After developing severe neck pain that progressed to paralysis, Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller underwent an emergency five-hour spinal surgery in April and was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Since then, she's been undergoing chemotherapy and physical rehabilitation.
But now, Miller has progressed to a point where she is able to leave her rehab facility, according to updates on her Instagram and as confirmed by People.
Miller received a preliminary diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma, a rare type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
As SELF wrote previously, treatment for this type of cancer depends on the location and severity of each individual case. But in Miller's case, she has had to undergo chemotherapy and physical rehabilitation following multiple surgeries.
Miller has been posting updates on her physical therapy process on Instagram for the past few months, including a photo of her in a harness from July. "I never thought I’d be cast in the role of Peter Pan, but I’m harnessed up and ready to fly!!" she wrote in the caption.
In August she posted another photo showing her progress, writing, "Just put one foot in front of the other & soon you’ll be walking out the door!"
"Hallelujah! I’m headed to the Mall! I’ve only been once in 13 long painful months. For a lifelong shopper like me that’s absolute torture!!!" Miller wrote last week, alongside a photo of herself in a mobility chair giving a thumbs up. And just a few days ago she posted a photo with two doctors she says were "vital parts" of her physical rehabilitation. "I can never thank them enough!" she wrote.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a physical therapy program may consist of pain management and increasing flexibility and strength in key areas of the body.
When it comes to rehabilitation after major spinal surgery, that kind of therapy becomes especially important because, as Mount Sinai explains, it can be an essential part of regaining your range of movement. For instance, it may be necessary to go through physical rehabilitation in order to find an appropriate position for sleep, bathing, and, depending on your situation, driving.
So, after experiencing paralysis and undergoing an intense spinal surgery, it's not surprising that Miller's treatment plan includes rehabilitation. And it's encouraging that she's made so much progress in just a few short months.