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My bone marrow started sending messages,I have cancer: Lisa Ray

Lisa Ray is suffering from Multiple myeloma,a relatively rare and incurable cancer of the white blood cells.

Written by Natasha Sahgal | Mumbai |
September 9, 2009 11:00:31 am

Actress Lisa Ray is suffering from Multiple myeloma,a relatively rare and incurable cancer of the white blood cells. Ray has announced her condition in her blog,The Yellow Diaries (

Her friends and colleagues in Mumbai are devastated. “I am in complete shock,” said director Vikram Bhatt,in whose film Kasoor Ray debuted in a leading role. “I’m going to check on her immediately.”

Shamim Sarif,in whose film I Can’t Think Straight,releasing September11,Ray plays a lesbian,tweets: “I have known since her diagnosis but at this point Lisa wants to truly raise awareness and funding to make sure this incurable disease finds a cure.”

Ray started posting on September3.

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“I’ve started this blog to give people an insight into my life,” she wrote. “The yellow diaries will be a place where I write about my personal journey.”

On September 8,she posted: “I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma on June 23rd. Started my first cycle of treatment July 2nd.Not long ago.”

“For me,it was a relief to hear what was wrong. 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. And you just know when something is not kosher with your body. 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.”

Ray,the Toronto-born daughter of a Bengali father and a Polish mother,burst into modelling as a gorgeous teenager and was most recently seen by Indian audiences in Deepa Mehta’s critically acclaimed Water,in which she played a young widow.

She says she decided to get a medical examination when,“a few months ago,my bone marrow started sending me messages”.

“I was always exhausted,pale,drained… The lack of oxygen made me a serial yawner and spacier than a displaced Czarina. Little did I know,but my hemoglobin had fallen to levels where even a dedicated Blood sucker would turn their thoughts to revival… I got a routine blood test and the results sent me to the hospital for a blood transfusion.

“…And then I stopped travelling and returned to Canada. Got myself tested by Dr Susy Lin,landed in emergency and eventually got full membership into the Cancer Club.

“That’s how I found out I have Multiple Myeloma.

“Cancer Club,Multiple Myeloma Division,June 2009.”

Ray is currently in Canada. Her spokesperson was apparently unaware of the news,and sounded shocked when contacted by The Indian Express. Ray is the second actor-celebrity to blog about a personal crisis in recent weeks. Bollywood star Aamir Khan recently blogged that his wife Kiran had had a miscarriage.

Ray has previously attached herself to various causes,and says she will now do everything she can to “wrench the spotlight onto Myeloma and cancer awareness”.

“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.”

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