The Dance Moms star has undergone "six or seven" chemotherapy treatments for her non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

By Christina Dugan
May 08, 2018 05:48 PM
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Abby Lee Miller ‘s fight against cancer is just beginning.

“She’s been going through chemotherapy treatments for her lymphoma,” a source tells PEOPLE. “She’s already gone through six or seven treatments, and has a bunch more to go. The doctors are confident they caught it in time.”

The insider adds, “It’s an awful situation, and she’s really focusing on getting healthy now.”

In April, one day after undergoing emergency surgery for what was initially thought to be a spinal infection, the 51-year-old former Dance Moms star — newly released from prison — was preliminarily diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.

Credit: Abby Lee Miller/instagram

“It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – it’s a type of a cancer,” said Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital who has been treating the star. “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. 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.”

The doctor added that it is a “preliminary diagnosis pending pathology and oncology results.”

Miller went into the emergency room after she experienced “excruciating neck pain” and weakness in her arm and after her condition deteriorated over the next couple days. Dr. Melamed performed emergency surgery for a multi-level laminectomy.

“If we didn’t do something, she was going to die,” Dr. Melamed told PEOPLE. “Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well.”

RELATED VIDEO: Abby Lee Miller Has Been Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Miller had been living in a halfway house since serving her 366-day sentence for bankruptcy fraud at the Victorville Federal Correctional Institution in California, which she entered in July.

She was transferred at the end of March to the Residential Reentry Center in Long Beach, a facility that provides a structured and supervised environment where she’ll be given employment counseling, job placement and financial management assistance.

In May 2017, Miller received a sentence of one year and one day in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release for bankruptcy fraud. She was additionally fined $40,000 and ordered to pay the $120,000 judgment, as well as give a DNA sample relating to her felony charge.