July 8th, 2016

Bye bye Broadway market

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It pains me to write this.
I don’t even know how to start, as I had no idea that I was to write this message. So I guess I’ll cut straight to the point.
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I have bad news.
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Just last week, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
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I can just imagine that this news must come as a shock to you, as it obviously did with me and my family..

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I have a lump on my right breast, I had it checked out by mammogram, ultrasound scan, biopsy and a MRI scan. (In fact, I had the first three of these tests done twice! – I’ll tell you more about it in another post.) On the first day of the tests already, the consultant told me that I have breast cancer. The consultant was confident that it hadn’t spread to the nearby lymph nodes though, to which words I will hang on to.

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So please don’t worry for me. The tumour is actually not big either and is treatable, and the prospect is very good. The surgery is already scheduled for next Monday! Which is a huge relief as I can’t wait to get rid of it!

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Nevertheless, this turn of events has changed certain things.

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I am disappointed to say the least to tell you that I will no longer do the market.
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The most sensible thing for me to do is take better care of myself. This means, live with less stress, live life slowly and have time to cook well, eat well, and spend quality time with my family. The last thing I want is to push my body to tiredness while I go through the expected treatments ahead.
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This unexpected news comes actually comes at the worst possible timing.
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I was in the middle of planning a Coco&Me outlet…!
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My good friend Ms.V asked me to move in to her shop in St Paul’s and co-exist. In 2 to 3 months from now, I would have had my cakes across 4 metres of window display – in the middle of the city, literally a few minutes walk from the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. My cakes would have been available all week. It would have been the perfect next phase for Coco&Me, which I’m sure would have opened many new amazing opportunities. I am in shock myself to change my plans with the shop like this. I am also very sorry to Ms.V for suddenly exiting on her.
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I am so gutted that I am posting this sad news today. The next post on this blog would have been about the most happy announcement of Coco&Me shop opening. I wrote a draft-version of that happy news ages ago, and I couldn’t wait to roll out the news to the whole world. – The only reason why I hadn’t told you any sooner was because I was awaiting signing.
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To my dearest customers who have supported me during all those years at the marketthank you for being so kind to me, and I am so sorry that I had to disappear from the scene so abruptly like this. Many of you have purchased cakes and chocolates frequently, and I loved that it was like a routine to see you every week. I loved chatting to you all, and I loved that we’d notice each other missing if that routine is broken even by a week.
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I hope you understand and agree that I have taken the right course of action to solely concentrate on getting better, rather than juggling it with work. It would be impossible to do it hand-in-hand anyway as I will be going to radiotherapy and possibly chemotherapy everyday for a while. I have enjoyed my time at Broadway Market with you tremendously over the almost 11 years that I was there. It has been such a big part of my life!! I am already missing you all! But like I said before, please don’t worry for me, you know that I’m a trouper right? :-) I can put up hell of a fight! Grahh~!
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To my dearest blog-readersas for this blog, I will continue to write, so no worries there! :)
I have always felt comfort from the great support you have given me with the comments you leave! How can I give up on that! ;-)
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Add to that, I am thinking of using this blog as a food diary to motivate me to eat well. Some of you might be surprised as to why I am revealing my illness so frankly, but, like I wrote ages ago here, I hate keeping secrets, or to cherry-pick who to tell, as once, I had an experience of a good friend doing that to me and I was hurt when she said it’s because she didn’t want to ‘jinx’ it! Besides, breast cancer isn’t a taboo to tell. Hopefully, by documenting mine on the world-wide-web, I can ramp up awareness and more women check themselves regularly? 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. I never knew that for example, and I wished somebody told me before, then I would’ve checked myself more regularly!
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Those who know me know that I eat healthily despite my job surrounded by cakes and chocolates, but ever since I have been diagnosed, I have been eating strictly healthily to give myself the best possible chance. I can document that too, and share my knowledge on my food choices.
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Again, thank you to all those who have supported my Coco&Me stall for all those years!!!!
I have enjoyed my time at Broadway Market absolutely tremendously over the almost 11 years (!) that I was there. :) And I will miss it dearly (I already do!) as it has been such a big part of my life!
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With love, t xxx

28 Comments »

  1. Dear Tamami

    I have been following your blog for many years and I am in a total shock to read this.

    Thank you for sharing the news with us. I wish I could help you. I think you have made the right decision to drop your work to concentrate on your treatment.

    Good luck for this coming Monday.
    I will be thinking of you. We’ll be behind you all the way!

    Louise xx

    Comment by Louise - July 8, 2016 11:00 am

  2. I have been a silent follower of your blog for many years now, and am so sorry to hear about your illness. Your health is the absolute top priority now, and I wish you the best of luck for your surgery, and that you will have a good and full recovery.

