‘Time to get my chemo on’: How music helped Lucy Sembach on her cancer journey

Jacksonville, FL — Lucy Sembach had been a late walker and experienced problems with her balance.  The family pediatrician recommended an MRI.  In November 2016 during the MRI, a mass was discovered.  It was a brain tumor.

Ten days later, Lucy underwent a 10-hour surgery.  She wasn’t even 2-years-old at the time. Her parents, Melanie and Casey, had to explain to their other two children what Lucy would be facing ahead.

After surgery, Lucy had to re-learn how to walk. In March of 2017 she began chemotherapy. She completed 45 rounds of chemo, and now she is in monitoring status.  Every four months Lucy needs an MRI to make sure there is no regrowth.

The Sembachs credit Miss Joli, the Child Life Specialist, with helping make each visit to Nemours fun for Lucy.

“She treats it like she gets to go and play with kids”, Casey said.  “They always made it fun. Someone was always there to greet you, and she would light up the room when the port was being accessed”, Melanie said.

Lucy used to sing a song in the car on the way to get her chemotherapy: Time to get my chemo on.

Today, Lucy is healthy and she loves playing with her sister, Kate and her brother, Ben.

Melanie credits the Mothers for Hope, a group that the Child Cancer Fund sponsors, for helping process her emotions during Lucy’s treatments.

“You’re worried about the same things and you can cry together and have those types of talks that you wouldn’t normally have with your best friend or your spouse”, Melanie said.  “This has been the best worse experience of our lives”.

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