Bruce Glikas/WireImage; Nick Cannon
In an episode of Paramount+ The review with Dr. David Agusthe masked singer host, 42 years old, open about how they learned that their infant son had brain cancer.
“He was healthy, active, always smiling,” Cannon said of his baby boy’s early days, until when he was around two months old he noticed the baby’s “interesting” breathing patterns.
“We [also] noticed that his head was a little bigger, [but] all my children have big heads. I was a big-headed baby,” Cannon added.
Suspecting that Zen might have asthma, the parents took him to a doctor’s appointment where his doctor immediately became concerned about the size of the baby’s head, which was the “first sign that something was going wrong. passed”.
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“They did a lot of tests. They didn’t let him out of the hospital,” he recalls. “And so you can imagine you think you’re taking your son for a checkup for – at worst I was thinking of asthma, you know? And knowing that he was diagnosed with brain cancer was a shock.”
He asked the doctors to “be upfront” with him so he could prepare and protect Scott from what might happen next, noting that the doctors “kind of explained the situation to me.”
Zen was diagnosed with high-grade glioma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. Cannon and Scott were presented with the option of chemotherapy as a treatment.
“When we first went to the hospital, just to keep his head from continuing to grow rapidly, there were a few procedures that we were all in for,” he said, explaining that they used a shunt to drain fluid from Zen’s brain.
“That, to me, made logical sense. He had less pain and the procedure was quick. It was all about quality of life,” he noted.
“From then on they pretty much told me that in the best case scenario your son could live to be 3 or 4. So instantly when I heard that I thought to the quality of life. I wanted him to to have the best life he can have.”
Regarding chemo, Cannon asked if it would prolong Zen’s life or lessen his suffering, to which they replied “not really”, due to the location of the tumor.
“Seeing your son hooked up to all these machines – and he had to shunt two or three times, and it was heartbreaking every time – even in such a short time, I couldn’t imagine he had to go through chemo .”
Cannon himself underwent a form of chemo while treatment for her lupus and “knew what it did to me.”
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“I knew how, as a grown man, this process… My hair was falling out,” he said. “I wouldn’t even call it pain; it just sucked everything out of you. I couldn’t imagine that on a newborn and what it would feel like.”
In their concerns for Zen’s quality of life, the treatment option would have also required him to “live in hospital”.
“He would never have gone home,” Cannon said, explaining that he and Scott eventually “went into the space of ‘we want to like him and we want him to like him.’ [us].'”
The the last few days have been “hard” for the father, who credited Scott for “his strength, his resilience”.
“I certainly I couldn’t have done it without her. The fact that she was the only one, in every way, she handled it,” he admitted. “We had a great time. We had the opportunity, we knew the transition was coming. It happened a lot quicker than we thought, but even last weekend I knew ‘this will probably be the last weekend.'”
Cannon continued, “Fortunately we did everything of sunrise, to go to the beach, the sunset, had beautiful family prayers and really came together as a family in a very beautiful way. I’m grateful for that, but it was really difficult. To see your childsuffering at one point and watching things stop, it was pretty intense.”
Besides Zen and his second baby on the way with Scott, Cannon also shares sons Arise Messiah10 weeks and golden sagon5 years old, as well as her daughter powerful queen23 months, with model Bell of Brittany.
He is also the father of daughter Beautiful Zeppelin, 3 weeks, and twins Zion and Zillion, 17 months, with abby de la rosaas well as 11-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan with ex-wife Mariah Carey. He also shares his son legendary love5 months, with model Well you knew and welcomed her daughter Onyx Ice School with the old The price is right model La Nisha Cole in September