On the flight home, Augustus says he’d always thought it would be fun to live on a cloud, until his science teach told him being that high up would kill him. He says that the teacher was a dream killer, that he took the magic out of the world. When the stewardess comes by they order champagne and have a toast. Eventually, Augustus tells Hazel everything Van Houten said was true. He immediately begins to feel pain in his chest, so Hazel helps him take his medication. Augustus then says that it was as if Van Houten was angry with them personally.
Augustus’ story about the cloud depicts the way coming of age involves accepting the difficult realities of the world. Augustus’ comment that Van Houten was right reflects how his attitude and philosophy has changed since telling Hazel about his cancer. His comment about Van Houten’s anger at them personally foreshadows the fact that Van Houten has anger concerning cancer, which is later revealed when he shares he lost his daughter from cancer.
Mr. Lancaster is waiting for them when they get off the plane with a sign that says, “My beautiful family (and Gus).” Hazel hugs her father when she sees him, and he starts crying. When they get home, Hazel tells her father about Augustus’ cancer returning, but he already knows. He tells her that he read an Imperial Affliction and found it to be a bit defeatist. Hazel says it is not defeatist, but honest. Mr. Lancaster refuses to accept her statement, noting that there is a difference between defeatism and honesty. He says that being a grown up doesn't mean one knows that to believe. Finally, he tells her he thinks the universe is biased toward consciousness and just wants to be noticed.
Mr. Lancaster’s sign not only expresses his love for his family, but also that he has accepted Augustus as a member of their family. His experience with An Imperial Affliction is different than Hazel’s because he does not have the lived experience of cancer. He, on the other hand, simply wants his daughter to live and be happy, so the defeatism of the novel does not speak to him. He does not believe that the universe is cruel, which is Van Houten’s philosophy, but that it simply wants to be noticed.
The next afternoon, Hazel goes to Augustus’ house and tells them about Amsterdam while Augustus naps. Augustus’ parents tell Hazel he is lucky to have been placed on a new cancer cocktail. Hazel notes that even talking about one of the drugs he is on makes her want to barf.
Augustus’ family is happy that he is on the new medication, but Hazel has experience with the cancer drugs and knows it is not easy to take them.
Isaac then arrives. His mother walks him in by the arm and sits him at the table. He asks where Augustus is. His parents say Augustus is sleeping, but from the other room they hear him say that he can still dominate Isaac at their favorite video game. Isaac goes in and asks how he is doing. Augustus says he is on a rollercoaster that only goes up. He tells Isaac that his body is riddled with cancer.
Although Augustus is sick, he still talks trash to Isaac, showing that his personality has not changed just because his cancer has returned. Augustus also uses dark humor to talk about his cancer, which is his way of coping with the reality of his impending death.
When the parents go downstairs, Isaac and Hazel sit upstairs with Augustus. Augustus asks how Monica is doing, and Isaac replies that he hasn't heard from her once. Isaac says that he doesn't have time for her anyways now that he is learning how to be a blind man. Augustus says that he can’t believe Monica has not contacted Isaac. Then, he asks if Hazel has four dollars. She says she does, and they get up to leave. In that moment, Hazel realizes for once in her life she is the healthiest person in the room.
As a dedicated and loyal person, Augustus can’t understand how Monica could leave Isaac. Hazel’s realization shows the way in which the tables have turned. Through most of the book, she perceives herself as the sickest person in the room, but now she has experienced a shift in perception, and sees herself as healthy in relation to Isaac and Augustus.
They drive to the grocery store and buy a dozen eggs. Afterward, they drive to Monica’s house. Augustus helps Isaac out of the car and leads him, toward Monica’s green Pontiac Firebird. As they walk, they lean on each other “like praying hands”. After a couple of misses, Isaac hits Monica’s house and then the car with an egg. Afterward, he hits the trunk three times. Augustus tells Hazel to take a picture of them, which she does. Just as she snaps it, Monica’s mother comes out and asks what’s going on. Augustus tells her to go back inside or they will have to call the police.
Describing their bodies like praying hands suggests there is something sacred about the way Isaac and Augustus support one another through their struggles. Egging Monica’s car is a way to get back at her for what she has done to Isaac by leaving him when he needed her most, and when Augustus tells Monica’s mother they will call the police he implies that what Monica has done to Isaac is a worse crime than egging her car.