Diem Brown Opens Up About Her New Cancer Battle
08/28/2014 AT 04:55 PM EDT
In 2012, just before having her remaining ovary removed, the MTV reality star even underwent a controversial procedure to freeze her eggs.
"I know the risks," she told PEOPLE at the time. "But for my own sanity, I just want to have something 'normal' before going through this cancer journey once again. For me something normal is having my eggs in a freezer somewhere or knowing in my heart I have exhausted every fertility preservation option possible."
Heartbreakingly, Brown, 34, is now facing her third cancer fight – and in emergency surgery on Aug. 17, doctors had to perform a hysterectomy.
"When I came to, they told me that they couldn't save my uterus,” she tells PEOPLE from the ICU at a New York City hospital.