thinking she was having a stroke.
Doctors ran more tests and four days later they delivered the news - they had detected cancer cells in her spinal fluid, ultimately leading to the terminal diagnosis.
'I held it in but I broke down later,' she admitted to People.