Valerie Harper says her cancer is "not progressing"

Valerie Harper attends the American Lung Association's Lung Force national media kickoff event at Houston Hall on May 13, 2014, in New York.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for American Lung Association

Valerie Harper has continued to defy the odds since announcing in March 2013 that she'd been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and in her latest update, the actress says her illness is not progressing.

"It is looking better and better each test, but it's incurable," the 74-year-old Harper told People magazine at the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards Monday night in New York. "I'm fine. People are wondering ... Not fine, but it's not progressing."

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The former "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda" star -- who was a presenter at the event -- says she's chosen to keep a positive throughout her cancer ordeal. "I don't wake up saying, 'Oh, I'm going to die.' It's a waste of time. It really is," she said.

Harper initially said she was only given three months to live after being diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which normally affects the lungs, but in her case was found in her brain. "In my case I had a great response ... my doctor doesn't use that term [remission]. He says, 'You try a therapy. There's a response or a nonresponse.'"

When asked about whether has has any specific plans for milestone 75th birthday in August, she replied, "To be alive would be good."