Archived Story

My aunt was the true ‘Princess of Power’

Published 4:09pm Monday, November 15, 2010

When I was a little girl, my favorite cartoon/superhero was She-Ra [Princess of Power] you know He-Man’s twin sister. My aunt Deane would sit and watch She-Ra with me for hours. Every time I see the cartoon or Matel figurine of She-Ra, I would think about my aunt Deane.

Deane has always been a super hero to me, but a “worry wart” at heart.  When I was little, I just thought she was mean, because she would not let me eat or put my feet up on her sofa, so I referred to her as “Mean Deane.” She always was very strict on me. When I misbehaved, she would tan my hide in a blink of an eye.  After growing up, I realized you should not eat or put your feet upon anyone’s sofa, because it’s disrespectful and a form of bad manners. I finally figured out that she was not being mean to me; she just wanted to teach me good manners.

My aunt Deane was like a second mother to me. My mother was always busy with work, so my aunt Deane was my babysitter. Fourteen years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, when I found out, I could not do anything except cry.  Typically, I’m not a crier, I’m a fighter, but for as long as I can remember, I have been convinced I was going to die the same hideous way my great grandmother did. Cancer is a disease far more horrible than the pretty ribbons would have us to believe. By the time she died, my 78-year-old grandmother was pale, fragile, weighed 80 pounds, and was unable to get out of the bed. This is the reason that I could not stop crying.

My aunt looked at me and said, cancer patients are divided up into two categories: those who see hope and those who see death.  She then said, “She-Ra would see HOPE, wouldn’t she? I don’t think I ever smiled so big in my entire life. I knew then that my aunt Dean was determined to fight this thing called cancer.

To you, our readers, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get screened and checked for all cancers — and to do self-breast exams. I’m blessed to say that they found my aunt Deane’s cancer in an early stage and she was able to fight breast cancer.

Erica Slone is the president and publisher of The Madison Record. She can be reached at 256-772-6677 or by e-mail at

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