Angela Raiola, a reality TV star on the VH1 show Mob Wives, urged others to quit smoking because her stage four brain and lung cancer was ‘positively’ caused by her 40-year habit.
Raiola, who is known as ‘Big Ang’, revealed an intimate look into her battle with cancer in a tearful interview airing on The Dr. Oz Show on Tuesday
The 55-year-old, who recently sheared her long locks in anticipation of losing her hair to chemo, said: ‘It’s destroying me. I can’t believe what I look like.’
Angela Raiola, right, breaks down during an interview with Mehmet Oz of The Dr. Oz Show, set to air on Tuesday. Raiola reveals her struggle with stage-four brain and lung cancer
She said: ‘It’s destroying me. I can’t believe what I look like. Instead of it getting better it’s getting worse’
The 55-year-old urged others to quit smoking because her disease was ‘positively’ caused by her 40-year habit
But she continues to fight on, saying that her family is her support and her reason to keep going.
‘I look at my kids and my grandchildren and I know how much they need me,’ Raiola told Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The mother of two and grandmother of six has undergone several surgeries since she was diagnosed last year with throat and lung cancer.
She said in the interview with Dr. Oz: ‘Instead of it getting better, it’s getting worse.’
Raiola had a lemon-sized tumor removed from her neck last spring, and then went through a grueling eight-hour procedure to remove her lymph nodes.
She said she was twice declared cancer-free, only to see it return and spread after radiation and chemotherapy treatments failed.
Her GoFundMe page to crowdsource money for cannabis oil has racked up more than $44,000.
Her little sister Janine Detore created the page earlier this month and wrote: ‘Well here we are at the emergency room waiting to see why her breathing is labored and the amount of pain she is having is by far more than she could handle.
‘So I suggested cannabis oil as an alternative. This is why I am putting up this go fund me to try to help my sister to get this oil to help her at least be pain free.
‘Angela cannot function to work anymore. I’m not sure that it will work but I’m praying.’
In the TV interview, Angela said her doctors are now switching to an advanced approach aimed at boosting her body’s immune system.
Angela Raiola put on a brave face at a Mob Wives season 6 viewing party last month in Staten Island, New York
Raiola had a lemon-sized tumor removed from her neck last spring, but is drawing strength from her two children and six grandchildren
Raiola told Oz she can’t help feeling depressed at times.
‘Sometimes I feel I’m gonna be fine, and sometimes I just don’t think I am,’ said Raiola, who lives with her daughter, son-in-law and their three children on New York’s Staten Island.
Raiola is the niece of the late Salvatore ‘Sally Dogs’ Lombardi, who was a reputed captain of the Genovese crime family.
After gaining celebrity on ‘Mob Wives,’ Raiola got her own short-lived spinoff series, ‘Big Ang’ and ‘Miami Monkey’.
She said she stopped smoking immediately after her first cancer diagnosis last March, after keeping up the habit for more than four decades.
Her sister and brother-in-law are part of her support team, said Raiola, but her husband, Neil Murphy, is not part of her life.
Raiola, known as ‘Big Ang’, now rocks a tightly cropped pixie cut in anticipation of losing her hair. Pictured above in May 2015 in West Hollywood