Stories About Dying


One problem with wordpress is it displays newest first;

If you are new to this site and have come about getting a blog go here. Blogging is a great way of communicating and getting a WordPress blog takes ten minutes and is entirely free. 

A quick start to blogging is on the so you can go there too. There a 4 videos to watch and it’s very easy.

otherwise  read on, this page will stay open as well. I love telling of my adventures….

Little death

I’ve come close to death three times. Once when I caught hepatitis from a dirty needle. Second when I was bitten by a rabid dog in India and third when I contracted lung cancer.

Well there was a time when I was eight and on the verge of meningitis. I awoke in the morning and started coughing up blood, lots of it. The doctor was called and I can remember him examining me and then calling my mother over to the window. I can see them now, the doctor talking in hushed tones and shaking his head. Oh dear I’m going to die I thought to myself. They came over to me my mother was ashen. The doctor looked at me and noticed blood on my pillow and asked about it. Oh I had a heavy nosebleed in the night. Sigh of relief was palpable. It turned out I had had a massive nose bleed and swallowed all the blood! So I don’t count that as a near death experiece.

The first time I nearly died was when I was 22 I shared a needle (injecting for the last time – ever) with a friend and eight of us caught hepatitis and had to be hospitalised. I was not going to Neasden Isolation Hospital in London so I dragged myself to my friend’s house In Clydach Vale, Tony Pandy, Rhondda Valley, South Wales. I was very ill. I was slowly dying. I don’t know how I did it but I made it to a local GP and he sent me home with some pills. They didn’t work and I wasn’t getting better. I went back and he saw the true state of me. He admitted me that day to a wonderful hospital high up in the valleys. I was there for three weeks and was treated like a king. I recovered.

The second time was when I was bitten by a rabid dog. About twenty of us were attending a meditation course in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India. It was quite isolated. It was 1976 i think. It was an old colonial hill station and we had rented a lovely house on a hill top. We had a pet dog that started acting strangely and had already bitten six of us, breaking skin. When I saw he had chewed his metal bowl to pieces, well something was seriously wrong. I was in charge of him. Two idiots decided the poor chained up dog needed a walk OMG anyway when I heard I ran to them and the dog was going mad on his chain. I rescued them and in doing so I was bitten.

Six of us were bitten and if he was truly rabid we needed to know. So took him to a local doctor who said yes he was rabid and had to be put down, our cherished pet. So we didn’t accept it, the doctor was a bit daft, so we needed a second opinion. The only hospital was at a not too far away university hospital. We all piled into a taxi for the three hour journey and tied the dog wrapped in blankets to the roof rack. We headed down the mountain. There was a landslide earlier and the road was blocked so we had to return home. In the two days that followed we read up on rabies. It was fatal and you shook yourself to death. It was one of the worst ways to die. We had no choice we had to find out if the dog was rabid so we set off again and told the taxi driver he had to get us through. The landslide had been partially levelled and we managed to bump across. We made it to the university hospital, the dog died on the way.

At the autopsy they confirmed he was rabid. We went to a restaurant and we discussed what we should do. We were very scared. We talked about the anti-rabies injections 14 daily through the stomach wall. There were known side effects, one of them was permanent blindness. We were into day six of the first bite and the minimum incubation period for rabies was ten days. We decided we would have the injections. We returned home and went to the doctors. Yes he could inject us but he only had serum for a few days. He didn’t have enough. We needed more and the nearest place was Shimla a 12 hour train trip away. Armed with a letter from the doctor (he would phone them too) I and a friend headed off.

The journey was relatively uneventful except we had to keep the small crate of serum cold. In the hot parts of our journey we bought ice to cool it.

We were going to have the injections as a group so no one had started, it was now day 9 of the first bite. From what I remember one was over ten but we didn’t talk about that. The injections were horrible. About an inch of fluid straight into the stomach wall. They left lumps of fluid that lasted days. So every day we all trooped down the mountain, got our shots and trooped back. Not fun and this would last for two weeks. This was 1976 in a remote part of India.

