I am left with one thing: my ordinary, present self who is as empty-handed as he was the day before diagnosis — no better equipped for the ensuing battles of life, no better shielded from pain he will yet face. And it is not just heroic pain. It is the hurt of parking tickets, the ache of commuting, the grief of deadening routine — small pains to which I was immune while they were eclipsed by cancer. But that moon has since passed.

~ Philip Garrity from,