    Comment by enuwy - July 8, 2016 12:19 pm

  3. Thank you so much Louise and Enuwy!!! I can’t wait til next Monday to get rid of the tumour! It’s gonna sound odd but I’m kinda looking forward to it…!? Txx

    Comment by Tamami - July 8, 2016 2:38 pm

  4. Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear your news… absolutely you have made the right decision to put all your time and energy into getting better. I will be sending lots of good thoughts your way on Monday (and afterwards)… xx

    Comment by Rachel - July 8, 2016 9:22 pm

  5. aaaaaaah, thank you Rachel!!! And thank you for your support always! t xx

    Comment by tamami - July 8, 2016 9:57 pm

  6. Tamami-san, I’m so sorry to hear of your breast cancer diagnosis. You are so steadfast, meticulous, and creative when it comes to your pastries that they’ll surely be strengths you can draw upon when combatting your illness. You are a strong, talented, and dedicated woman, and you can beat this. がんばってね!

    If you haven’t read the Coco Cake Land blog, it might be of interest to you. Lyndsay has blogged extensively about her battle with breast cancer.

    While I’ll miss reading about your cake stall, I look forward to hearing about your new adventures in life. I’ll put positive vibes out in the universe for a quick recovery.

    Best wishes,

    Yoshiko

    Comment by Yoshiko Yeto - July 9, 2016 4:25 am

  7. Yoshiko san, ありがとう!
    Thank you so much for leaving such an amazing message! I wish I was all those qualities you mention…!!! What I think is that I am quite pedantic and stubborn actually! (I’m a Taurus!). LOL. What ever quality it is that I have though, I will draw upon it like you say!! Right now, I think I’m lucky that it happens now when I’m 40, rather than any younger, as I am able to take the news with the wisdom of age. I’m alot more self-controlled in comparison to the younger me, and I am in a stable environment to deal with it & look it straight in the eye.
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    And thank you for sharing the info of the Coco Cake Land blog, I’m gonna make my self a cuppa and sit and read it!
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    t xx

    Comment by tamami - July 9, 2016 9:12 am

  8. Dear Tamami,
    I wish you all the best! May your surgery on Monday go smootly and the treatments afterwards as well.

    Comment by Fiona - July 9, 2016 9:27 am

  9. Oh no! :( Please update us with the further developments! Lots of positive thoughts headed your way!

    Comment by Marta - July 9, 2016 9:36 am

  10. Fiona and Marta,
    Thank you so much!!!! I will update ;-)
    Now that I’m not working, I’ll have more time to blog!!!
    T xx

    Comment by tamami - July 9, 2016 9:59 am

  11. Take good care of yourself!
    Sending you my best wishes for your health from France.

    Comment by kanadelf - July 11, 2016 10:54 am

  12. Hi Tamami I just saw on Twitter you are leaving Broadway so looked at your blog. I am so sorry to see you have breast cancer. You will be so missed at the mkt with your fabulous cakes and I wish you all the very best in your recovery. Look after yourself, rest, eat your gorgeous cooking and take time to heal and destress. Thinking of you. Lots love Sally

    Comment by Sally - July 11, 2016 12:18 pm

  13. Dear kanadelf,
    thank you so much for your supportive message!!! :) :) :) it means a lot to me!!!! xx

    Dear Sally,
    Thank you so much for leaving a message here! You’ve been so lovely to me all the time, like giving me lifts home, when I was stuck, you were there to help me. You are a kind woman!! :) I will miss our chats! – I’ll visit the market one day, as a customer from now on, so see you then! Love, t xx

    Comment by tamami - July 12, 2016 11:46 am

  14. Tamami! Hope your surgery goes smoothly, fingers crossed. Loved hearing from you, even if it was bad news. Life goes on right?

    Comment by minik - July 17, 2016 10:25 am

  15. Hello Minik! :) :) yes, the surgery went very well, thank you!!! :) And, yup that’s right! Life goes on indeed! xx Just a little different direction than planned! xx

    Comment by Tamami - July 17, 2016 2:31 pm

  16. Yours has always been a blog I visited to cheer up! Your stories are always cheery and informative. Thank you for sharing & my prayers for you always!

    Comment by lt - July 20, 2016 8:05 am

  17. Hi Tamami, so sorry to read about the bad news. But God blessed, keep fingers cross, you will be alright. Wishing you speedy recovery and take care.

