Startling Cancer Diagnosis For Dance Mom's Star Just Released From Prison

In 2010, controversial Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller filed for bankruptcy.

She claimed that she owed more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes, and that her assets weren't sufficient enough to help her clear the debt.

Fast forward to six years later, Miller pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

The prison sentence

Turns out, the dance teacher allegedly had $775, 000 stashed away in secret bank accounts, but kept it a secret from the IRS when she filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The amount was generated from income she earned while working on Dance Moms, American Idol, and Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition.

Abby Lee Miller
Entertainment Tonight

She was also accused of giving some of the income she made while abroad to friends that could help her smuggle it into the country so she could avoid paying hefty taxes on them.

In 2017, she was sentenced to 366 days in prison. She was also fined a total of $160,000, and was required to provide a DNA sample. Upon her release, she will live under supervision for two years.

Once the news broke, Miller immediately released a statement admitting to her guilt.

"Sometimes in life you make mistakes I trusted the wrong people and didn't pay any attention to things I should of. I'm more than sorry for the mistakes I have made," Miller wrote on Instagram.

Miller, who was set to serve her sentence at California's Victorville prison, confessed to The View's Jedediah Bila that she was "crying her eyes out" ever since the verdict.

She was scared of being "physically abused or raped," and not being able to have privileges like a vegan diet and clothing that fit properly.

"I don't know if they're going to have a bra that fits me," she said through tears. She added, "I don't think there's a salad bar and I doubt there's going to be a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables."

Abby Lee Miller leaving the courthouse

Life behind bars

Thankfully, Miller didn't lose sleep much longer because prison turned out to be the opposite of what she was expecting.

"My world flipped upside down when I had to enter prison," she wrote on Instagram, "the stories you read about me [being] a princess are untrue. I have made friends with both inmates and staff, I've tried to better myself, participated in anything offered to me and I am a better person for this experience."

Although she told fans she was "so so bored," especially without dance, she found other ways to keep herself occupied.

She was able to learn some new skills, and even earned a diploma for completing a personal finance and real estate class.

Abby Lee Miller diploma
Abby Lee Miller/Instagram

Miller, who underwent gastric bypass surgery just weeks before getting locked up, also found time to work on her health, and she reportedly dropped over 100 pounds.

She was released just eight months into her sentence, and was recently transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach, California.

Slimmed-down Abby Lee Miller in prison

The reality star was set to be a free woman on May 25, and she even teased plans for a new scripted dance show that would pick up "where Dance Moms leaves off."

Unfortunately, all those plans have come to a halt because Miller has been struggling with her health, and was recently rushed to a hospital for an emergency surgery.

Ironically, life outside of prison appears to be harder than Miller was expecting.

Instead of attending job counselling meetings, and preparing for her television comeback, she had been dealing with debilitating back pain for a couple of weeks. She also started to experience "excruciating neck pain" and weakness in her arm.

Emergency surgery

According to Extra, she finally got an MRI scan, and that's when doctors found an infection in her spine, which meant that she had to undergo emergency surgery.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed at Cedar Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital led the procedure, which was necessary to prevent her from becoming permanently paralyzed.

"Over the next two days, her condition started deteriorating," Dr. Melamed told People. "Not just her pain, but her weakness started getting worse. In the span of 24 hours, which was something that I have not seen, her condition rapidly deteriorated. She was completely paralyzed from the neck down."
Abby Lee Miller in California
Life & Style

Doctors initially wanted to transfer her to another hospital, but the results of a CT scan indicated that they had to act fast.

"If we didn't do something, she was going to die. Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well," Dr. Melamed said.

Dr. Melamed and his team spent nearly five hours attempting relieve the pressure on her spinal cord. They had to remove parts of several vertebrae during the procedure.

What caused Miller's infection?

After running multiple tests, doctors were able to conclude that what they presumed to be an infection was actually non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

"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," Dr. Melamed told People. "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."

Miller's rep also spoke to People and revealed that so far this is a "preliminary diagnosis pending pathology and oncology results."

Abby Lee Miller
Splash/Lief & Style

It's been over 24 hours since Miller's surgery, and Dr. Melamed shared some updates about his patient's condition, and what her prognosis looks like.

"Nobody wants to end up thinking they're going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life."

Since going under the knife, Miller has been recovering in the ICU, and said to have regained some of the sensation she lost.

"She's made some recovery in 24 hours, which is better than no recovery," he said.

Still, Dr. Melamed told the publication that only time will tell whether or not she'll be able to walk again.

"Nobody wants to end up thinking they're going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life," he continued. "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."
Abby Lee Miller at her dance company

As for her cancer diagnosis, he said "there's a chance this can spread to any part of the body."

"We don't know where the source is," he admitted. "Any tumor that spreads anywhere is automatically Stage 4, but we have not determined the stage yet."

He maintains that both he and Miller are remaining positive and hoping for the best outcome. He added that Miller seemed "encouraged," when they last spoke.

"I think she's a little bit more optimistic now because she's feeling like she can move her arms, she has more sensation, she can feel her body now, she can feel her private area. That gives everybody hope."

As part of the recovery process, Dr. Melamed explained that they are going to "start mobilizing her, start thinking about the rehab, start pushing the body, pushing the brain and spinal cord for making recovery."

Miller was expected to be discharged as early as the end of the week, but with the unexpected cancer diagnosis, it's unclear how things will progress.

Abby Lee Miller
Splash/ Life & Style

This is the second time in two weeks that Miller has been hospitalized. Shortly after she got out of the slammer, her thyroid condition flared up, and she had to be rushed to the emergency room in Los Angeles.

We're sending well-wishes her way and praying for her speedy recovery.

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.