'Dance Moms' Alum Abby Lee Miller Shares Troubling Wish While Reflecting on Life-Saving Surgery

About three years ago, Dance Moms alum Abby Lee Miller underwent emergency surgery after it was discovered that she had a mass infection putting pressure on her spine. Following her surgery, she was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer. Now, Miller, and the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Hooman Melamed, are speaking out about the situation during a new sit-down interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Miller's surgery took eight hours to complete. As she recalled going under the knife to ET, the Dance Moms alum tearfully remembered the moment when she thought that she had died while on the operating table. She told the outlet, "I remember saying to the anesthesiologist, 'Just tell me I'm gonna see you when I wake up,' and he said, 'I can't tell you that, ma'am.' That's when I knew, and then I heard [Dr. Melamed] say something that I didn't know, he said, 'Get the theater ready, I'm going in,' and I didn't know that the operating room was called the theater and I thought I died. I'm dead already. You know, I can still hear them talking."

Nearly three years after the ordeal, Miller is officially cancer-free. Due to the surgery, she has to use a wheelchair nowadays and still experiences pain in her back. During her interview, she even shared a shocking statement about her recovery, as she said that there are times when she wishes that she never made it through the initial surgery. Miller explained, "This is weird but there are days that I wish that I would've died. I know there's people out there fighting every day for their lives, yes, but it's been rough. It's not easy to live in a wheelchair. It's not easy, especially in California. It's very difficult to be handicapped ... that's why I need to walk."


Miller noted that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she is not able to do the amount of physical therapy that she needs. However, she is able to walk now. She said, "I am walking, little baby steps, and I should be walking a lot. I can do about 150 steps before I have to take a rest and I don't need to sit down, I just need to stop and rest. It's mostly my arms because I'm putting so much weight and so much pressure into my arms to walk that I don't trust my legs because I can't feel the floor." Even amid all of these struggles, Miller's doctor, Dr. Melamed, said that he's "optimistic" that she will be able to return to life as normal with the proper course of treatment, including "good rounds of months of physical therapy."