From the outside, Madisons Market Cafe at 5 Epsom Road in Stirling looks rather humble. Apart from the massive sign painted on the outside wall, there’s not much to suggest anything out of the ordinary here.
Step inside, however, and it’s a different story.
Suddenly one is confronted with a market full of colourful clothing, organic living products, and much more.
To top it off, the cafe offers plenty of delicious food and drink, making it the perfect spot to hang out and relax.
The owner, 36-year-old Tarryn Petzer, is just as interesting as her shop.
“It’s always been my dream to have a permanent indoor market house,” she said.
The shop offers a wide variety of products, most of which are made locally.
“The only things that are not local would be some of the branded clothing. but most is locally made.
“We’ve even got jewellery, we’ve got sterling silver, we’ve got costume jewellery, we’ve got scarves, we’ve got shoes, we’ve got décor, we’ve got furniture; we’ve literally got all sorts,” Petzer said.
Madisons first opened its doors on December 11 2017 and was named after Petzer’s nine-year-old daughter. However, the journey was not always an easy one.
The first step for Petzer was overcoming her breast cancer, which she speaks openly about.
While cancer is still seen as a sensitive topic by many, Petzer speaks openly about her experience.
“It’s not something I’m shy of. If I could walk around exposing my breasts to show people what you actually have to go through, I actually would do it,” she said.
Petzer was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016.
“I’d found the lump before but I’d left it for a while thinking ‘I’ll get to the doctor eventually’,” she said. You think your job comes first, you kind of put your health on the back burner.”
“We never thought cancer would happen to us, it’s just another name and it isn’t until that name’s on your lips or your family’s lips that you realise just how serious it is.”
Despite the seriousness of the diagnosis, Petzer said she tried hard to remain positive.
Her chemotherapy began in January 2017 and consisted of six stages, which caused her hair to initially fall out.
“Just before the second chemo, I went to have my hair cut. I remember praying that I didn’t lose my eyebrows,” Petzer said.
One of the chemo treatments Petzer had to undergo was doxorubicin, colloquially known as “red devil” for it’s red colour and potential side effects, which include skin eruptions on the palms of the hand or soles of the feet.
Petzer said this was the .this period that Petzer called the worst stage of her chemotherapy – not only did she have to have a special port implanted in her since doctors were unable to find her vein, she also reacted negatively to the prescribed anti-nausea drug she’d been given.
“My head was like a highway. I literally felt like Johannesburg traffic, peak time, times 20. The treatment itself was fine but the side effect of that particular anti-nausea drug drove me crazy,” Petzer said.
After her chemotherapy, Petzer had to undergo 25 rounds of radiation treatment, after which she went for second-stage breast reconstruction.
“I was smiling all the way into the theatre because I was at peace. I knew I was in good hands. I knew God had gone before me and had made a way for me already. I knew I was going to be fine,” she said.
Finally, Petzer underwent 18 rounds of herceptin chemotherapy. Her treatment ended in the middle of last year and her port was removed during the recent Easter break. She also has to take hormone blockers for the next five to ten years.
Once it was over, Petzer then had to deal with her hair slowly growing back.
“I had to rock all these different hairstyles,” she joked.
Petzer said she had two different wigs at the time, a short dark wig and a long blonde wig, and said customers were initially confused by the often-changing styles she’d wear.
With her cancer behind her, Petzer is focused on remaining positive and enjoying her life.
“You only live once. We’re going to go through trials, life isn’t easy and every single person has gone through something.
“You’ve just got to rise above it and remember there is a purpose to the pain.”