“Noth­ing ever goes to plan”

Ra­dio host Bianca Dye has never shied away from ex­press­ing her­self. She talks to Stel­lar about health, anx­i­ety – and her IVF jour­ney

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy DAVE WHEELER Styling IRENE TSOLAKAS In­ter­view VIC­TO­RIA HANNAFORD

Ra­dio host Bianca Dye gets real about her bat­tles with anx­i­ety, on­go­ing ef­forts to have chil­dren and why she’s never been afraid to speak her mind.

t’s hardly sur­pris­ing that some­one who makes a liv­ing from be­ing chirpy at the crack of dawn is easy to talk to. Not quite as pre­dictably, ra­dio host Bianca Dye is com­pletely un­fil­tered when she jumps on the phone with Stel­lar. Less than three min­utes into the chat, Dye, 45, is ex­plain­ing she’s feel­ing a lit­tle un­well due to med­i­ca­tion she’s tak­ing to help treat and re­duce her ade­no­myosis, a con­di­tion where en­dome­trial cells that usu­ally make up the lin­ing of the uterus grow into the uter­ine mus­cle.

The ra­dio vet­eran was di­ag­nosed with en­dometrio­sis sev­eral years ago, and dur­ing treat­ment for that con­di­tion, her ade­no­myosis was dis­cov­ered. “It’s been quite a jour­ney. I didn’t even know I had it – I didn’t even know how to pro­nounce it five years ago,” she says.

Dye is renowned for mak­ing lis­ten­ers feel like she’s a good friend – these days, as part of the break­fast team on 97.3FM in Bris­bane – and it’s a tes­ta­ment to her tal­ent as a host that Dye’s straight-talk­ing man­ner feels com­pletely nat­u­ral both off air and on it.

It is, quite lit­er­ally, a dream job. “I’ve had vi­sion boards my whole life,” she says of col­lages she has made of pic­tures that rep­re­sent life goals. “I ac­tu­ally put my head on the body of a Bris­bane ra­dio an­nouncer – I ended up get­ting a job in Bris­bane. It’s ter­ri­fy­ing how pow­er­ful vi­sion boards can be.”

Not all her life goals have jumped off the vi­sion board. Dye has been open about her strug­gles to con­ceive, the rigours of her IVF treat­ment and two mis­car­riages she had while in a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship. Treat­ing her ade­no­myosis is a pre­lude to once again

“You stop com­plain­ing [about IVF] be­cause you re­alise the jour­ney is one that so many women are on”

try­ing to con­ceive, this time with new part­ner Jay Sandt­ner, who she met late last year through a dat­ing app. Sandt­ner, 43, has four chil­dren from pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships: Jake, 25, Josh, 21, Zac, 19, and Madi­son, four.

Dye is en­joy­ing get­ting to know his fam­ily, and later this year the cou­ple will un­dergo fur­ther IVF treat­ment with eggs she had frozen at 40 – even though it’s a process Dye knows can be emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally tax­ing.

“I just want to know that I gave it ev­ery­thing that I had,” she says. “Thank god I had the fore­sight; I have 13 frozen eggs. So those lit­tle f*ck­ers are on ice un­til my doc­tor thinks that my ade­no­myosis has shrunk suf­fi­ciently, and I think I’m on my last nee­dle now. I’m like a pin cush­ion, but any woman who does IVF knows that. You stop com­plain­ing af­ter a while be­cause you re­alise the jour­ney is one that so many other women are on, hence why I have shared it so pub­licly.”

Even so, Dye is keen to make younger women, who might not be ac­tively think­ing about their fer­til­ity, aware of their op­tions while they still have time. “So many of them are com­ing to me go­ing, ‘I’m 31 and my part­ner has just bro­ken up with me, and I’m on Tin­der. Should I wait?’ And I’m like, ‘Do not wait – freeze the bloody [eggs] for god’s sake.’” She penned a col­umn about this very is­sue four years ago, urg­ing Rick­iLee Coul­ter to con­sider this course of ac­tion af­ter the singer de­clared in an in­ter­view that she didn’t want chil­dren.

Dye ad­mits her plea to Coul­ter, cit­ing her own ex­pe­ri­ence of chang­ing her mind about want­ing chil­dren, pro­voked a mixed re­sponse – in­clud­ing a re­tort from Coul­ter that it was her de­ci­sion to re­main child-free and some­thing “no­body can ques­tion” – but stands by the sen­ti­ment. “Yes I copped it, but I still man­aged to get my mes­sage out there, which was, ‘Ricki, I adore you, but what if you change your mind?’” she says. “It was a fo­rum to say if you’re like Ricki-lee and you think you don’t want to have a baby, I want you to all know noth­ing ever goes to plan, and wouldn’t it be bet­ter if you have some lit­tle eggs frozen just in case?”

She’s just as vo­cal about her strug­gles with men­tal health. Five years ago, Dye started the In­sta­gram ac­count @anx­i­etyfree, ini­tially anony­mously. Now, she is openly as­so­ci­ated with the page, and posts about her anx­i­ety and panic at­tacks on her own so­cial me­dia ac­counts as well. “I’ve had anx­i­ety my whole life, and it went un­di­ag­nosed un­til I was about 30. I went to the doc­tor, I had lots of ther­apy and they said I had gen­er­alised anx­i­ety dis­or­der. That’s why I talk about it, be­cause a lot of peo­ple think they’re go­ing crazy, and [I want to] help end stigma. I’ve been very pas­sion­ate about that. The worry of talk­ing about it is that peo­ple are go­ing to go, ‘Don’t hire them, they’re un­sta­ble.’ Uh, I’ve got news for you, we’re all un­sta­ble,” she says with a laugh. “There’s just those who choose to talk about it or not.”

It seems that Dye’s de­ci­sion to live life as an open book is pay­ing off, both on the work and home front, with Sandt­ner by her side. “He’s a good egg. Both of us feel re­ally – I hate say­ing hash­tag blessed – but we ac­tu­ally do. We sit there and think about our past lives, [which has] led us to right now, where we are. We’re late bloomers, and I’ve al­ways been a late bloomer in life – with hav­ing ba­bies, with my dream job and it’s like, fi­nally, I get the recog­ni­tion that I feel I de­serve. It just hap­pened late.” Bianca, Mike & Bob airs week­days from 5.30am on Bris­bane’s 97.3FM, or can be heard any­time on the iheartra­dio app.

“I’ve had anx­i­ety my whole life, and it went un­di­ag­nosed un­til I was 30”

BIANCA Acne coat, au; com.au; Acne MSGM ac­nes­tu­dios.com/ Stu­dios Stu­dios (op­po­site) WEARS shirt, trench shirt myer. and Marni pants, neck­lace, as be­fore; (02) Chris­tian 9327 Louboutin 3809; shoes, (02) 8355 5282 (right, from top) Bianca Dye with Molly Mel­drum at a launch party in Kings Cross in 2004; with her part­ner Jay Sandt­ner in July.

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