<p>Nick Cannon explains why son didn’t undergo chemotherapy </p>

Nick Cannon explains why son didn’t undergo chemotherapy

Nick Cannon explains decision not to treat son’s brain tumour with chemotherapy: ‘I didn’t want him to suffer’

Actor says he wanted his youngest son, who died on 5 December, to be ‘as happy as he could possibly be’

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 15 December 2021 17:10
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Nick Cannon has opened up about the death of his five-month-old son Zen from brain cancer, and why he and the baby’s mother Alyssa Scott chose not to treat the child with chemotherapy.

The actor, 41, shared the news that the couple’s son had died earlier this month on the Nick Cannon Show, where he explained that his youngest child had died from a brain tumour.

While speaking with People about Zen’s life and illness, Cannon recalled how the baby’s breathing had suggested something was off shortly after he was born in June.

“It sounded like he had fluid in his lungs, like a sinus infection or something,” Cannon said, adding that, at the time, doctors hadn’t been concerned by the symptom.

Two months after the baby was born, Cannon and Scott, 28, were told their son had a high-grade glioma, a rare form of brain cancer. Shortly after, a shunt was placed in the infant’s skull to drain fluid, but the tumours continued to grow.

According to Cannon, he and Scott asked the doctors whether there was a way to prevent the tumours, and if not, how long they had with their son.

“We started asking: ‘Is there a way to prevent this? If not, how long do we have?’” Cannon told People. “The conversations quickly turned to: ‘How can we give him the best life for the time that he does have?’ It could be weeks, it could be months, it could be years.”

After consulting with the baby’s doctors, the couple ultimately decided to forgo invasive procedures or treatments such as chemotherapy, with the comedian explaining that they had “quality-of-life conversations” and wanted to make sure their son was “as happy as he could possibly be”.

“We were having quality-of-life conversations,” he recalled. “We could have had that existence where he would’ve had to live in the hospital, hooked up to machines, for the rest of the time.”

Cannon, who has undergone chemotherapy himself for the treatment of Lupus, an inflammatory disease that is caused by the immune system attacking its own tissues, also didn’t want his son to suffer through the same pain he had experienced.

“From someone who’s had to deal with chemotherapy before, I know that pain,” he said. “To see that happen to a two-month-old, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to suffer.”

From that point, Cannon said that he and Scott marked each of Zen’s milestones as a “victory,” with the couple celebrating their son’s birthday each month.

The infant’s health worsened in November over Thanksgiving, with Cannon telling the outlet that Zen began struggling to breathe and “gasping for air”. In addition to frightening the baby, the actor himself found the moments difficult to witness, as he described it as “the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced”.

According to Cannon, he and Scott decided to bring the baby for a day at the beach, where they could watch the sunrise and “just be there with him one last time”.

The baby died on 5 December with his mother and father by his side. Of the chance to be with his son, Cannon said it was a “blessing,” adding: “Alyssa says: ‘I think he was just waiting for you.’”

Cannon, who is also father to 10-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, with Mariah Carey, son Golden, four, and daughter Powerful Queen, 11 months, with Brittany Bell, and five-month-old twins, Zion and Zillion Heir, with Abby De La Rosa, shared the news of the child’s passing on his show, where he tearfully told the audience: “​​You can’t heal until you feel.”

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