Well we all survived OK except me. On the 12th injection I collapsed and they took me up the mountain on a donkey. They called the doctor and he came up to the house to give me my 13th injection. You had to do the course. That night I nearly died. I developed a fever and my temperature went up to 107 and my friends were coming in to say goodbye to me. I had two angels looking after me Kitty Subho an English Thai monk and a wonderful lady who we thought had recently become enlightened. I remember the delirium well. It was a bit out of body, very spacey and voices shouted from a distance. I was going to die but I had no fear just an acceptance.

In the wee hours of the morning the fever broke and I woke up yellow. I had hepatitis again. Think my liver just couldn’t handle the serum. I was ill for about three weeks but what a beautiful spot to be ill in.

Four years ago during a routine hospital check-up the doctor told me they had found a little spot on my lung. After tests it was found to be cancerous. I researched lung cancer and my prognosis was not good. I prepared to die. It wasn’t so bad, I had led a very full life. I achieved an ethereal state of acceptance and said goodbye to the world. This state stayed with me. It became semi-permanent and was a bit difficult to get out of.

After further tests, going up to St James in Dublin they decided they would operate immediately. The consultant surgeon would contact me the next week. It ended up three months later and all this time the cancer was growing. But I stayed calm and did what had to be done. If the operation was successful I would still not get the all clear they were going to take out my left lung. So be it. I was admitted to St James and had the operation two days later. I can remember the prep room and getting an injection then waking up don’t know when in the post op ward. There was good news they only had to take out a lobe. I have a scar running down most of my back where they went in. My mood, that of acceptance, continued.

My oncologist in Tullamore said the cancer may have spread to my lymph and I needed chemo. So I wasn’t clear. Four months later they decide that that was it. Chemo was not fun. I was in remission. Got another year to go to be out of the woods. After 5 years you are considered cured.

Dying holds no fear for me. The mental state that of having done with the world, persisted for a year afterwards. I found it difficult to “come back” . I’m back now but have grown from my experiences. In this day and age longevity is not uncommon and I might look for another twenty years. Well we will see. Whatever the future holds for me I feel I am prepared for it.

I have a WordPress blog so I am immortal. Below is one of my favourite tunes: Gov’t Mule “ Soulshine. I think I let my soul shine and lived better for it.

Please comment and would love to hear your stories  I am sure you have them. A free Cream Tea voucher for the best comment.

Why not join the millions of others who blog, carve out your own niche on the Internet! You will have seen http:// before it stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, which tells the Internet you are going somewhere. So go to and create a blog of your own.


Why Blog and How To Get Started

Tip: If you have trouble reading any screen in your browser you can zoom in  by pressing “Ctrl ” and the “+” key. Pressing the “-” zooms back. Try it – NOW! Hold the Ctrl down and tap the “+” key a few times then tap the “-” key . You can do this for ANY web page!

Your keyboard may have a slightly different layout

In this blog we will learn how to set up a wordpress blog that is entirely free. It will take about 30 mins.  It costs nothing except some of your time. Go through the first post without doing anything then read it again. It is not difficult, read slowly and take it in. Then have a go. There are 4 posts, the first sets up a wordpress blog (this one), the second is your first post where you learn how to put in a picture and video and the third as you surf the web gives you some knowledge and knowledge is power! The fourth is for themes and changing them. There is a Quick Start here, 4 videos.

Mouse tips: hold the left mouse button down and drag it over the text, this highlights it. Then right click on it and copy. Go to where you want the text and right click and paste. Try it now to this text!

Links: Don’t click on links till you are ready. They can be distracting until you are familiar. Watch the videos full screen.

Hi there,

There are approximately over 150 million blogs on the Internet with 1.3 million blog posts per day. Btw if you don’t have a computer you can use the library.  Clearly people have got something to say. I started this blog for older citizens because there is a treasure trove of experience that should be tapped.

All links that you click on eventually open into new tabs so this page will stay open.

