2 of 6
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."