Chapter 9 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 420

Just before the trip to Amsterdam, Hazel attends her Support Group in the Episcopal Church basement she refers to ironically as “the Literal Heart of Jesus.” Before the meeting starts, she chats with a girl named Lida, a cancer survivor who always says she feels “strong” when anyone asks. Hazel...

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Just before the trip to Amsterdam, Hazel attends her Support Group in the Episcopal Church basement she refers to ironically as “the Literal Heart of Jesus.” Before the meeting starts, she chats with a girl named Lida, a cancer survivor who always says she feels “strong” when anyone asks. Hazel cannot help being jealous of Lida, who is comparatively healthy and who lost nothing to cancer except her appendix, an organ her body does not need. When Lida comments that she admires Hazel’s bravery, Hazel snaps that that she would trade it for Lida’s health any day.

During the meeting, the Support Group leader, Patrick, prays for the former attendees who have died. There are so many names that he cannot memorize them; he has to read them off a list. A twelve-year-old named Michael, a former regular attendee, has died since Hazel’s last visit. She listens glumly as Patrick mentions this name at the end of the list.

As usual, Isaac is in attendance at Support Group. After the meeting, Hazel jokes with him that she is “really hot” now that he is blind. They chat briefly about her ICU experience and about her upcoming trip to Amsterdam. Isaac is up-to-date on both of these things because, as he says, Augustus talks about her all the time.

After the meeting, Hazel goes with Isaac to his house, and they play a video game designed for blind people. It works entirely on voice recognition, describing the scene and responding to their commands. Just after they start, Isaac's little brother comes in and, imitating Isaac's voice, jokingly tells the computer to kill him. Isaac saves the character just in time, and the kid runs out laughing. 

As he and Hazel play the game, Isaac complains that Augustus always insists on saving people in video games, even if it is a bad strategic choice that makes him lose. Hazel is not surprised. She has noticed that Augustus is serious about heroism.

After a while, Isaac asks if Hazel likes Augustus. She admits that she does but adds that she does not want a relationship. Isaac asks if Hazel is trying to avoid being dumped when her illness gets worse. After considering for a moment, Hazel says that what Isaac’s girlfriend did was awful, but that he hurt her too. Isaac protests that it is not his fault he has cancer, and Hazel replies, “I’m not saying it was your fault…I’m saying it wasn’t nice.”

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