Lisa Ray -- cancer-free and ready to re-embrace India

Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:34pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - 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 vigor.

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 U.S. city as a benefit for the Los Angeles-based Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research.   Continued...

<p>Actress Lisa Ray poses at the gala presentation for the film "Cooking With Stella" during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto September 16, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Cassese</p>