Abby Lee Miller Reveals Why She Can’t Walk After Cancer Battle: The Tumor ‘Choked’ My Spine

More than a year after Abby Lee Miller had spinal surgery that left her unable to walk, she opened up to Wendy Williams about how difficult her journey since a near-deadly battle with cancer has been.

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Abby Lee Miller is cancer-free, but it’s been a long and hard-fought journey for her to get to this point, and she talked all about it during her interview on The Wendy Williams Show on July 10. Abby explained that, before she was finally diagnosed in April 2018, it took SIX different doctors to figure out what was wrong. She spent THREE days in the hospital with no diagnosis before finally sending herself to the emergency room. “I had a severe pain in my neck and upper back,” she explained. “My arms were flailing around. I can’t sit down, can’t go to the ladies room, can’t lay in bed, can’t stand in the shower. I constantly have to me moving. It was starting to blind me.”

At that point, a spinal surgeon gave her an MRI. She was sedated during the procedure, but it didn’t stop her arms and legs from moving around, so the MRI proved in conclusive. “In 24 hours, I was in intensive care, paralyzed from the neck down, in the fetal position,” she said. After that, doctors diagnosed her with a spinal infection, for which she had to have emergency surgery. The procedure left her with a scar down the length of the entire back, and has kept her wheelchair-bound ever since.

In the end, it turned out that she didn’t have a spinal infection at all — she had a rare form of cancer called Burkitt Lymphoma. “[The wheelchair] is [actually] a result of the Lymphoma choking my spinal chord,” Abby revealed. She also added that the cancer was so aggressive, and she was only expected to live for weeks or even days after her diagnosis. 

Abby completed ten rounds of chemo, which included “24 hour a day bags, for six days straight,” she explained. Now, she’s continuing to relearn how to walk, and previously said in an interview with PeopleNow that she plans to be on her feet by September. First, though, she has one more surgery planned for July — a knee replacement. “I’ve had two different therapists say there’s no doubt,” she said. After how far she’s already come, we definitely have faith!