Mark Paulson will always look back at the time he was diagnosed with chronicPersisting for a long time. myelogenous leukemia (CMLChronic myeloid leukemia or chronic myelogenous leukemia.) as a clear and certain dividing line between who he was and he is.
Before his diagnosis and subsequent transplant in June of 2006, Mark lived a fast paced life that is probably familiar to many men his age. He was a husband, a father, a professional. He was moving quickly, doing his best at allAcute lymphoblastic leukemia. things and reflected that his life was, "unbalanced."
His CML diagnosis put an unyielding stop sign in his life.
His medical team advised a transplant as primary treatment. His five siblings were tested to find a donor match. His sister Carol matched and, in a act of sisterly love, became Mark's donor.
The treatment was tough. One of the hardest things he had ever done. But he survived, and now, as he looks back, he understands how it has changed him.
"When I was first diagnosed, my son Andrew was two; now he is five," Mark said. "I truly believe now that each day that I spend with him, and my other children Julia and Diana, and my wife is an immeasurable gift. I have slowed down."
Being a survivor of a life threatening disease has given him a chance to look, listen and feel his life as he moves through it.
"I have learned to accept and embrace a new sense of normal in my life," he said. "I am content with my life in a way I wasn't before. The transplant had a profound impact on me. Life is richer, has greater meaning and purpose. Little things matter in a different way."
Mark lives on as a father, husband and professional. He was on the Autobahn and moving fast. Life put up a roadblock. He faced the challenge, survived it and allowed himself to be changed by it.
"When a person goes through something this life changing, it can't help but make you view the world a little differently."