Mom has Leukemia, Dad recently diagnosed with Stage 3 skin cancer

Hey everyone, I'm a SA and I'm making this post as a cry for help.

The other night I cried infront of my staffer because he asked me that I've been a little off recently. He didn't yell at me or chew me out, he just asked what was going on and I just broke down.

Mom has been battling with cancer for the past 15 years, it's been rough. Dad recently got diagnosed with Stage 3 skin cancer. I really don't know what to do.

My parents are both in their late 50s and I don't know if they will even still be around when my internship ends.

Everything has just accumulated and built up throughout the years and The bubble burst last night.

I'm thinking of quitting and flying back home go spend time with them, but this is not something they want me doing. My parents are very selfless, and will always look out for my interests over theirs, even if it means putting their life on the line.

I just don't feel I can perform in this job with that constant thought, the possibility of getting a phone call one night at work and hearing that one of them has passed away.

Has anyone been in a similar situation where they just feel lost? I'm stressed out and emotionally vulnerable.

I've always thought of myself as a stoic, I rarely show emotion and can control myself, but last night just broke me.

I don't know what to do and have lost motivation to just keep going. I want to take advantage of as much time as I can with my parents before their gone forever.

Any recommendations on how to handle the stress ?

Comments (41)

Jun 16, 2022 - 9:49pm
Snowshield, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So sorry to hear that. Goddamn terrible thing happen anytime, let alone when you're under the stress of being in banking, even as an intern.

I would personally take a deep breath and ask myself what I would regret the least 5, 10, 20 years down the line. Even if you drop this internship right now and it sets you back some time career-wise--maybe even a few years--I don't think that's as valuable as spending time with your parents right now. Just my two cents

Hope older/more experienced members voice their thoughts on this too

Jun 16, 2022 - 9:59pm
Horn101, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey bro, spend time with your parents dude. People will understand, everything will be ok. Prayers for you though.

Jun 17, 2022 - 4:11pm
scyther, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not to detract from the seriousness of the original post, but assuming OP is a guy is pretty ignorant. At least 1/3 of interns/new hires are female nowadays. Disclaimer - I'm a male and I don't even consider myself liberal...but assuming everyone on here is a guy seems a bit archaic. 

Jun 17, 2022 - 5:00pm
scyther, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What implies OP is a dude? @Horn101's message was sincere and obviously well intentioned, but not sure wtf your response has to offer haha. 

Jun 18, 2022 - 2:39pm
PaleNimbusWhite, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Not to detract from the seriousness of the original post" *goes on to detract from the seriousness of the original post*

Jun 23, 2022 - 6:08pm
scyther, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Think about it you fucking retards - there is a very decent chance OP is a woman. It's your blatant ignorance that gives rise and ammunition to the radical left - if you little fucks thought for one second about how the other side may feel, we probably wouldn't be in this hyper-polarized political climate. 

Jun 16, 2022 - 11:06pm
hideoffbush, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sounds like you already know what you want to do.. go spend time with your parents . Tell them you're serious about this and maybe consider looking for work near them after the summer or after next year for ex. I guess I'm telling you to literally forgot about your dreams and passions and whatever but man, it sounds like you know already but time with the parents is precious man, I could care less about an IBSA. All the best bro. Im sorry I can't offer more advice.

Edit : and fuck cancer.

Jun 16, 2022 - 11:22pm
throwawaybadabing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Spend time with your parents. All the money in the world never bought a second of time. 

  • 8
  • Prospect in S&T - Other
Jun 17, 2022 - 12:59am

Cant speak on this as someone with expertise, but if I were you I'd really want to go see my parents. Considering some banks are still hybrid and allow some days at home, I'd request for a fully remote continuation of the internship first and explain your circumstances. At worst you'll get fired and get to spend the invaluable time with your parents (this IB SA stint won't matter in 20 years when your career will be just fine) and at best you get to stay in IB, maybe lose a return offer but at least have experience to recruit for full time and get the time with your parents.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 17, 2022 - 1:14am

Why not speak to the staffer and get the internship deferred a year? Extend grad by a semester - take a gap semester and spend time with family.

Honestly nothing comes before family - specially your parents. You can always complete another internship but you won't get the time you couldn't spend with ur parents back. I would recommend you spend this time with ur parents to help them out.

I had a mom who got cancer and even with just one parent who was sick there was so much of work around the house and also a need to make sure your parent feels alright. Can't imagine what it's like with two of them being sick. Please take the time off and go spend it with your parents.

All the best and hope you can power through this.

Jun 17, 2022 - 9:02am
subs1111, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree that you will regret it if you don't go back to them. But why won't they be around until the end of the internship, did the doctors say so for both your parents? I've had a similar case in my family and you never know how it goes in these situations, so I hope you will stay strong for them during this time!

