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Nick Cannon marks 10th anniversary of lupus diagnosis with video of health journey

The TV personality filmed himself over the past 10 years to show the impact of the disease and his recovery.
It's been 10 years since the daytime talk show host was first diagnosed with lupus.
It's been 10 years since the daytime talk show host was first diagnosed with lupus.YouTube
/ Source: TODAY

Nick Cannon is celebrating how far he's come since being diagnosed with lupus 10 years ago.

In a new episode of his talk show, "The Nick Cannon Show," the TV personality shares a video chronicling his health journey over the past 10 years and describes the symptoms he experienced at the onset of his illness.

In the beginning of the six-minute video, the 41-year-old shares footage of himself playing with his twins Moroccan and Monroe and ex-wife Mariah Carey, and says everything happened pretty quickly. After experiencing sudden swelling, shortness of breath, and "excruciating" pain in his right side, Cannon went to the hospital, where he was told his kidneys were failing.

Cannon filmed himself talking about his swelling (also known as edema) and lamented about his bloated abdomen. In the background, a supportive Carey can be heard saying, “For now, it’s not forever!” The singer also appears in footage with Cannon while he's attending doctor's appointments.

The former “America’s Got Talent” host takes viewers through the confusing journey of diagnosing his mysterious illness and includes plenty of tough moments in the video, including the time he learned that he had two "life-threatening" blood clots in his lungs.

"That's the last place you wanna be man, doctors telling you, you could die. I'm in this room by myself, just reflecting, thinking," he mused at the time.

To help support his health, Cannon ended up canceling many of his work commitments and started a new renal diet to strengthen his kidneys.

“Throughout this journey, I had to change everything about the way I live my life and it wasn’t easy,” the TV personality said.

Towards the middle of the video, Cannon paused for a moment to make it clear that even though he's made progress, his lupus journey is far from over.

"After a decade of close calls, blood transfusions, chemotherapy and hospitalizations, I continue to push through," he said.

Still, he is doing so much better than he was 10 years ago, and the 41-year-old said his recovery has been gradual.

"Like the phoenix rising through the ashes, I felt my strength coming back. Day by day, I laid a foundation both mentally and physically to build back the life that I had almost lost to this disease," he said.

It's easy to feel hopeless when faced with health challenges, but Cannon has channeled his lupus diagnosis into something positive.

"In my mind, having these health issues isn't necessarily a bad thing. I see it as a way for me to help others through my experience," he said.

Cannon most recently discussed his lupus experience while speaking to People about his late son Zen, 5 months, who died in December from a malignant brain tumor.

During the interview, Cannon noted that he had undergone chemotherapy treatment as part of his lupus diagnosis and knew how difficult it could be. So he considered that when he and the baby's mother, Alyssa Scott, had to decide how to proceed after their son was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer called glioma.

“We were having quality-of-life conversations,” he told the magazine. “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 2-month-old, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to suffer.”