Why 'Dance Moms' Star Abby Lee Miller Struggled With Doctors' Orders During Cancer Battle

Abby Lee Miller was ready to be done with painful chemotherapy treatments and move on with her life when the Dance Moms star learned doctors were suggesting three more sessions to combat her Burkitt's lymphoma.

Never-before-seen moments from Miller's road to recovery in the hospital aired during Lifetime's Dance Moms: The Return of Abby special Tuesday, including the moment in which the dance icon decided to go against the doctors' orders and turn down additional treatment.

“I'm not putting any more poison in my body," she told her friend, exasperated by her refusal. Explaining that her physicians were concerned about "little cells," she insisted, "I don't need anymore poison in my brain.”

“Are you willing to take the risk that it could come back if you don't do these other three sessions?” her friend asked, to which she responded after a moment, "Yes. Yes."

"Why?" he asked her, to which Miller responded confidently, “Because dying is easier than this."

"I don’t want to be in the hospital, I want to get out and live," she proclaimed. "And if I just have this much time to live, I want to live it well. I want to get walking, and I want to get strong.”

As friends and family implored her to undergo more chemotherapy, Miller remained resolute.

“To hear that these doctors want me to do more chemo? It’s devastating," she told the camera. "I thought the cancer would be gone, and I would be ready to move on. I have been so down and so miserable for so long, and now I'm feeling better because I'm back to doing what I love to do."

"I'm not listening to anybody anymore about how to live my life," Miller continued. "It’s my decision, and if I can't do the things I love that make me happy, then that's not living.”

In the end, Miller decided to finish out her chemotherapy after all, learning after a year of treatment that she was officially cancer-free.

"I am proud and grateful that I survived this year," she said at the end of her cancer journey, "but I am just ready to move on, to get back into the studio, to do what I love to do and share my passion for dance with young children."


Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

Photo credit: Lifetime