28 November 2013 4:10 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

var brightcovevideoid = '2871721575001'; Valerie Harper was smiling and full of her trademark optimism when she returned to the ballroom the finale of Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday. "It was great to be with [my dance partner] Tristan [McManus] again and all my buds, all these lovely friends I made," she told People after the show. The 74-year-old, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year, has defied the dire predictions that she only had months to live, and says she's been feeling "pretty good" since leaving the show in October. "I had a few little strange things but they probably would have happened anyway, »

- Michele Stueven and K.C. Blumm

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