Reality TV star is unrecognisable after spinal surgery

Abby Lee Miller is opening up about her battle with cancer, one year after undergoing emergency spinal surgery. Photo: Getty Images/Instagram

Abby Lee Miller is opening up about her battle with cancer, one year after undergoing emergency spinal surgery.

The Dance Moms reality star and owner of the Abby Lee Dance Company took to Instagram to give her more than 3.7 million followers an update on her ongoing health struggles.

“One year ago today, I underwent emergency surgery for an infection in my spine,” Miller wrote.

“This mass/tumour choking my spinal cord turned out to be Burkitt Lymphoma. I endured 10 rounds of chemotherapy, each lasting six days with four 24 hr bags pumping poison into my body ending with a spinal tap in three spots, plus another shot of chemo into my tailbone area up the spinal cord around my brain cavity. Ten times!”

Miller also revealed she received a second surgery on her spine and will require another in the near future.


“I struggled through months of physical therapy to learn to sit up again, to crawl and maybe with a miracle someday, I’ll walk,” the 52-year-old said of her painful recovery.

Burkitt Lymphoma is a fast-growing type of B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Although rare, this form of cancer targets the lymphatic system, and may affect the jaw, central nervous system, kidneys, bowel or ovaries.

According to Lymphoma Action, a U.K. based charity, symptoms for Burkitt Lymphoma appear very quickly.

The main symptoms of Burkitt Lymphoma include abdominal or back pain, nausea or diarrhoea and swelling. Large lumps often appear on the body, accompanied by weight loss, night sweats and fevers.

After all that she’s been through, Miller said she’s frustrated that doctors initially misdiagnosed her symptoms.

“Why didn’t the ER doctors on duty do their jobs? Why didn’t somebody listen to me, the patient?” she wrote. “I finally found the right team [and] that’s why I lived to tell my story. I have a lot to say!”

As she continues fighting cancer, Miller said she’s grateful for the people who have supported her, and has some choice words for the doctors who failed her. Photo: Getty Images

As she continues fighting cancer, Miller said she’s grateful for the people who have supported her, and has some choice words for the doctors who failed her.

“Thank you to all of the wonderful top notch professionals who continue to help me heal,” she said.

“For those who missed it, misdiagnosed me, and the so called federal ‘doctor’ who took me off medication cold turkey and the other ER ‘Doctor Hollywood’ who told me to go home and take it easy for 10 days – STOP practicing! Please.”

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