And what some people don’t understand was that bleeding wasn’t a sign of weakness; it was a sign of strength. It demonstrated to the world that you were vulnerable and ordinary, but when you wanted something enough, and fought hard for it, you were capable of doing extraordinary things.

He read disappointment at his response and wondered if she realized that she expected a certain amount of effusive sympathy from the people she told. Rejecting that sympathy made her feel strong, compensating for what she perceived as her weakness. He suspected that the disease was the first time she hadn’t been able to make everything come out all right through the sheer determination that it would be.

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