Just a day after it was announced that Miller, the reality TV maven who was at the heart of Lifetime series Dance Moms, was facing a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a source close to her told US Weekly how Miller is holding up.
“Abby is devastated, but is strong and trying to put on a brave face,” the source said. “She is still at [the hospital], and they are seeing what the next steps are. She will make it through this.”
The diagnosis came after Miller was rushed into emergency back surgery on Tuesday to alleviate what her doctor, Dr. Hooman Melamed, thought was an infection in her spine. After doing tests, however, it was revealed that she was suffering from Burkitt Lymphoma — a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
“[Doctors] are not sure yet how aggressive it is or which stage it is,” the source continued, adding that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a “good cancer to get, if you have to get it,” as it is treatable.
Melamed detailed Miller’s likely treatment with PEOPLE, stating that an oncologist will be brought in “to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery.”
“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,” he added.
A week before being rushed into the operating room, Miller had been hospitalized for a thyroid condition, which her weight loss surgeon, Dr. Michael Russo, believed was responsible for her chronic back pain. Russo told Entertainment Tonight that the reality star suffers from hypothyroidism, which she had previously kept at bay with prescription medication.
"Her hypothyroidism got so severe she had an assortment of symptoms. Most dramatic is severe muscle and bone pain in her back, shoulders, arms and legs," Dr. Russo revealed. "When Abby first went to the ER, she was almost unable to move [her] arms and legs and was having trouble getting out of bed. She had numbing and tingling in her hands and feet. She couldn't even hold a spoon in her hand."
"Hypothyroidism can give you severe muscle cramping, weakness and pain. You can have severe difficulty moving your arms and legs. If left untreated it's been reported people can become comatose," he added. "This is a serious medical concern."1comments
Miller appeared to have been suffering from the infection at the same time, though her thyroid condition had distracted Russo from it.
“The good news is we got it addressed quickly. She's already feeling better because we are supplementing her medications back in and she is on the road to recovery, but a lot of damage was done," he said. "An additional consequence of being off the medication is that hypothyroidism can cause weight gain. This almost undid part of her gastric sleeve surgery and caused her to gain a bit of weight back. But she is back on track and getting back to where she was in January."