Symptoms and diagnosis
I was totally healthy. I worked out, I ate clean, and I’m also a master chef. So, I know what food does. I had symptoms like I couldn’t hear but I never thought something was wrong with my nose and ears. When you’re on an aeroplane, sometimes you can’t hear because of the altitude or if you’re swimming. So, I went to see a doctor and it saved my life. After a biopsy, I came to know that I had cancer. If I had delayed then it could have turned from a nose cancer to brain cancer and I would not be able to share my journey. It’s been four years since I was cancer-free. It could come back any given day, any given time. I wrote a book “The Dragon Turns to Water: German Lam fights cancer for freestyle lifestyle” about my journey. It’s on Amazon.
Treatments underwent and side effects
My doctor, on the first day, said that they could kill cancer in my nose. I had two amazing doctors who were Asian. My chemo doctor was Korean. My oncologist was Chinese. I was born in the other Dragon, which means I’m feisty and used my sense and my martial arts to confront it. I couldn’t eat properly for six weeks because of the radiation. My neck was burnt and was red like blood. There were moments when I felt defeated. And my doctor said, if I lost another pound, they would drill a hole in my stomach to put in a feeding tube. I refused to do this. I have learned about life and death. It turned me into a Dragon warrior and taught me to control what I can and be like water when I can’t control it.
I love mother nature, which is very powerful, and it heals me. I ate seafood during my treatment because it was easy for me to digest and the stomach could capture the energy right away. When food is cooked, you have to break it down. It’s too much work for your stomach.
My support system
My support system was Mass General Hospital. I had a nutritionist, my wife, my kids, and my community at my Church. I realised if one of my friends gets diagnosed with cancer, the first thing I say to them is to go to the gym, run, swim, and eat like you never ate before. You need to be a warrior. If your body is not strong, you cannot finish the treatment. I was fit and it helped me rebuild. When you talk about support systems, I think that I have to fight because if I don’t fight, my family will lose a father, and my wife will be a widow. I always say you have to depend on yourself.
I couldn’t taste anything so my two boys became my sous chefs. They prepared the meal. This gave me joy. We all have different expressions of what love is. Mine is through food. That is my support system.
Message to survivors and caregivers
Every day someone dies from cancer. I approach it like a fight with my opponent. Of course, one cannot see the opponent. So you have to think of yourself as this anime or cartoon character in one way. But for me at a young age, I found someone that helped me along the way. And it was Bruce Lee. And his style is so beautiful. From a very young age, I knew that I had to fight. People don’t teach you how to fight.
I would say when someone gets diagnosed with cancer, they will be an icon. It’s because you show the world how you approach this deadly disease with grace and you are not going to lose. Don’t wait for disease to invade your immune system because you might not have the time. When you fight against cancer, time is your enemy. You can’t control it but only manage it. Enjoy life because we can’t control it. We can’t predict it.
A bit about glam foods
I have created a service. If you could go to my LinkedIn page i.e., German Lam, it will tell you everything I do. I think of myself as a mentor. I teach you about the body, the mind, the spirit, and food. How these four pillars become a plus you can learn here on this page. No matter what size you are, or what age you are, you could always sculpt your body. When you eat that food and you serve it to others, they’re going to fall in love with you. So that’s what I do basically.