Barry Du Bois is spending Father’s Day with his six-year-old twins, Arabella and Bennett.
He’s never felt luckier.
“I look forward to every day at this stage of my life,” he told Confidential.
“We are all on limited time. My life, because of recent medical problems, might be shorter than most. So I cherish every moment.”
This time last year, the 58-year-old was diagnosed with terminal multiple myeloma.
Barry Du Bois on what you should never say to someone who has cancer…
During an episode of The Living Room, the co-host told his fans that six years after his initial diagnosis, his cancer had returned. And it was more aggressive this time.
“It seems that my cancer has come back, reasonably aggressively now I have what is regarded as multiple myeloma. We’ve got a cancer in my body that has created several tumours right through my body,” he said.
“In the medical world, I am on the exit off the freeway, there is no doubt about that.
“What I want to do in this journey is to show everybody the things I am going to make sure my exit journey is as long as possible and as easy to handle.”
He then spent some time sailing around the Mediterranean with his family, before returning to Sydney to undergo three months of intensive treatment.
“The boat is a love fest. I’ve got those beautiful little babies with me 24/7. We are practically connected at the hip, and I can teach them more in that time than I can in a year in the regular world,” he told Stellar earlier this year.
Du Bois and his wife, Leonie Tobler, conceived their twins through a donor egg. The twins were then carried to term by a surrogate in Mumbai, India.
On Mamamia’s No Filter podcast earlier this year, Du Bois spoke of his frustration that their status as parents is still something some people question.
“It so frustrates me when I’ve had people say, ‘What did the mother think?’ And I say, ‘Well, my wife’s the mother. What are you talking about?’” he explained.
“I wish surrogacy was better understood in this country. You know, I can be easily frustrated. I don’t put too much thought into the uneducated opinion of some. But those children are our children.”
The path to parenthood was a difficult one for the couple. After multiple miscarriages and IVF, Leonie was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Saving her life meant undergoing a radical hysterectomy.
“We went from little heartbeats to sobbing, many many times. And IVF, it’s not making love; it’s jabbing your partner with needles 30 times a month and being told at a certain time ‘go for it, as hard as you can’. What an imbalanced plate that is,” he said.
Today, Du Bois says fatherhood means every day is a little bit better than the one before.
“It’s incredible. I’m a pretty simple guy; I think that’s why we’re here, to procreate and leave a legacy. The legacy, so far, is love, sense of belonging, warmth, nutrition, security. Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’, that’s what it is,” he told the podcast.
“Being a father is a gift.”