We haven’t heard much from Angela “Big Ang” Raiola recently as the beloved reality star has been battling throat cancer. However, after opting for two major surgeries instead of chemotherapy, the Mob Wives scene-stealer is recovering well after doctors removed a tumor the size of a lemon from her throat.
Big Ang is rarely filmed for the VH1 series without an ever-present cigarette dangling from her giant painted lips, but that is no longer the case. Diagnosed in March, Big Ang immediately gave up the nasty habit cold turkey. She’s ready to be back in business, and her struggle with cancer, as well as relationship stresses with husband Neil Murphy, will be featured on the upcoming season of Couple’s Therapy.
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Speaking with People, Ang describes the life-changing event. She tells the site, “Things happen for a reason. I’d smoked for 40 years. No one could tell me what to do.” Of course, the fifty-five-year-old grandmother quickly changed her tune after hearing her diagnosis. Ang continues, “[The tumor] was blocking my airway. I quit smoking the day I found out.”
The Mob Wives star is no stranger to surgery, but this time it was very different. In March, doctors operated on the left side of her throat, followed by surgery for the right side in June. Ang shares, “The doctors are saying that I’m a very lucky person. I caught this at stage 2,” adding, “If I had known [the toll the surgeries would take], I might have picked the treatments. It feels like they cut my head off and put it back on.”
Ang credits Neil for staying by her side throughout the ordeal, recalling, “He slept in the hospital on the chair every night. He’s very supportive.” However, Ang cites their current relationship as just “okay,” admitting, “Cancer puts a lot of pressure on your marriage.”
As she continues to heal, Ang is focused on staying healthy and smoke-free. She reveals, “I’m learning how to swallow again. I have a phobia of choking. I’m just doing the best I can, taking it day by day,” concluding, “It’s hard to just put down the cigarette and never look back. I enjoyed smoking. I miss it so much. But it’s over. Now I do the e-cigarette. It helps me, just to hold it in my hand.”
We are very happy to hear that Big Ang is on the mend!
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[Photo Credit: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com]