91-year-old actress Charlotte Rae has been diagnosed with bone cancer.
“Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer,” Rae exclusively revealed to People. “About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — which is a miracle that they found it because usually it’s too late. My mother, sister and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer. After six months of chemotherapy, I was cancer-free. I lost my hair, but I had beautiful wigs. Nobody even knew.”
The “Different Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” actress continued, “So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind. I’m not in any pain right now. I’m feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again to opt for life. I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already. I have this decision to make.”
Rae released a memoir in 2015 called The Facts of My Life, in which she opened up about her four decades-plus of sobriety, her husband’s bisexuality and how she coped with the death of her eldest son.
“At 91, every day is a birthday,” she said. “[In my book] I want to tell everybody to celebrate every day, to savour the day and be good to yourself, love yourself, and then you can be good to others and be of service to others.”
The two-time Tony-nominee turned 91 on Saturday, April 22 and has opted to postpone treatment for her condition. “I wanted to think about it first,” she confessed. “I think I’m going to go for it. The side effects were not too bad when I did it originally. I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”