For some retirement can be a lonely time bringing with it isolation. A blog can bring people together; those with like minds and similar experiences. It can also be a moan at the state we are in in the 21st century! 😆 It can be about anything from a holiday you took 50 years ago to what your cat did this morning. Really anything you like.

me and mercilla 1965
me and Marcella 1965 Spain

And a picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a tip: If you have a photograph album use your phone camera to take a picture of them this will convert them into digital format and upload them to your computer from your phone!me and mum This is me and Mum 67 years ago!!

Setting up a blog is easy, all you need is an email address and access to the Internet (ha ha yes you are reading this lol). It is easy and takes about 5 minutes. AND IT’S FREE! Yes there is no need to spend any money at all! WordPress has many features some cost but there is no need for them . The blog was set up completely free.

How to set up a WordPress blog

Think of a name for your blog. This can be you may have to be imaginative if your name has gone perhaps use your middle name as well or an initial. You may have a nickname you can use. Given so many blogs it may take some work. Just keep typing  in till you find a combination that doesn’t exist, you have to have ending in the title. You can use a short phrase like as long as it makes sense. Be imaginative. Notice when I write the blog address I use capital letters to make it more readable? This is fine, web browsers ignore capital letters and treats them as lower case. Watch the video full screen.

youtube full screen button
youtube full screen button

In the video you see the “new and improved” menu system which I don’t like. I use the dashboard. Read on….

Once you find a combination that doesn’t exist go ahead and register it. Take it slow and get it right the first time. You may make a mistake BUT its not the end of the world go back to and start again BUT better get it right the first time. You might need a second email address for a second blog. Let me know in the Contacts page and I’ll send full instructions.


If you want an email adress at let me know

Once you have been blogging for a while and have a feel for it you may want to change to a different name. I have about 10 covering different aspects of my online life.( First wordpress blog 2009 ). Go through the registration procedure until you are done.

Familiarise yourself with the menu on the left. Save your draft as you go (on the right) so you don’t inadvertently  delete something but this will happen it happens to us all so try and get into the routine of saving.

The Dashboard (Main Editor)

Your dashboard where you add posts, edit them change themes etc is:

is your route into the editor . So the admin for this blog is and there is my login to the editor.  Login asks for username that was set up when you started or your email address. It will then ask for your password. Set a memorable difficult one. Include numbers and one odd character like !* say at the end. If you forget it you can change it by “lost password” and they will email you with a link to make a new one. I’m always forgetting mine.


WordPress has set up a “new and improved” menu system. I don’t like it its not as good as the main editor, the dashboard.  /wp-admin will take you to the main editor.

Below is a screenshot of the  of the dashboard. You do everything from there and in my tutorials I will be using the dashboard.


Experiment with the menu items, mostly you can undo or change what you have done. All blogs have a theme you can read about them in a later post. The free 2016 theme I am running here is Twenty Sixteen. Its a great theme and even looks good on a mobile.You can use it when you are ready. Its free. download it and “Add New” in your Appearance/Themes page. If you can’t find it.

Mum at the table with her daughter
Mum “Guess what dear? I’ve got a blog”
Daughter: “Nooo, really? Whats it called?”
Mum: “”
Daughter: Oh I’ll look it up when I get home”
Mum: “You can look it up on your phone”

And why not? This blog looks great on a modern phone.

You can email me at or call on +353 (0)89 429 7539 here to help.
and skype Philip Finlay Bryan Tullamore.

Please use the comment feature or use the contact page to comment or ask for help. It will be great to hear from you. You also can follow the blog and be notified of next posts. You can Skype me too, Philip Finlay Bryan Tullamore. I set up skype a long long time ago in “Search” look for dude.starship

See the “About” page for info on me

The next post will be “My First Post”

Have a look if you feel like it. which will be a global resource is in progress)

Remember from little acorns mighty oaks do grow. Lets get planting!

and just to finish off a rare ole tune from the man himself Shane McGowan.