This is absolutely devastating. Abby Lee Miller has dealt with a slew of scary symptoms since leaving prison a couple of weeks ago, including a random bought of paralysis originally thought to be a spinal infection. Sadly, it has been revealed on April 18 that she has been diagnosed with non-Hodgekin's Lymphoma, a cancer that has developed in her lymphatic system.
"It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – it’s a type of a cancer," Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, Abby's orthopedic spine surgeon from Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital told People. The symptoms increased very rapidly. Two weeks ago she was hospitalized for a thyroid condition. Then, beginning on April 17, she went to the ER for "excrutiating neck pain" and weakness in her arm. She quickly got worse, experiencing paralysis and needing an emergency laminectomy at 1 a.m. on Tuesday. The surgery required doctors to remove the back of several vertibrae so they could gain access to Abby's spinal cord and relieve pressure on her nerves.
So what's next for the Dance Moms star? "We’re getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery," said the doc. "Depending on the tumor type, depending on the sensitivity of the tumor – it just depends the type but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation."
Luckily, Abby has recently begun regaining some sensation. "She’s made some recovery in 24 hours, which is better than no recovery," he said. "Nobody wants to end up thinking they’re going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life. That’s a reality that’s facing all of these patients going into it. All you can do is pray and, as a surgeon, you maximize everything you can for the spinal cord to recover itself. I am hopeful." But that doesn't mean they're out of the woods. "There’s a chance this can spread to any part of the body… this is probably coming from somewhere else," he continued. "We don’t know where the source is. Any tumor that spreads anywhere is automatically Stage 4, but we have not determined the stage yet."
The timing is particularly devastating for Abby, since she just spent nearly a year in prison before moving to a halfway house in Van Nuys, CA. Before jail, she underwent a gastric bypass surgery and lost a ton of weight. She seemed excited to get back to dancing and teaching, and she was in great spirits just three days before being rushed to the hospital. "I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to loose control and I think I like it !😆" she wrote five days ago. "I think you’re going to like it too!! Thank you all so much for the well wishes." We're thinking about you, Abby!