Abby Lee Miller may be known as the tough talking coach of Dance Moms, but this time she’s taking a moment to appreciate the people around her — specifically her physical therapy team who have helped her walk again following complications after cancer treatment.
On Instagram, Miller, 53, shared a video of her walking out of Casa Colina Hospital with a walker, and penned a message thanking the physical therapy team for all their hard work and how it’s helped her progress. Miller has been confined to a wheelchair since 2018, after complications occurred while she was battling a rare cancer called Burkitt lymphoma, which is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, Miller has been working hard to regain her strength, and judging by the video, she’s clearly making significant steps towards recovery.Read More
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Flash back to the Fri I walked out of @casacolinahospital w/ a Physical Therapist by my side and my power wheelchair right behind me. Won’t try that at home – it takes doctors/ professionals/ a whole village to raise a #paraplegic. I’m regressing everyday wo proper #PT! Hope the wonderful pros at all the rehab facilities no how much they are appreciated! #abbyleedancecompany #abby #abbylee #abbyleemiller #aldcla #ALDC #dancemoms #season8 #flashbackfriday
Abby Lee Miller’s Battle With Cancer
Miller was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma in April 2018, and underwent an emergency surgery on her spine as well as six rounds of chemotherapy treatment. Despite regularly attending physical therapy treatments, Miller is still confined to an electric wheelchair in order to be mobile. Over the years, Miller has been extremely transparent about how she struggled with treatment and the impact being paralyzed has had on her mental health. However, Miller has also shared her recovery with fans by posting photos of her swimming, walking, and openly saying that she will keep fighting to build her muscles again.
Physical Therapy During Cancer Treatment
Researchers have told SurvivorNet that physical therapy can help patients manage side effects brought on by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Some patients may experience fatigue, neuropathy, weakness, balance issues, and more, and by consulting with a personal physical therapist, patients can work through these symptoms.
“[Physical therapists] can work with you before chemotherapy to get your baseline and get you on a program to help reduce the symptoms that may happen from chemotherapy, and they can work with you along the entire spectrum of chemotherapy treatment in order to reduce those side effects,” Dr. Angela Wicker-Ramos, a oncology physical therapist for Cancer Rehab and Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas, tells SurvivorNet.
Dr. Wicker-Ramos also says that chemotherapy and radiation treatments can have side effects on hormones, which can lead to issues with weight gain as well as some sexual dysfunction. Luckily for patients, personalized physical therapy routines will be able to help with those side effects as well.
“A lot of the side effects that happen from cancer treatment can be improved or significantly reduced with physical therapy,” Dr. Wicker-Ramos says. “…All of those things can be helped with an exercise program and with a very structured, individualized program.”