The story of family Dindas is similar to other families‘ stories. Today, many years after the diagnosis, Carlotta and her family are well off. The family wants to share their positive attitude towards life after many up’s and down’s and their very own story, but first and foremost, they also want to encourage other affected families:
Carlotta is six years old. She is the pet of the family, the youngest of the family from Hattingen. Two years ago her right eye was removed in an operation that lasted for a few hours. Carlotta had a tumor in her eye. A tumor called retinoblastoma.
Ever since, Carlotta wears a magic eye. That’s what she calls the glass eye. When a boy in kindergarten meant to bug her because of „that weird eye“ , she forcefully replied : „That’s my magic eye.“ After that, the boy went silent.
The tumor was diagnosed by chance, just like in so many other children. Melanie Dindas remembers the day of the diagnosis quite correctly. Together with Carlotta and the two older daughters Antonia and Johanna she had spent two hours in the praxis already: „The doctor asked me to send Carlotta and Johanne outside and then told me that it was very likely for Carlotta to have a tumor.“ Out of a sudden, tears were running. Who to call? What to do? What’s about to happen from now on? Husband Martin is on a business trip; not available.The grandparents of the children come over. Helplessness. Desparity. Fear. Melanie Dindas: „We had never heard of this disease. Retinoblastoma. I neither wanted nor felt able to look for information on the internet. My fear, of what I could possibly learn about the disease, was so big.“ Her husband Martin reads up on the disease, seeks out information about eye cancer in children, a malignant tumor that can lead to death if being untreated, but has a good prognosis of healing if detected early enough.
While seeking out information about the tumor, Martin Dindas comes across the website of the KAKS for the first time. Meanwhile, in the clinic of Essen, the doctors confirm the diagnosis; just one week later, the operation takes place. Carlotta does not complain about the missing sight in one eye. But there’s one thing that will be remembered, says her mum. In the week after, Carlotta gets sick a few times. And first, Carlotta doesn’t want her prothestic eye. Melanie Dindas: „In the first three months we enwrapped her in a blanket, whenever we wanted to take her eye in or out:“ That’s how much Carlotta resisted the eye. But how to approach and treat Carlotta’s rejection? And what’s about to happen from this point on? Who has similar experiences? It takes some time until Melanie Dindas searches the internet too. She visits the website of the KinderAugenKrebsStiftung – and gets to know Elli. The little plush elephant with the eye that can be taken out – Elli, the little elephant that Melanie Dindas wants her daughter to have too. Elli now lies in Carlotta’s Bed, the little elephant accompanies Carlotta wherever she goes, and also, Elli is helpful in showing other children how to take the eye out and back in.
At the last retinoblastoma meeting of the KAKS, the Dindas met other affected families who went through the same AND they met the leading spirits of the KAKS; adults that have lived with the disease for a long time – wonderful people who are full of life and who give the family no chance to despair of Carlotta’s diagnose.
Today, Carlotta is well off, a self confident, clever, sporty girl, has friends, visits the primary school in the neighborhood. Just like a normal girl.
The Dindas have accepted and have processed the story of her daughter. The tumor is gone; the life of the family went back to normal. Not lastly, because they no longer feel alone.
09.04.2015 | Leading Spirits