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October 20, 2022

Recently, I listened to a podcast called “Hidden Brain”.  This episode focused on overcoming trauma.  The basis on the podcast was about how America culture has the superhero mentality when it comes to trauma.  We are forged by trauma and pain.  Going through these obstacles will make us stronger, like Kelly Clarkson’s “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”  Every superhero has an origin story in which they have to overcome a traumatic event, which leads them to become the superhero.  Peter Parker’s uncle dies, and he becomes Spiderman.  Steve Rogers is bullied, small and can’t get into the Army, which is the foundation for Captain America.  Tony Stark is captured by terrorists, has a heart issue, and becomes Iron Man.  The list goes on and on.  They all have a story of overcoming a major event.  It doesn’t crush them but leads them on to greater glory.  It has created a narrative that the expectation is that trauma/adversity equates to personal growth and transformation.  However, does this narrative put unrealistic expectations on people going through difficult times? Is it good or bad?  The results from the podcast showed that the results were mixed, for some it was good and helped them push through, but on the flip side the podcast found that, for many, it was a greater burden to carry and only added to the stress.  What the podcast did find is that most people who go through a time of intense trauma come out with more empathy and more understanding.  I know for the past 11 years I have been in full-on superhero mode. Has it made me have more empathy – definitely – in my time working on various boards and non-profits related to brain cancer.  In other parts of my life, I am not quite sure, as at times I find myself, thinking, “that person just needs to step up- they are not the first to have a crappy hand dealt to them.”


Cade on top of Sahalee Peak. Needed something fun to share on this post.

Now for the good news or not!  Back in August, I found out my brain tumor was active and growing.  I still sit here, not knowing the game plan moving forward, waiting on a second opinion to help guide my decision on how to proceed forward.  What is the best option for me?  Limbo land is extremely challenging and frustrating.  I think during this period, I have learned that you don’t always have to instantly resort to superhero mode.  I think this period has made me realize that it is OK to have feelings, to be frustrated, angry, sad and broken.   You don’t have to instantly grab your shield and push forward.  I know I will not be in the position forever. I will look for the shield once I have a plan and will press on like Steve Rogers- “I can do this all day.” However, I do believe this period has allowed me to be OK with just “being” and not putting the pressure on myself to ignore feelings and just move forward, not to feel and just grab the shield and move forward.  I am a goal setter, so being in limbo is a little bit of torture for me.  To actually be forced to “deal” with my emotions is not something I enjoy. 

The big difference for me this time is that I have been experiencing side effects of the tumor growth.  Back when I was first diagnosed, I had a grand mal seizure, which means that I was unconscious and had no recollection of the seizure.  The tumor growth is squarely on my left side motor skills, specifically the part of the brain that control my left hand.  I don’t want to go into complete details on some of the issues that I am having, some are obviously related to the tumor, however others there is some question.  This has left me in a state of paranoia, wondering if something is the tumor, is it just random, or is my mind making things up?  Six years ago, when I went through proton radiation, I had no symptoms, only the MRI revealed the growth.  This time it is both the MRI and symptoms – a totally new experience.  It has caused me to have to adjust some of the activities that I love. Now some of that is probably that I still have some PSTD from my climbing fall.  The paranoia is unlike anything I have ever been through. 

I have waited on posting this as I really don’t know what is next.  People have asked me how they can help, and the real answer is that I really don’t know.  I really just don’t know. 



7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2022 4:22 pm

    David, the Fink Family is praying for you, Jessica and the boys. We are so sorry for this frustration of the unknown. May God’s peace surround you all.

  2. Glenn Thistlethwaite permalink
    October 20, 2022 5:56 pm

    So have dealt with this tumor so much better than anyone I know or have heard of. New treatments are coming out everyday for brain tumors so keep on living the best you can.

  3. Jared permalink
    October 20, 2022 8:15 pm

    Dude…you can just “be” forever and you still are a superhero!

  4. Amy Bruce permalink
    October 20, 2022 9:28 pm

    As always, appreciate your transparency and authenticity. Praying for you, David!

  5. Joy Smith permalink
    October 20, 2022 9:43 pm

    Sending prayers and love for your healing and health. Joy Smith

  6. Sally Sanden permalink
    October 21, 2022 12:21 am

    Well, we know that God knows all of your days, so we’ll let him have that. In the meantime, we will rally again and pray against Goliath. We know he never wins. Thank you for sharing with great honesty. God continues to walk this path with you so trusting him for ??? will be our faithful prayer. God bless & heal you once again. Hugs for you and you family. ❤

  7. Tracey Austin permalink
    October 23, 2022 8:12 pm

    Prayers to you and your beautiful family.

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