Cancer redefined my life; helped develop better relation with fear: actor Lisa Ray

Meraj Bhat

Jaipur, Jan 24 (PTI) Supermodel-actor Lisa Ray on Friday said cancer had re-defined her life and helped develop a better relationship with fear, as she credited sheer will power and stubbornness for overcoming the “darkest period” of her life.

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Ray said although cancer had affected her, it also proved to be a gateway into a new phase of life as she got married while grappling with the deadly disease.

Ray, 47, was diagnosed in 2019 with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells, which is considered incurable and fatal. A year later, the Indian-Canadian actor had said she was free from the disease.

'There is no doubt that going through cancer has changed and transformed the trajectory of my life, and I am still processing that on some level. There has been a pre-cancer and post-cancer life,' she said.

'Cancer has changed me, but also in a weird way, it has been a gateway into a new phase. People do not necessarily associate cancer with finding the love of your life, but I got married while living with cancer. There is no end mark for my cancer,' she said.

Ray, one of India's first supermodels, said people came to her and lauded her for beating cancer, but she did not want to burst the bubble because she was still living with it.

'It has affected my life. It has re-defined my life and has helped me develop a better relation with fear,' she said.

'I had suicidal thoughts, had a lot of self-flagellating thoughts, a lot of self-loathing. On the one hand I was experiencing the prime of my success and fame in India and privately I was going through the deepest, darkest tunnel that you can imagine. It was the darkest night of the soul,' she said on finding fame very early in life but not having the inner peace.

Ray said her sheer will power, stubbornness and Buddhist practices helped her recover from what she termed as 'the darkest period of my life'.

'My life has spiralled out of control for too many times. Through my Buddhist practices I have come to a great sense of peace,' she said.

Ray also said that she was an “accidental actress” whose career started on the edge of the blade.

“I became an accidental actress. I am not being cute when I say that. It is a fact of my life. I never planned on being in front of the camera or being part of a profession I am identified with strongly… On one side was fame and fortune and on the other side was great personal trauma and sadness,” she said. PTI MRJ BK BK