I wanted to win a Nobel Prize when I was a kid. Then I learned there is no Nobel Prize in mathematics (supposedly, though I believe this to be myth, because Alfred Nobel’s wife had an affair with a mathematician). I also learned that we mathematicians have our equivalent, known as the Fields Medal. They give it out every four years, and you have to be under 40.

I won’t win a Fields Medal. I’m good, but I’m not that good. However, I’ll probably live past 40, so in this sense my illness has not affected the fact that I may never get what I wanted as a child.