    Warmest regards.
    Amelia

    Comment by Amelia - July 20, 2016 8:39 am

  18. Thank you so much It & Amelia for leaving sweet messages!! I’ll be alright, I have my bone scan today – this is the final diagnostic test! Woo-hoo! T xx

    Comment by Tamami - July 20, 2016 10:39 am

  19. What a brave and beautiful post Tamami!

    Thank you for trusting us.

    It is not easy to let things go, I can imagine your pain, but your health has to be your priority now. The future will be greater after you have recovered! You will recover completely!

    I agree with you, it is better to open up than to worry about keeping secrets. It is liberating to tell the everyone around you what is going on, without worries and to focus on what you need to do to help you heal completely.

    We are fighting this battle with you. Please let us know how things are going.

    All the best for you.

    Comment by Claudia - July 25, 2016 1:04 am

  20. Dear Claudia, thank you very much for your message, it is so supportive of you! :)

    Yes, I think it was better in my case to open up – everyone has been fantastic in response, especially my children’s friend’s mums who have taken on the challenge with me and take my kids out for fun. My girlfriends have been great also, checking in on me from time to time. I’ve also enlisted my hairdresser friend to cut my hair prior to chemo…

    The doctors will look after me physically, and mentally I will be relying on the people around me, including supportive messages such as yours! :) So thank you…!

    T xx

    Comment by Tamami - July 25, 2016 12:09 pm

  21. Tamami,

    Being sensible and practical about things helps a great deal. It helps reduce the stress.

    Make a wig of your own hair if you can…

    You know, last week my 16 y.o. daughter had her hair cut short, really short, because on that day at the hairdresser they were collecting donations of hair longer than 15cm. She felt so enthusiastic about helping someone in need that she let the hairdresser cut all that was possible of her hair but to leave with a nice haircut. The campaign was destined to provide poor breast cancer patients, without resources to afford natural wigs, with free alternatives.

    I was a little shocked when she came home, but I was very proud of her.

    Please let us know how things are going with you after radiation and chemo etc…

    Comment by Claudia - July 25, 2016 12:44 pm

  22. Dear Claudia,
    I totally agree with you that being practical reduces stress!! :) Just now, I have been seriously deep cleaning the bedrooms, like shifting the bed to clean under it and dusting everywhere and stuff, in preparation to my chemo which ‘should’ start in 2 weeks time (no date given yet…) because I read that once chemo starts, my immune system will get low and I shouldn’t be doing dusty jobs! Doing practical things makes me feel like I’m in control of the given situation, and it lessens my worries, I certainly feel less stressed!

    You have a daughter with a beautiful mind! It’s amazing that she decided all by herself to do a good deed, and for no return. Especially so as I would have thought that a teenage girl would be so attached to her hair! – obviously took after that kind quality from the mother! ;-) ;-)

    I’ve briefly looked into wigs online but I’m probably gonna stick to wearing scarves and hats until it grows back. I just can’t imagine a wig on me… Besides, good ones are super duper expensive…!?

    T xx

    Comment by Tamami - July 25, 2016 2:44 pm

  23. So sorry to hear your bad news – what a terrible shock. The idea of a permanent store is great, and whilst the timing might not be right today I’m sure good things might yet happen! Sending you lots of good vibes for all your treatment!

    Comment by Elemjay - July 27, 2016 10:23 am

  24. Hello Elemjay! Yes, a permanent store would’ve been totally amazing for Coco&Me. The cancer diagnosis & the heartbreaking decision to halt the work I very much enjoy was a double-blow for me… Mind, like you say, good things will happen in the future I’m sure of it too. Elemjay, thank you so much for your kind words! xx

    Comment by tamami - July 27, 2016 7:28 pm

  25. I am so sorry to hear this Tanami – I was just telling my friend about your wonderful stall yesterday and how she absolutely had to go. I have made your brownies so many times, in fact my friends and I were planning a brownie-off and I already knew I was going to win with your recipe :) Wishing you a quick recovery and lots of positive healing energy. xxxx

    Comment by Nikki - July 30, 2016 11:04 pm

  26. Awww thanks Nikki…! I wish I was still doing the stall…! It was moments like this that made it all worthwhile and pleasurable to be able to sell to people who appreciated my efforts…! Good luck with the brownie-off! Sounds super fun! Surrounded by many types of brownies is heaven! :) :) :) xxx

    Comment by Tamami - July 30, 2016 11:51 pm

  27. I am stunned. But received that your diagnosis was made early on. Swiftest healing wishes!!!!

    Comment by Jonquil - August 26, 2016 12:40 am

  28. Hello Jonquil, so lovely to hear from you! Yes, I managed to get it diagnosed early! :) Thank you for your kind well wishing ~!!!!

    Comment by Tamami - August 26, 2016 8:08 am

 

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