Abby Lee Miller Emotionally Recalls Wanting to Die After Health Scares in 'Dance Moms' Documentary

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Abby Lee Miller is a fighter!

The 52-year-old reality star has been through a whirlwind year -- serving time in prison as well as undergoing emergency surgery on her spine last April after she was preliminarily diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system -- but she is more than ready to get back to her normal life. 

Dance Moms: The Return of Abby, the Lifetime documentary that aired on Tuesday, chronicled Miller's recovery and return to work, which was no easy feat. Showing footage from Miller's time in the hospital after her surgery and undergoing chemo, there was a time when she felt like she would rather die than never be able to walk again.

"I wanted to die. I did," she says during a difficult time in the hospital. "And if I lose dance, there is no point in being here. I felt like I lost my purpose and I needed to find it."

Teaching dance for 35 years, being an instructor is her life. Without it, she says, "I don’t know what I am going to do."

Explaining that she thought she was going to get her life back and her successful surgery, she was shocked to find out that she had to undergo chemotherapy. Then there was Miller's struggles with the realization that she might never walk again. "I'm not going to keep doing the cancer treatment if I can't walk," she distressingly says while in the hospital.

But she fought hard to get better, and was soon back in the studio at an audition for the new season of Dance Moms. And when she arrived, it was as if nothing had changed. 

"I have had a miserable year. It almost killed me," she explains while at the studio, adding, "I will teach again. I will create a winning team again and I hope and pray that I will walk again."

As she goes through the audition process with a slew of dancers, she pushes the kids, encouraging them to work harder, perfect their moves and give it their all. When it comes to eliminations, she gives an inspirational speech about fighting for what you believe in and proving the haters wrong. 

"You have to fight to win," she tells the group of dancers who made it to the next round. "People have talked crap about me for the last two years. Well I'm back...and my students are going to be champions."

"I am definitely a fighter and this is the fight of my life," Miller, who was then told she was in remission, says. "I'm proud. I'm grateful that I survived this year and I am ready to move on, get back in the studio, do what I love to do."

ET sat down with Miller last month, where she promised that cancer has not mellowed her out when it comes to her work on Dance Moms. 

"The audience is going to think I've mellowed [but] maybe I just don't care enough," she candidly said. "It might not be mellow, it might just be 'Eh. You're not that talented, kiddo, move over.'"

"I'm very detail-oriented," Miller explained. "I'm the same. I have always said that people don't change. Circumstances, situations change but people are what they are. Your genetic makeup is what it is. So, I'm thankful, I'm blessed, I'm appreciative, I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had. I didn't maybe think so before, but now, after coming close to death's door, you know, I appreciate Lifetime a little bit more."

Hear more of what she shared in the video below.


Abby Lee Miller Promises Cancer Hasn't Mellowed Her Out on 'Dance Moms' (Exclusive)

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