GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — When Deborah Squirewell learned what was behind the lump she found in her left breast on Thanksgiving Day of 2014, she was prepared to fight.

“Once the surgeon told me that ‘Deborah, you have cancer,’ I had to process that…once I processed it, I thought…God’s got this,” she said.

Squirewell had a mastectomy that following January and went through 16 sessions of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.

She was recovering well and thought cancer was in her rearview mirror.

“I’m coasting into five years. I’m at four years and three months. I go in for my annual mammogram, boom, ‘Deborah, you have cancer.’”

This time, it would be caught in the early stages in her right breast.

Given Squirewell’s positive attitude and ability to look at the grand scheme of things, she found purpose.

“When I retired, I didn’t have any particular something in mind that I wanted to do, but perhaps this is what I am called to do,” she said. “To share my story about cancer and how it affects Black women and to stress the importance of doing the self-exams each month, getting your mammograms.”

One of Squirewell’s support circles is Sisters Network Greensboro — a breast cancer survivor group for African American women.

“As I have gone on both of those cancer journeys, there were folk with me, even in my very church, going through that same journey, and they’re not here to tell their story, and so I am grateful to be here to tell my story,” she said.