Lisa Ray says her cancer relapsed one month after wedding: ‘I was hiding that secret from my husband’

Lisa Ray opened up about her successful battle with cancer on Kareena Kapoor Khan’s radio show What Women Want. She shared that her relapse was the “lowest low” in her journey because it happened just a month after she married Jason Dehni.

“I relapsed once. This is something that I have not spoken about extensively. It happened just a month after getting married. That was a really difficult time. I was actually hiding that secret from my husband. I thought I just have to get through the shaadi and then I will figure out what to do. So, that was a real low, because the first time I was dealing with cancer, I was single,” she said, adding that it was “very harrowing” to see the effect of such news on loved ones.

Lisa said that the second round of cancer was “very difficult” for her. “I had this beautiful man who had just become my husband and consented to getting married to this woman with this fatal disease, and the first piece of news that I had to share with him was, ‘Baby, thanks for marrying me. By the way, I probably have to go back on treatment.’ That was very difficult but at the same time, I took that as a signal that there was some piece of the puzzle that was missing in terms of the healing journey. So right after that, I started incorporating a lot of nutrition and holistic healing. Ironically, within three months of changing my diet radically, I was in remission,” she said.

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During the chat with Kareena, Lisa also revealed that she was in denial when she first started experiencing the symptoms. “Being in this business that we both are in, I was actually used to overriding my body signals. Isn’t that something that we all do? You show up and you have got a fever…you can’t go home! You are still expected to perform. So, a doctor shows up, gives you a shot or a pill, and you continue. That had become my default. Basically, I was not tuning into what my body was telling me,” she said.

It was only when Lisa could not get up after a yoga class that she realised that something was not right. “Finally, when I got my blood test done… I will never forget this because the doctor actually stood up from behind the table when she saw the results and said, ‘How are you even standing? You should be going into cardiac arrest because your red blood cell count is so low!’ Then I realised that this is not something to be proud of. You know, in our world today, we tend to celebrate these heroes who are like, ‘Push yourself past your limits’ and blah blah. Actually, I think there is a lot of damage in doing that. I think balance is a better way of doing it. I think that pushing myself past my body’s limits almost killed me,” she said.

Lisa, who made her Bollywood debut with Vikram Bhatt’s Kasoor, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009 and opened up about it at the Toronto International Film Festival that year. She documented her successful battle with cancer in her memoir Close To The Bone, which came out last year.

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