Chance the Rapper is mourning the loss of his aunt after she died Sunday morning after succumbing to inflammatory breast cancer.
“My Auntie Kim lost her battle with breast cancer early Sunday morning,” the rapper shared on social media Tuesday morning, along with the link to a video in which Kimberly Bennett spoke about her experience with the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation. “She was a warrior and wanted me to share this.”
“I first realized something was wrong [when] my breast was going from purple to burgundy, and it was hot and getting bigger and warmer,” Bennett begins in the video. “It was painful, so I knew something was wrong, but I just thought that it was just an infection — they come, they go.”
Inflammatory breast cancer, an uncommon type of cancer, is often missed on mammograms and too often misdiagnosed by doctors because it does not contain a lump. Rather, it occurs when cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in skin covering the breast, causing painful, swollen breasts that are hot to the touch, have an orange peel texture, are persistently itchy, change colors and have inverted nipples, according to Mayo Clinic.
Unfortunately, by the time Bennett paid her physician a visit to see what was causing her pain, she was already in stage 4 of her cancer.
“I had a trip coming up — my birthday was coming up — and I still wanted to go on my trip,” she said about her reaction when her doctor told her the news. “My oncologist pulled her chair up and she got right in my face and she said, ‘I’m not your friend, I’m not here to make you happy, I’m here to save your life … cancel that trip.'”
Bennett decided she would fight as hard as possible for her life.
“When you’re stage three, they say you have a chance to live; when you’re stage four, they say, ‘We’re gonna keep you comfortable until you die,'” she said.
“I was stage four, but my doctor, she says, ‘If you were stage three, I would have given you four drugs, but since you’re stage four, what the protocol calls for is for you to have one drug and two antibodies,’ and she starts going on and on about the cancer and the drugs, and I go, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t need any of this. Why can’t we take the four drugs?'” she added.
“‘I feel like if anyone deserves a chance to live, you deserve the chance to live and if you’re willing to take the four drugs, I’m willing to give them to you,'” she continued about what her doctor said to her when discussing her treatment plan. “I was allowed to take four drugs.”
After being told one too many times that “breast cancer doesn’t hurt, breast cancer doesn’t itch,” she knew it was time to listen to her body and prolong her life.
“The goal of this cancer is to kill you, and to kill you fast, so the only thing that you can do to help yourself is to respond and to react as fast as you can,” she added in the video.