Nick Cannon Explains Why He Didn't Want Late Son Zen to Undergo Chemotherapy

Nick Cannon is opening up about the decision he and Alyssa Scott made not to have their late son Zen undergo chemotherapy for a brain tumor. A year after Zen passed away due to his cancer at 5 months old, Cannon opened up during the Dec. 13 episode of The Checkup With Dr. David Agus about his son's final months

"Seeing your son hooked up to all of those machines – and he had to go for a shunt two or three times, and that was heartbreaking every time – even in that short amount of time, I couldn't imagine him having to go through chemo," the Drumline alum explained. After doctors explained that chemotherapy would "not really" extend Zen's life or decrease his suffering, Cannon and Scott decided not to move forward with that treatment. 

"From that point, they pretty much told me that best case scenario, your son could live to 3 or 4 years old. So, instantly when I heard that, I thought [about] quality of life. I wanted him to have the best experience he could have," The Masked Singer host explained. Having undergone a kind of chemotherapy to treat his lupus, Cannon said he didn't want that same experience for his infant son.

"I knew how as a full-grown man, that process ... my hair was falling out," Cannon recalled. "I wouldn't even call it pain; it just sucked everything out of you. I couldn't imagine that on a newborn and what that would do." Instead, the TV personality and Scott opted to move forward with other forms of treatment, including the insertion of shunts to drain fluid from Zen's brain.

"That, to me, made logical sense. There was less pain on him and the procedure was quick. It was all about quality of life," Cannon explained. One year after Zen passed away on Dec. 5, 2021, Cannon took to Instagram to mourn the loss of his son. "I can't believe it's been a year already since the toughest day of my life occurred. Such a painful anniversary. Losing a child has to be the heaviest, most dark and depressive experience that I will never get over," he captioned an Instagram photo of him holding his son. 

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"A mixture of guilt, pain and sorrow is what I suppress daily. I am far from perfect and often fall short and make decisions in my life that many question, but anyone who knows me knows my heart. I love hard, I love big and I love with my entire heart and soul and I just wish my little man could've felt more of that love while he was here on Earth," Cannon concluded. 

The Nick Cannon Show alum and Scott are currently expecting their second child together, due later this month. Cannon is also father to twins Monroe and Moroccan, 11, with ex-wife Mariah Carey, sons Golden, 5, and Rise, 3 months, and daughter Powerful, 2, with Brittany Bell, twin boys Zion and Zillion, 17 months, and daughter Beautiful, 1 month, with Abby De La Rosa, son Legendary, 5 months, with Bre Tiesi, and daughter Onyx, 3 months, with LaNisha Cole.