Lisa Ray: 'I have enjoyed being bald'

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Mumbai, April 23 -- Ten months after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Lisa Ray says she is cancer free, has enjoyed being bald, and is ready to embrace her second home, India. The Canadian actress and model, frequently named as one of the most beautiful people in the world, says she feels "reborn" after a stem cell transplant in January to treat multiple myeloma. The 38 year old says, "This has hijacked my life for long enough and now I am going to take matters into my own hands. It's really been a kind of rebirth."

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of white blood cells that attacks and destroys bone. It commonly afflicts people in their mid-60s. There is currently no known cure and treatment is focussed on containment. But Ray, born in Canada to an Indian father and Polish mother, chronicled her battle in a painfully honest yet humorous blog that has won her even more admirers. Her recent movie, Cooking with Stella, opened the Indian Film Festival in the US as a benefit for the Los Angeles-based Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. 'I'm loving it' Showing off her short hair look, Ray laughed, "My hair is coming back and it is looking awesome right now. I'm just loving it. It is the sleekest and most well-put together I have ever looked." Ray had cut off her hair for the 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 that I didn't have a choice. But I have enjoyed being bald," she admitting, relishing the freedom from shampoos, conditioners and hair dryers.

On being offered a publishing contract in India 'Writing is a renewed passion ' Ray said she wanted to resume her acting and modeling career. But what excites her most is the offer of a publishing contract in India. "Writing is a renewed passion that I have re-discovered. It is a beautiful way of processing what I have been going through," she posts on her blog. "You can take the pain and understand it through the filter of art. It's been so valuable and I am definitely going to pursue it. I have a feeling that writing will become increasingly important in my life." Ray also plans to continue efforts to raise awareness for multiple myeloma. Some 20 per cent of the proceeds from the ticket sales of Cooking With Stella will go to the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer research that works on designing new drug therapies. She points out, "Cancer, not just multiple myeloma, is reaching epidemic proportions and we need to take action."

On her blog Bloom'ng Chair October 18, 2009 by lisaraniray Woke up. Got out of bed. (Did not) drag a comb across my head. Found my way downstairs and drank a cup And somebody spoke and I went into a dream... share shock. It was a gathering of Yellow Hearts even if they didn't know it. A singular experience to walk down University Ave with no honkers. Imagine a city without cars. Imagine a world without Cancer. David Bloom was at the MM5K Walk. Thanks to him we members of the Myeloma Club will survive longer. Establishing this research chair for MM at Princess Margaret is a talisman. A protective charm. It's the first in Canada and will buy me time until the cure. sticky me. In the meantime... As David said. In the meantime. We don't just stick around. We thrive.