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    Kate Gosselin on Life After Show: "Scraping to Get By, Struggling to Exist"

    It's the end of an era for Kate Gosselin.

    The Kate Plus 8 matriarch, whose run as a series regular on TLC ends tonight after seven seasons, understandably has mixed feelings about the future—excitement over what's around the corner and panic that keeps her up at night about being "unemployed for the first time in forever."

    But one thing's for sure: Kate has zero regrets.

    MORE: Kate Gosselin "Freaking Out" About Her Future

    "Jon and I...would probably still not be together," Kate said in an exclusive sit-down with E! News, but "it would be lack of finances and struggles to make ends meet that would have ripped us apart."

    Thankfully, Kate said, Jon & Kate Plus 8 came along.

    "My kids have benefited so greatly, that I shudder to think what our lives would be, scraping to get by and struggling to exist, and having that guilt of eight kids that I can't afford, can't provide for, and who probably never would have left our state," the former nurse said. "It's been a humongous privilege, an amazing situation, and I wouldn't trade it for the world."

    In fact, Kate would gladly get right back in the reality-TV ring if the right opportunity came along!

    "If it was as great an experience as this has been for us, and was as wholesome and accurate in how it portrayed our lives, I would definitely be open to it down the road," she agreed. "We'll just have to wait and see, but the kids have always been very excited to do it."

    But what about Jon Gosselin, who has vowed that his kids are done with reality TV for good?

    "He can say that, but he's said that in the past," Kate noted. "He can feel that and have that opinion, but I'm not in [agreement] and I'm not afraid of it...For three years, Jon thought it was a great idea before he walked away from it."

    MORE: Jon Gosselin Bummed About Kate Plus 8 Cancellation? Hardly!

    As far as what the future holds, Kate doesn't have any answers right now.

    "That's why I wake up in the middle of the night, because the future is uncertain or us and I'm not willing to lay down and die."

    Er, no one was expecting her to, but while she had the platform, Kate took a moment to clear up what she feels may be the most popular misconception about her.

    "I think the biggest misconception about me is that I'm a self-centered, horrible witch," she said coolly. "That's so far from the truth, it's not even fathomable to me. This person that the media created of who I am does not even exist."

    "But I've got thick skin, I can take it, and my kids are the only people on the planet whose opinion I care about," Kate insisted. "They think I'm doing a fantastic job and they love me a lot, so life is good."

    Before she heads off into her future with her type-A personality intact, however, Kate has to come to terms with tonight's send-off.

    "Yes, it's footage of my kids growing up!" she exclaimed when asked if the finale was a bit of a tearjerker. "Of course I cried!"

    GALLERY: The Reality of Jon & Kate Plus 8

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