"A key fact, I think, for most people in cancer care is that usually their goal is to get back to their life as normal," Brown said. "They're hooked up to all these tubes, and all they're thinking about is getting home and having a steak or a cheeseburger. What people need to realize is that 'normal' is what got them in that hospital bed to begin with. And what they need to do is change normal, and have a different goal in life."
Eight months after his first date with Henner, Brown underwent surgery to remove the cancerous lobe from his lung.
"When I woke up and I realized that I was back … and Marilu was there waiting for me, I just was overcome with the thought that this is the time," Brown said. "Let's just make this permanent right now."
Brown proposed from his hospital bed.
On Dec. 21, 2006, Henner and Brown -- both 55 years old -- were married at Henner's home in the Hollywood Hills. Michael's twin brother, Marc Brown, officiated at the ceremony. Henner's children gave her away.
"I made a list of all the lucky things about our relationship," Henner said. "You could say that the timing of his cancer was lucky, because … if it had even been a year later and he would not have gotten the right kind of treatment, who knows? He may not have called me, right?"
And to that end, Henner remains as organized as ever, for whatever change comes along under the guise of luck.
"You have to be ready for it. You have to get yourself ready, so that you can see it. Because if you don't see it, you're not going to be able to recognize it. It's really about looking at opportunities as they come up, and not to be dragged kicking and screaming to the next step," she said.