I had everything society tells you to be happy, I wasn't: Lisa Ray

Indian-Canadian actor recalls struggles with multiple myeloma

Entertainment Desk November 05, 2019

Actor-turned-author Lisa Ray was in Delhi last weekend, attending an event where she spoke about her battle with cancer and how she reacted when she was told it could take her life.

“My doctor was scared because after he announced to me that I had multiple myeloma, I didn’t react, even though he said it was incurable and fatal. In my mind, I was thinking that my body has been trying to give me signals for months and I was ignoring them. Then I got this strongest possible message,” Hindustan Times quoted the starlet as saying.

“Intuitively, I knew something was wrong. But I didn’t have the courage to do anything because I was trained to ignore what my body was telling me.”


She added, “In our profession, you can’t go home when you’re sick. You pop medicines and get on with work. In addition, I hadn’t really dealt with the trauma of the accident I was in. What do we do when we don’t want to face something? We keep busy. I did that. Until finally I had to stop, listen to my body, heal and make changes.”

Strangely enough, Ray knew she was not going to from her cancer. “I realised it was a time of reckoning but I knew it wasn’t the end of me; I knew I wasn’t going to die though I also knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

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The Bollywood Hollywood actor also recalled that she was in a car accident after she shot for her first modelling portfolio during a vacation in Mumbai.


“Soon after we were back in Canada, my family and I met with an accident and my mom lost the ability to walk. Call it luck, but I was supposed to be sitting where my mom was sitting in the car. We had exchanged our seats,” said Ray.

“And then, on the other end of the world in India, my image was released on the cover of Gladrags magazine. So, my career started on the edge of a blade. One end was fame and the other end was trauma.”

The Indian-Canadian beauty also spoke at length about her success in the world of modelling and its aftermath. “I was a glamorous figure; a sex symbol. But while I was at the height of fame, I was experiencing the lowest lows. I had anorexia, bulimia and I hated myself,” she shared.


“Going through these extreme experiences made me an investigator of life. I had fame, money, reputation…everything the society tells you need to be happy. Yet, I wasn’t. That’s what lead me to write a book.”

Ray came out with her autobiography Close to the Bone this year. Herein, she talks about her career as an actor and a model, her struggles with cancer, her victory and much more. She is married to management consultant Jason Dehni and the two welcomed twin daughters Soleil and Sufi via surrogacy in 2018.

Ray was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009 and declared cancer-free after a stem cell transplant.

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