“I don’t think of dying. I think of being here now.”

This is Valerie Harper‘s statement to People‘s Tim Molloy about her having been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and having been told by doctors she may have as little as three months to live. What kind of foul, fiendish manifestation is leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, “a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane around the brain”?

Love, hugs and empathy to Valerie, her husband, family, friends, fans. Hugs all around. Hugs forever.

Most of us, I’m sure, agree with and try to live by the famous title of Baba Ram Dass’s 1971 book. But the difference between being able to tell yourself you’ve got 10 or 30 or 50 or even 5 years left and looking at lights out within twelve weeks has to be a significant one. “Be here now” indeed, although I vastly prefer living with the general condition known as denial. Who, me? I’m fine, man. I eat right, feel great, never get sick.

I also feel a bit more kinship with Woody Allen‘s famous line: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work — I want to achieve it by not dying.”

Spartacus’s (i.e., Kirk Douglas‘s) answer to the above question: “No more than I was to be born.”