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The Laughter Begins
Saranne's goal that first night was to get Lauriel to bed as early as possible so she could absorb what happened. "After a while, I put an Eddie Murphy tape in. Laughing, I couldn't think about crying," she says. "My body couldn't constrict. I got hooked on the experiment. Bill Cosby? The episode where his wife sends him down to make breakfast and the daughter wants chocolate cake? Cosby says, 'Well, chocolate cake has eggs and milk. It has flour. That's breakfast!' Now I was really laughing."

When Lauriel, who was 5, woke up, Saranne told her, "We're having chocolate doughnuts for breakfast. You'll be my humor buddy. We'll make a list of fun things that make us laugh and to two of them every day."

Six weeks after her diagnosis, smack in the middle of a vitriolic divorce, Saranne had her first surgery. A week later, she needed a second operation. When her doctors found even more malignant cells, she told her medical team, "That's it. No more surgery. Deal me the strongest chemo you've got."


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