In a new interview with U.K.'s The Telegraph, Wolfgang Van Halen talked about the final years of his father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who died last October.
"He was diagnosed with [stage four] lung cancer [in 2017]," Wolfgang said. "We got some good, liveable years, but that was the beginning [of the end], I would say.
"It really didn't take a turn for the worst until the end of 2019," he added. "There were still positive moments in between, but that's when it took a nosedive. So many different health issues stacked on top of each other. He just buckled under the weight of it all.
"When you grow up, you always know, 'One day I'll have to take care of the parent,' but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. While it was happening, I was like, 'Okay, it'll happen later,' but little did I know I was already in the middle of it."
After Eddie was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, he began flying to Germany for treatments. Eventually, the cancer spread to Eddie's spine and brain. Just a few months later, Eddie died at age 65.
The 30-year-old Wolfgang speculated to The Washington Post that his father could have flown to Germany for more radiation had the coronavirus crisis not happened, possibly prolonging his life.
Last November, Wolfgang said that doctors told Eddie he had "six weeks" after he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. "And then he went to Germany," Wolfgang told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show. "Whatever the fuck they do over there, it's amazing, because I got three more years with him."
Last December, Eddie's immediate cause of death was revealed to be a cerebrovascular event, such as a stroke. Pneumonia, the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome and lung cancer were also cited as underlying causes in his death certificate, which was obtained by TMZ. The certificate also listed a number of other "significant conditions" that contributed to Eddie's death, including squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the head and neck, and atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes irregular heartbeat and elevates stroke risk.
In the Howard Stern interview, Wolf said the cause of his dad's death had been "misattributed" by some media outlets as throat cancer. Eddie had previously battled tongue cancer in the early 2000s, which Eddie blamed on holding a metal pick in his mouth.
Wolf said it was "certainly feasible" that Eddie got tongue cancer from the pick but he shot down the suggestion that he died from throat cancer.
"People love to give him shit about that," Wolfgang said, before adding, "He would hold that pick in the same spot all the time, and that's the exact area that he got the squamous cell carcinoma in his tongue that he had to get cut out.
"When it's reported, it's always attributed to the throat cancer and then everybody instead of going 'Oh shit. His cancer's back,' people are just going 'What an idiot. He thinks he got throat cancer from a pick?' And it just totally derails the whole thing," he said.