One week from today, Scott and I will be heading to Rochester, MN, to start my pre-transplant evaluation. For days since I received the call, I've been excited. I'm still excited, but I'm also aware of feeling an intense need to settle things before I leave. I must have spent more than two hours yesterday changing all the autopay accounts to our primary account, so I won't have to remember to transfer funds. I was getting all the bills together, to get them paid before we leave. I have been online creating a Sam's list of things I have to take the transplant house. I am still finalizing my will and Advance Directive, and I still have to set up the consents so our children's caregivers here will be able to obtain medical care for them. I am figuring out how to see people before I go. Trying how not to make anything seem too morbid. Inside I am thinking, "this could be the last time you see me, so let's make this good"; I am also thinking I want just to take the next step as if that next one is like any other. I want to prepare my children for our absence, looking for that moment of perfection I can explain the circumstance clearly, neatly, calmly. I am trying to figure out the most eloquent way I can thank all of the people who are rallying behind me, doing all they can to get me there and to make sure my children are okay. There are no words invented yet that can possibly convey the magnitude of my gratitude to them. I am standing firm on my commitment to God to endure this trial with grace, perseverance, joy, and absolute faith. Sometimes I feel a few tears at the corners of my eyes. I usually take a deep breath and remember my path. I'm sure it's going to be okay at some point to cry; crying doesn't mean I'm murmuring or complaining. I don't even know what's "normal" at this point. I don't feel sad or angry that I'm sick. I'd be misrepresenting the facts if I said I didn't have some fear--what's coming up is going to be dreadfully difficult and it will make me sick, and weak, and will make me work hard to stay alive. That's all scary to me. I also feel somewhat embarrassed, like somehow if I had put more value on my life before now I wouldn't be. Now I'm one of "those cancer patients." I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I feel worried sometimes, but mostly about how my children will grow up without me if I die. I've always said death is hard on the living--the dead are perfectly content. Well. At least the Christian dead. I don't know enough about the other religions to know their views of the afterlife. For me, I'm strong in believing I will go to heaven when I die, so if this illness claims me, I will be with God. I'm not sure, but I also think I have a certain amount of feelings directed toward the idea that, if I endure this illness and stay strong and faithful, I won't still die anyway. I think I might hate the idea of doing everything I can, and being sick for months, only to succumb to my disease. I haven't quite named those feelings. They are still percolating below the surface, still being sorted out in this contemplation of my life. For all the things I may regret, or wish I had done differently, or better, or even not at all, I will never regret loving any of the people I have loved in my life. I am happy I found my relationship with God on this side of heaven. A busy week awaits me. I'm sure I will spend many more moments in contemplation.