My boss saved my life after calling me for bad timing and “strange behavior”.

A trainee teacher says his boss saved his life after he denounced his “strange behavior” and poor timing.

Matt Schlag, 43, was studying elementary school teaching when he started showing symptoms.

Matt Schlag, 43, discovered he had a brain tumor after his boss told him to see a doctor

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Matt Schlag, 43, discovered he had a brain tumor after his boss told him to see a doctorPhoto credit: SWNS
Father of Reuben, two, and Anja, four, Matt was told his behavior at work was "strange"

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As the father of Reuben, two, and Anja, four, Matt was told his behavior at work was “strange”.Photo credit: SWNS

He got migraines and his boss at the GORSE Academies Trust in Leeds told him he was acting strangely and was late.

His employer also noted that he became confused mid-conversation and even got lost at school.

Dad-of-two Matt visited the hospital and was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor in October 2019 – and now thanks his boss for pushing him to get answers.

He is now working with the charity Brain Tumor Research to raise awareness of the disease.

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Matt, father of Reuben, two, and Anja, four, said: “I got really terrible migraines every other day.

“They were really intense and I also got lost in conversations and forgot my words, it was really weird.

“My boss said, ‘You need to get this checked out because you’re acting strange’, because my timing had gotten so bad and I was lost not only in conversations but also in the school building itself.

“I was out with the fairies, and I wasn’t my usual eloquent self. I was awkward with conversations and I didn’t really engage with people like I normally would.

“My boss was instrumental in helping me deal with the situation and putting me in order as I was unable at the time. His intervention saved my life.”

In October 2019, Matt, who is married to 36-year-old Louise, went to A&E at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) and “insisted” he has a scan.

Matt said: “The scan showed there was something in my brain.

“It was a massive shock to me and my family.”

Most of the time, a brain tumor isn’t the reason someone has a headache.

Stress can cause someone to behave differently. But if there’s no obvious cause for mood or behavior abnormalities, see a doctor.

Other symptoms of a brain tumor include impaired vision or speech, weakness of the limbs, seizures and vomiting.

journey to recovery

Matt said: “Three days later, which happened to be my daughter’s second birthday, I had surgery.

“The operation went well and I was so excited that I woke up singing ‘Aqua Azzura’ in Italian.

“I don’t know if it was the drugs but I was just so happy because I’m fluent in Italian and that meant I hadn’t completely lost my language skills.”

Matt underwent three months of radiation therapy and 12 months of chemotherapy.

But in August 2020, a control scan showed his tumor had grown back.

He said: “I was like ‘not again’ because Louise and I celebrated with champagne and thought I’d beat that and we could draw a line under it.”

Matt had a second surgery on September 13, 2020, followed by six months of chemotherapy.

Now, on September 11, Matt will join friends Chris Lumb, 44, and Chris Keithley, 43, on the 55-mile bike ride from London to Brighton to raise money for the Brain Tumor Research charity.

He said: “I just wanted to make something positive out of what happened. Raising money to help find a cure is so important because until a cure is found there is always a concern that the tumor may come back.”

Matthew Price, Community Development Manager at Brain Tumor Research, said, “We’re really grateful to Matt and his two friends for taking on this challenge…

“Brain tumors are indiscriminate. You can meet anyone at any time. Not enough is known about the causes, which is why increased investment in research is essential.”

Brain Tumor Research funds sustained research at dedicated centers in the UK.

It also advocates for the government and larger cancer organizations to invest more in research into brain tumors to accelerate new treatments for patients and ultimately find a cure.

To donate to Matt’s fundraising page, click here.

Matt said: "I was out with the fairies and I wasn't my usual eloquent self. I was awkward with conversations and I didn't really reach out to people like I normally would"

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Matt said: “I was out with the fairies and I wasn’t my usual eloquent self. I was awkward with conversations and I didn’t really engage with people like I normally would.”Photo credit: SWNS
Matt had to undergo two surgeries and over a year of chemotherapy for his brain cancer

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Matt had to undergo two surgeries and over a year of chemotherapy for his brain cancerPhoto credit: SWNS

Symptoms of a brain tumor

headache

Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons, you could be dehydrated or even stressed.

Most headaches can be corrected with painkillers, but if your headaches are persistent or getting worse, then this could be a sign of a brain tumor.

Vomit

If you experience nausea and the regular nausea is unexplained, this could be a sign of a brain tumor.

The NHS advises if you feel persistently ill, or are constantly ill and feel sleepy, you should see your GP.

seizures

Seizures can often be a warning sign that you have a brain tumor.

It’s when you experience an involuntary movement and are unable to control your arms or legs.

Weakness

Feeling weak isn’t uncommon – if you’ve eaten too little or if you’ve been exerting yourself properly, you can feel a little drained.

But regularly feeling weak when you’re rested, have eaten well, and have no other known cause is a warning sign of cancer that should be checked out.

vision or speech problems

Speech problems and blurred vision can be signs of all sorts of medical conditions.

Too much alcohol or stress or anxiety can cause these symptoms.

But it’s often a warning sign of a tumor – the next step is to see an optometrist or doctor if you notice a change.

behavior changes

It’s common to feel many different moods and emotions in one day.

Generally, the cause is stress or the task you are doing, but if you notice a change in yourself or a loved one that you cannot explain, it could be a sign of Cancer.

The NHS says: “Mental or behavioral changes, such as memory problems or personality changes,” could be signs of breast cancer.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/6001020/boss-saved-life-poor-timekeeping-strange-behaviour-brain-tumour/ My boss saved my life after calling me for bad timing and “strange behavior”.

Sarah Y. Kim

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