Charlotte Rae has revealed to PEOPLE magazine that she has been diagnosed with bone cancer at age 91.
“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,” Rae told PEOPLE. “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.”
This isn’t the first experience with cancer for Rae, best known for her beloved character Edna Garrett first on “Diff’rent Strokes” and then on “The Facts of Life.” She lost her mother, uncle and sister to pancreatic cancer and worried about her disposition to the disease. In 2008, 10 years after her sister died, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and spent 6 months in treatment at UCLA Medical Center.
Rae has not decided whether or not to undergo treatment for her bone cancer, which was supposed to begin on Thursday.
“I wanted to think about it first,” she says. “I think I’m gong 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 chose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”
On “The Facts of Life,” Rae was one of the only adults in a cast of teenage girls, and they thanked her during an awards speech in 2011.
“To be led by our most gracious, and amazing fearless leader, the amazing star of our show, Charlotte Rae, was just extraordinary and we love you Charlotte,” said co-star Nancy McKeon, who played the role of Jo, when the cast won the TV Land Pop Culture Award. “And we’re here for you, you’re amazing.”