Janelle's Blog

This is Not a Scene From “The Godfather”

Neal and I arrived home at 6:00 a.m., exhausted by the almost eight-hour flight from Hawaii, where we had gone to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The outside darkness wrapped around our house with a comforting welcome as we stepped through the front doorway into our living room, unaware of what awaited us.

We didn’t bother to unpack, but headed straight for bed to catch some sleep before the sun arose. By noon I had awakened and began to open the shutters and shades throughout the house.

Still somewhat bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, I shuffled toward the front of the house, then stopped abruptly. I gasped as I caught a glimpse of the thing stretched out on the carpet in our dining room. “This can’t be what I think it is,” I muttered. I bravely clenched the carpet with my bare toes and inched toward it.

When I got within eye-ball to eye-ball distance, I screamed, “Neal, get out of bed. There’s a snake in our house.”

I expected him to bound out of bed carrying a weapon and yelling, “Step aside, little lady, I’ll take care of this critter.” Instead, I heard nothing from the bedroom.

Hoping that the 12- inch snake would not travel, I ran into the bedroom to find Davy Crockett still in bed. “Could you move a little faster?” I said. “There is a snake ready to kill us.” That got him moving. We scrambled toward the dining room, knocking over a suitcase as we both tried to get through the bedroom doorway at the same time.

When we reached the dining room, we cautiously approached the snake with a simultaneous, “What should we do?”

You have read my blogs, enough to know that I cannot deal with bugs, varmints, snakes, lizards, geckos, frogs, even bunnies. Yes, I said bunnies. I found one in our backyard when we returned home from another trip—dead and floating in the swimming pool. I did everything then but call in the Coast Guard. Just let me have a nice dog that will let you scratch his back, but please keep crawling creatures out of my sight.

We don’t live in the jungle. We live in a quiet neighborhood with a few sweet little children and streets housing elderly people who never come out of their homes.

Let me put it this way. Terminix employees practically live at our house. They know me by my voice on the phone. The only thing I could think of was to run to the garage and get a sticky insect strip from stack of a dozen extras they left me from a recent visit.

Neal stayed in the dining room keeping watch over the intruder while I bolted through the garage door into the house with my snake-catching weapon.

I got within close distance of the snake and threw the strip on top of him, sticky side down, fortunately. We stood wide-eyed waiting to see if he would try to escape his new glue prison. Neal bravely turned the strip over, and there he was—curled up and covering the entire strip. At least he was unable to move. We identified the snake as a diamondback rattlesnake, which is poisonous. By then we were quite brave and scooped the entire trap and snake into double plastic bags to take to the outside garbage trash barrel. Whew! All in a day’s work.

You cannot imagine how quickly Terminix showed up at our home. They spent time inspecting and searching, but found no way the snake got into the house. Yet, he did!

Nasty Intrusions in Your Life

October begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when the focus is on the need for early detection. As a breast cancer survivor of 30 years, I vividly remember the intrusive way breast cancer entered our lives. Nothing that terrible was expected. I was a young woman of 34 with no history of breast cancer. I had a healthy lifestyle but still could not stop the ruthless interruption of our lives that breast cancer had brought.

Through early detection and moving quickly on my findings, I was able to get a mastectomy to rid my body of the deadly disease. Early detection saved my life.

People you love may be at risk for breast cancer. Please go to our website and sign up for your Early Detection Plan® today. With only 60 seconds of your time, you can provide the information that will allow us to send you reminders of early detection steps that could save your life or that of someone dear to you. We do not solicit you for anything or sell your name to mailing lists. This is the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s way of telling you that we care and want you to live a long and healthy life.

Thought for Today:

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”—Helen Keller

Live Life,


Let’s Talk: How have you stopped the intrusion of breast cancer in your life?

Reader's Comments

3 Responses to This is Not a Scene From “The Godfather”
  1. Ashley Movold
    October 1, 2010 | 3:34 pm

    Janelle, Thank you so much for this reminder! You are correct, just like a snake, cancer can be a ruthless interruption and intrusion into our lives. I’m thankful for all that you and the NBCF Team are doing to take a stand against breast cancer! Consider yourselves to be the “Terminix” in the fight against the ultimate intruder, cancer! -Ashley

  2. Ana Julia Pena
    October 6, 2010 | 3:38 am

    Thank you….! NBCF for sharing the above story of the snake with us. I have also snake’s stories, besides I have “a cronic snake phobiabitis”. First of all, this story really waked-me-up. It was about 4:00 a.m., a pain in my right breast waked-me-up again for a few days, then I used to stand-up and start walking in the house, from one corner to the other, just to feel a kind of release…, but with your snake’s story I just signed for your “early prevention program”, when I jumped to my loptop to search for places to get a mammogram done. I thought I was getting crazy… when I was searching for breast cancer info. and what I got was the word:snake…?

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