New Delhi, Canadian born Bollywood actress Lisa Ray has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the plasma cells, and says the disease is “incurable”.
“I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma on June 23. Started my first cycle of treatment July 2. Not long ago. For me, it was a relief to hear what was wrong,” Lisa, 37, posted on her blog .www.lisaraniray.wordpress.com.
“The plasma cells in my bone marrow were rampaging, multiplying, squeezing out the red blood cells and it was time to begin doing something about it. I was also tired of being tired all the time. So when I sat there with Bobcat, my life partner and reservoir of Yellow, and got the news I didn’t react and I didn’t cry. I’m an actress, believe me, I can be dramatic. Not just then though,” she added.
The model-turned-actress decided to undergo medical examination a few months ago after she felt “exhausted, pale and drained” all the time.
Explaining her disease, Lisa said: “Myeloma is incurable. It’s a relatively rare cancer of the bone marrow… Every year, approximately 2,100 more cases are diagnosed. I’m a junior member in many ways, having been diagnosed at 37, while the average age is 65… makes the disease not quite as ‘sexy’ as other cancers.”
However, Lisa is hopeful that “it can be cured” with the new treatments available in the healthcare sector these days.
“So today with Velcade and, Revlimid and other promising new treatments in the pipeline, our survival rates are improving. But only with an ever expanding toolbox of treatments and awareness can this cancer be beat. So I’m going to do everything I can to wrench the spotlight onto myeloma and cancer awareness. I believe it can be cured. That’s the dirty realist in me,” she wrote.
Lisa was born to a Bengali father and a Polish mother. She joined showbiz as a model and later ventured into films with Tamil movie “Nethaji”. After that she was seen in Vikram Bhatt’s “Kasoor” in 2001, but stayed away from mainstream Hindi films as she could not speak the language fluently.
In 2002, internationally renowned filmmaker Deepa Mehta cast her opposite Rahul Khanna in the crossover film “Bollywood Hollywood”. The Canada-based director later repeated Lisa in her Oscar-nominated period drama “Water” (2005), in which she impressed critics with her performance as a young widow.