In 2009, Lisa Ray was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer, Multiple Myeloma. In 2010, she was declared to be cancer free but had to stay on heavy medications lifelong. On 20 October, 2012, Lisa married her longtime boyfriend Jason Dehni. However, by that time, her cancer had relapsed and is still living with it.
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Today I recall writing my blog #TheYellowDiaries nine years ago and I’m astonished at my cheeky, subversive humour. But there’s personal truth and my life philosophy embedded in these words. I’ve been a student of Tibetan Buddhism and the dharma for many years - even before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at 37 in 2009. Sometimes I read my chronicles of that time to remind me: nothing is permanent, even our sorrows ???????? And sometimes the page can contain the poetry of our lives, sometimes it merely hints at it.
She has been recollecting her memories of battling cancer. Lisa used the social media platform to recall her healing process and prayers by saying, “ Nine years and a few months ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. I’m still here. I chose to share my diagnosis from the red carpet of the Toronto International Film Festival and I wrote about it in a blog titled, #TheYellowDiaries. But what hasn’t been extensively shared is I relapsed in 2012, around the time of my (first and only) marriage. And after drawing on both allopathic and complementary therapies, I was back in remission.
Stay open and curious they say, suck the meaning from every experience. Then about four years ago, just before moving to Hong Kong and Mumbai, I found myself as patient number 12 in a second stage clinical trial for a revolutionary new way of approaching cancer treatment: immuno-oncology. Chemotherapy kills the bad cells, along with the good- it’s doesn’t discriminate. But immuno-oncology boosts the immune system in a way that it can target only those rogue cancer cells.
Dr Armand Keating was conducting the trials for NK-92 @thepmcf and looking for patients who had relapsed just once. Yes! That’s me...and so I became part of a clinical trial that I believe has made all the difference. Life was unusually crazy as I would travel to Asia and then back to Toronto for one week of infusions and monitoring at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. I’m unspeakably grateful to Dr Keating, his staff, Princess Margaret, serendipity and the goddess forces that have guided me, fearlessly, humour intact, into places where I have discovered that cheeky survivor personality that lies within us all.
I’m not special. We each of us has the potential to tap into something far greater than the individual...and also the wisdom to understand when its time to let go. The universe is for you, not against you. That’s what I have come to understand through cancer, in a line.”
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