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Nick Cannon decided against putting his son through chemotherapy because of his own experience with the treatment.
The 41-year-old comedian – whose son Zen died in early December from a rare brain tumour – had been through the treatment himself for autoimmune disease lupus and “didn’t want to see him suffer.”
He said: “Alyssa [Scott, Zen’s mother] and I started asking, ‘Is there a way to prevent this? If not, how long do we have?’ 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. We and I were having quality-of-life conversations. 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. From someone who’s had to deal with chemotherapy before, I know that pain. To see that happen to a [then] 2-month-old, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to suffer.”
The talk show host – who is also father to twins Monroe and Moroccan, 10, from his marriage popstar Mariah Carey, Golden, four and Powerful, one, with Brittany Bell and six-month-old twins Zion and Zillion with DJ Abby De La Rosa –
He told PEOPLE: “You could tell he was struggling,” Cannon recalls. “He was gasping for air. We’d wake up, and he wouldn’t be breathing for maybe five to 10 seconds at a time, and then he’d let out a huge gasp. You could see it frightened him. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
The ‘Masked Singer’ judge first revealed the loss of his son during the opening monologue of his self-titled talk show on 07.12.2021, just two days after Zen’s death.
He said: “We had a short time with a true angel. My heart is shattered. I wish I could have done more, spent more time with him, taken more pictures. I wish I could have hugged him longer.”