updated 09/18/2013 AT 5:35 PM ET
•originally published 09/19/2013 AT 3:30 PM ET
After successfully battling ovarian cancer for the second time and sharing her journey on PEOPLE.com, Diem Brown is back to blogging. This time around, she will not only share updates on her own life, but about competing on her new show, MTV’s The Challenge: Rivals II.
I do not throw around the word “depression” lightly. That’s why you’ll never hear me say any phrases like, “Ugh, I would kill myself if …” I’ve seen too much and have counseled too many people who really struggle, to be so flippant about suicide or depression.
I have been depressed once before in my life – it was during my first bout of ovarian cancer. I was six months into treatment and got a call telling me that they had to extend and alter my chemo because it wasn’t working.
I felt like someone had pulled open a trapdoor beneath me and I fell into a hopeless dark cancer abyss. I could feel my spirit collapsing as it whispered, “Just give up. It’s over six months of chemo and your cancer cell numbers are higher than when you started!” But I was able to overcome my depression with help, and from that day forward I acknowledge that you have to fight for happiness when life’s hardships are thrown your way.
I got the call to do Rivals 2, while undergoing chemo during my second cancer battle, and I remember being so excited that they called me. I was so happy to remove my mind from Hospital Bed Land and instead envision my “reward.”
I was confident my stubborn will could handle the physical nature of the challenges but mentally and emotionally I was nervous, as The Challenge would start filming just two weeks after I finished chemo.
Chemo in itself can produce intense mood swings but adding on menopause, starting new steroids to keep my cancer cells stable, and injecting hormones to keep my uterus from becoming toxic seemed like the worst possible combination of hurdles to try and adjust to while competing on a challenge show.
My Challenge Family
I communicated my concerns to the production company and I was told to “not worry” and that they “have me” and “love me,” and that they were so proud of me for being so open with my health journey and struggles. I have done these shows for eight years with the same production company; the same sweet people who wrote to me and checked up on me during both my fights with cancer.