Julianne Hough, Dancing with the Stars

Julianne Hough was in fine spirits after Monday night's Dancing with the Stars, smiling for the cameras and optimistic about the arthroscopic surgery she's facing Tuesday to remove ovarian cysts and her appendix. "People who've had this surgery in the past tell me, 'You're gonna feel so great. You'll feel like a new woman,'" she said.

But her brother, Derek, couldn't hide his worry. "With our family, we'll just push ourselves until we're dead," he said. "And it's so sad that she's going into surgery tomorrow, because I just found out that my dad is going into surgery tomorrow too. He broke his collarbone and separated his shoulder two days ago."

Derek himself was also taken to the hospital earlier this season after slipping on the dance floor in rehearsals, hitting his head and suffering a mild concussion. "I guess the Houghs just like going to the hospital," he said.  

But Julianne says she's been putting off this particular trip for a long time. She couldn't ignore the pain after last Tuesday's results show, when the other dancers found her curled up in a ball backstage. "This has actually been going on for many years," she said, "but I am so lazy and don't have time to go to the doctors. And then last week, on the results show, I had a cyst burst on my ovary, and I was trying to smile. I probably would've just gone home and dealt with it, but [the producers] said, 'No, you need to get this checked out.'" 

What the doctors discovered was endometriosis, which happens when tissue from the lining of the uterus develops outside the uterus, often on the ovaries and appendix. Hough was told she had multiple cysts on her ovaries that had to be removed, along with the appendix, which doctors believe could cause her trouble down the road. "It's genetic," she says. "My mom gave it to me. She gave me my thighs, my blue eyes and my endometriosis."

"At first, it was something I wasn't sure I even wanted to talk about," she says. "But then I thought, 'I don't want other girls to be like me and totally ignore it."

Hough's partner, Cody Linley, will be practicing this week with pro Edyta Sliwinska, who hasn't been in the competition since week one, when she was ousted with her partner, comedian Jeffrey Ross. Though the viewers don't know it, Linley and Sliwinska have already started working together. "She came in to work with me on the group [hip-hop] dance," Linley said after the show. "So I'm not worried about the dancing. I'm just sending my support and prayers to Julianne. She's going to be fine, I know it."

Hough says she's determined to be back in the ballroom next week, although it's not clear if she will be well enough to compete on Monday night. "Everyone said, 'If it doesn't feel better in a week, take your time,'" she says. "I know my body; I know my limits."

Read Mickey's recap of Monday's show

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