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Nick Cannon is going through a devastating tragedy. The 41-year-old television host announced on Tuesday on The Nick Cannon Show that his 5-month-old son, Zen, died of brain cancer, and a source tells ET that Cannon is now focused on honoring the time he had with Zen as well as being there for Zen's mother, model Alyssa Scott.
Zen, whom Scott gave birth to in June, had a condition called hydrocephalus. According to the Mayo Clinic, hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain. Our source says Cannon's friends have been reaching out to him amid such a heartbreaking time.
"His friends are rallying around him and just want to be there for him because they know this type of pain will impact him for the rest of his life," the source says. "Those closest to him are reaching out to offer their help and give him their condolences. Nick appreciates the support but at the moment he just wants to be there for Zen's mother."
On Tuesday, Scott also paid tribute to their son by sharing a photo of him smiling in his sleep and several videos of priceless moments she spent with Zen on her Instagram Story.
"Nick's entire life has become only family and work," the source continues. "He wants nothing more than to honor the time he had with Zen and to focus on being there for Alyssa. He feels lucky to have had the little time he did with his son, but even more so a sense of relief Zen is in peace. Nick is incredibly spiritual and that has helped to guide him through this but he knows the true healing will take time."
Zen was Cannon's seventh child, and he is also a dad to 10-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan with ex-wife Mariah Carey, 4-year-old son Golden and 1-year-old daughter Powerful Queen with Brittany Bell, and 6-month-old twin sons Zion and Zillion with Abby De La Rosa. The source says Cannon is still struggling to come to terms with his youngest child's death.
"Nick's closest friends are so worried about him because it's been one of the most trying times of his life," the source says. "The reality of the situation has been very difficult for him absorb. It's been a beautiful year with the birth of his kids but nothing could have prepared him for this. He feels so blessed to have them. He's very close to all of the women in his life. Family means everything to him and this time has been a reminder of that."
During Monday's episode of The Nick Cannon Show, he tearfully shared that he held Zen for the last time over the weekend after his condition took a turn for the worse at Thanksgiving.
"This weekend I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with Zen," he shared. "We woke up on Sunday -- I got to spend the weekend with him -- and I woke up on Sunday and was like, 'I feel like I want to go to the water.' We got a chance to go to the ocean."
A rep for The Nick Cannon Show tells ET that he'll continue doing live shows through the end of next week and then the show will go on a previously scheduled hiatus starting Dec. 20 until the New Year. Cannon addressed going back to work so soon after the tragedy on Tuesday's show.
"I didn't know how I was going to handle today, but I just wanted to grieve with my family," he told viewers on Tuesday, dedicating the show to Zen.