Lisa Ray, Cancer Survivor, Reveals She Lost Job When Hair Fell Out After Chemo


A throwback picture of Lisa Ray. (courtesy: lisaniray)

New Delhi: Cancer survivor Lisa Ray, in her latest piece for Humans Of Bombay, chronicled her battle, her recovery and how life changed after cancer. Lisa’s post was shared on National Cancer Awareness Day (November 7). Lisa Ray, who wad diagnosed with cancer of the plasma of the bone marrow, began her post with these words: “‘How are you still standing? Your red blood cell count is so low that you can go into cardiac arrest any moment!’ That’s what my doctor said when she 1st saw my blood test report. I’d been experiencing fatigue for months. And a few tests later, another doctor said, ‘You’ve cancer of the plasma of the bone marrow.’ At that moment, for the 1st time in years, I stopped and took a breath. I’d always been on the go. But while a part of me lived on the red carpet, the other craved spiritual peace – extreme ends! Like, I wanted to write a book. It helped me connect with myself. But with work, I never got to do it.”

“But Cancer changed things,” wrote Lisa Ray, explaining how she felt like “being close to death” during her stem cell surgery and then being “reborn.” She added, “My stem cell surgery felt like being close to death and being reborn. But it helped me appreciate the life I had. I remember writing a blog about what it’s like living with cancer. Since the stigma had been so bad in South Asian cultures, coming out felt cathartic. People appreciated my honesty too. Somehow, we all found courage in acceptance.”

After her treatment, Lisa Ray revealed that she lost her job on a travel channel as as host merely because she lost her hair during the chemo sessions. “After my treatment, I once tried wearing a wig for a public event but I found it to be ridiculous. I told myself, ‘Remove it’ and went all bald. It was all over the headlines but more than that, it was the most liberating thing I’d ever done. But the media wasn’t always nice. After chemo, I was a part of a travel show with my hair short. I called it a ‘chemo cut.’ But the channel replaced me. They wanted a girl with ‘long’ hair. It was heartbreaking,” read an excerpt from her post.

3 years later after her recovery, the model-actor relapsed. She wrote about her road to recovery in her post and added, “But soon, I did go into remission only to relapse 3 years later. Things were different by then. I was getting married. I was shattered but I took it 1 day at a time. My body told me what to do and I listened. I went for a 3 week transformation program. I meditated, drank juices, ate sprouts, and introspected. I healed internally. And within months I beat cancer again and without the stem cell surgery! It’s been 9 years since then a lot has happened. I did more movies, wrote a book, raised cancer awareness, had kids, and did the unthinkable- found the courage to start an art platform.”

She signed off her post with these words: “It’s ironic how a disease that usually brings the end to us changed my life completely and made me feel more alive than anything else ever did.”

Read Lisa Ray’s post for Humans Of Bombay here:

Lisa Ray is best-known for her role in Deepa Mehta’s Water. She has also starred in Kasoor, Veerappan and Dobaara. Lisa Ray has starred in TV shows like Endgame, Top Chef Canada, Murdoch Mysteries, Blood Ties and Four More Shots Please!. She was last seen in the third season of Four More Shots Please!, co-starring Sayani Gupta, Bani J, Kirti Kulhari, Maanvi Gagroo, and Prateik Babbar.

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