Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott opted for their son Zen not to have chemotherapy. Cannon wanted to prioritize Zen’s “quality of life” and give him the “best existence he could have” in the short time left.
The couple tragically lost five-month-old Zen to brain cancer in December 2021, and Nick Cannon explained how they initially took the active, always smiling to the doctor due to concerns with his breathing and his larger than average head, but were stunned when he was diagnosed with high-grade glioma. Nick said: “They did a lot of tests. They didn’t let him leave the hospital.” Nick and Alyssa agreed for Zen to have a shunt drain fluid from his brain, because it wasn’t an uncomfortable procedure for the baby. Nick stated : “The shunt to me made logical sense. There was less pain on him and the procedure was quick. It was all about quality of life. From that point, they pretty much told me that best case scenario, your son could live to three or four years old. So instantly when I heard that, I thought quality of life. I wanted him to have the best existence he could have.”
When it came to chemo, Nick asked if it would extend Zen’s life or lessen his suffering and was told “not really” because of the placement of the tumor, so the couple declined the treatment, which Nick himself had previously undergone as treatment for his lupus.
He stated: “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.” Nick suggested that chemo “just sucked everything out of you” and he couldn’t imagine that on a newborn and what that would do.”
In addition, Nick admitted Zen’s final days were “tough” but he and the baby’s mother had some “beautiful” moments with him at the end. “We had some beautiful moments. We had the opportunity, we knew the transition was coming. It happened a lot faster than we thought, but even that last weekend I knew, ‘this is probably going to be the last weekend.’ He said: “I definitely couldn’t have did it without her. The fact that she was the one, from every aspect she handled it.