Ten months after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Canadian actress Lisa Ray says she is cancer free, has enjoyed being bald, and is ready to embrace her second home, India, with new vigour.
The actress and model, frequently named as one of the most beautiful people in the world by Indian and Canadian media, says she is feeling "reborn" after a stem cell transplant in January to treat multiple myeloma.
"This has hijacked my life for long enough and now I am going to take matters into my own hands," Ray, 38, told Reuters.
"It’s really been a kind of rebirth," she said of her radical stem cell transplant treatment. "It’s like being reborn from the inside out. It’s a big cleaning from the middle of your marrow and spreading out."
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of white blood cells that attacks and destroys bone and which more commonly afflicts people in their mid-60s. There is currently no known cure and treatment is focused on containment.
But Ray, born in Canada to an Indian father and Polish mother, chose to fight back, and chronicle her battle in a painfully honest yet humorous blog that has won her even more admirers.
The glossy-haired star of Bollywood movies Water and Kasoor, showed off her new short-hair look this week in Los Angeles.
Her most recent movie, Cooking with Stella, opened the Indian Film Festival in the US city as a benefit for the Los Angeles-based Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research.
"My hair is coming back and it is looking awesome right now. I am just loving it. It is the sleekest and most well-put together I have ever looked," she laughed.
Ray recalled that she had cut off her long dark locks for her role in 2007 Oscar-nominated movie Water. But having her hair fall out while undergoing cancer treatment was a different matter.
"What was traumatic about losing my hair this time was I didn’t have a choice. But I have enjoyed being bald," she added, relishing the absence of shampoos, conditioners and hair dryers in her life.(REUTERS)