Lisa Ray recalls ‘heartbreaking’ episode of being fired after losing hair due to cancer: ‘They wanted a girl with long hair’

Actor Lisa Ray, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, took to social media on National Cancer Awareness Day on Tuesday and wrote about how she once felt like she was “close to death”. The Kasoor actor spoke about how “cancer changed things” and how coming out with her diagnosis felt “cathartic”. She also pointed out how there were some who were not as helpful. The actor shared that she was fired from a travel show after she embraced her ‘chemo cut’ because they wanted someone with long hair.

A part of Lisa’s post read, “I’d always been on the go. But while a part of me lived on the red carpet, the other craved spiritual peace- extreme ends! Like, I wanted to write a book. It helped me connect with myself. But with work, I never got to do it. But Cancer changed things. My stem cell surgery felt like being close to death & being reborn. But it helped me appreciate the life I had. I remember writing a blog about what it’s like living with cancer. Since the stigma had been so bad in south asian cultures, coming out felt cathartic. People appreciated my honesty too. Somehow, we all found courage in acceptance. After my treatment, I once tried wearing a wig for a public event but I found it to be ridiculous. I told myself, ‘Remove it’ & went all bald. It was all over the headlines but more than that, it was the most liberating thing I’d ever done.”

Lisa Ray recalled her firing and called the episode “heartbreaking”. She wrote, “After chemo, I was a part of a travel show with my hair short. I called it a ‘chemo cut.’ But the channel replaced me. They wanted a girl with ‘long’ hair. It was heartbreaking.”

She further wrote about her relapse, “I did go into remission only to relapse 3 years later. Things were different by then. I was getting married. I was shattered but I took it 1 day at a time. My body told me what to do & I listened. I went for a 3 week transformation program. I meditated, drank juices, ate sprouts, & introspected. I healed internally. And within months I beat cancer again & without the stem cell surgery.”

The author-actor also mentioned that she has been cancer free for nine years. She concluded her note by writing, “It’s been 9 years since then a lot has happened. I did more movies, wrote a book, raised cancer awareness, had kids, & did the unthinkable- found the courage to start an art platform! It’s ironic how a disease that usually brings the end to us changed my life completely & made me feel more alive than anything else ever did! #NationalCancerAwarenessDay.”

Lisa was recently seen on the Prime Video series Four More Shots Please.


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