Jun 17, 2022 - 11:53am
Frieds, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your staffer knows what's going on. Talk to the staffer and loop your MD in on this. Family matters like this are rough. There's no right or wrong answer, but explain to them both that you don't know what to do because these aren't easy illnesses to deal with. If you really want to work, ask if they can accommodate you working remotely and doing what you can with the understanding that you have a lot on your plate to deal with. If they can't or the emotional burden is too much, ask them about deferring the internship because of extenuating circumstances. Take some time off and focus on being with family too. Even if they do defer it, take next semester off and spend it with family. Don't waste the time you might lose from working by not being there for them. 

  • 5
Jun 17, 2022 - 4:44pm
EBITDAX_addbacks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Echoing what others have said. There is always another job. What you can't get back is lost time with your parents. I would presume your bank and team would be very understanding of your situation, and if they're not you wouldn't want to work there long-term anyway. 

Jun 17, 2022 - 5:12pm
anoymous6889, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey, man. Can't express how much I feel for you. I think you already know that this decision isn't much of a difficult one-go home and cherish the memories you will make with them.

I can hardly even write this message without tearing up. This is such an unfortunate situation that I pray no individual should endure. Stay strong; remain positive; make the most of these moments; and make sure you will have no regrets.

This decision will have absolutely no effect on your future career plans. Spending time with family is MUCH, MUCH more important. I also resonate with the point you made regarding your parents' selflessness. There aren't many who are willing to place the interests of their children over their own. I feel my parents also share that same degree of selflessness. And trust me, the vast majority of kids don't feel that same love.

You parents sound like truly amazing people. You and your parents will be in my prayers. Feel free to reach out if you require any further guidance or support. Stay strong, my friend.

Jun 17, 2022 - 5:29pm
TangibleAssets, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey man,

My heart goes out to you and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sorry I can't offer any advice better than to listen to your heart and remember that there's always another job, but you only get one family.

Feel free to DM me if you need anyone to talk to or vent to or just listen on the phone.

You will get through this and come out the other end stronger.

Jun 18, 2022 - 10:31am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Going to offer a different perspective here and say to keep the internship for now. Based on your own post, your Mom has been alive for 15 years and your dad being at Stage 3 has a higher chance of surviving than dying. That means they will probably be around for at least a few years but in and out of the hospital. Are you going to just remain unemployed and depend on already sickly people for money? You have to earn an income and while you should re-evaluate for FT whether a lower hour position like corp fin is better it makes little sense to throw something away that is only 10 weeks and will be extremely helpful for FT recruiting no matter which way things turn. 
Cancer is a horrible disease because people die relatively slowly and the final weeks you can see their life slowly going away. People don't just fall dead immediately and pass away so your fear about "the call" is irrational. Just tell the doctor or mom/dad to call you if things take a turn for the worst and then walk away from the internship immediately (even a partially completed internship will be good on the resume) and spend the final month or so with them. Remember that the scenario I outlined above is a worst case scenario - it is far from guaranteed this will occur.


  • 6
Jun 18, 2022 - 2:38pm
PaleNimbusWhite, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Really sorry to hear that, man. It's such a tough position to be in and I can't imagine what you must be going through. No advice from my side; just want to wish you well.

Jun 18, 2022 - 7:56pm
us_ski2022, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I feel you man, dealing with shit like that is hard as fuck. You seem like a smart guy, opportunities are going to come if your stay prepared, but I wouldn't want to regret not spending time with my family if they were in that situation 

Jun 19, 2022 - 6:42am
earthwalker7, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's awful. DM if you need to talk.   Lost my dad when I was 12 and then later my mom got breast cancer. But best to keep up hope. Cancer is survivable in many cases. I'd recommend taking a leave of absence from work/school if you can and spend as much time with them as you can right now.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 19, 2022 - 10:17pm

Tough situation no one should have to deal with, so sorry that you have to. At the end of the day, it is your life. What I mean by that is you're not living it for someone else, not to satisfy some arbitrary belief of what success is, not to fit in with some status quo. Live your life according to what you want to do. If your happiness lies in being with you parents, do that. It difficult, but you can always go back to school/get an internship. When the people that you care about are gone, there is nothing you can do. Best of luck, wish all the best.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 19, 2022 - 10:42pm

I'd imagine it would be painful enough to deal with just one person with a serious illness in your family, but 2 

Have faith - people will understand the situation you're in. It is out of your control and out of everyone's control. Sometimes life can be really tough towards us for no reason. You are just trying your best to cope with the stress and balance things out 

Go and spend time and see your parents! You might look back and regret it if you don't

Jun 19, 2022 - 11:32pm
role109, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm going to use an Office quote:

"If you're going to wait for the day your parents ask you (to come take care of them), that day will never come".

So go do what you have to. Spend a day or two to go about the best way of doing this. You will always regret it if you didn't spend time with your parents while they were still your parents.

Good luck

Jun 20, 2022 - 1:57pm
LevFinObsessed, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro go spend time with your family, I promise you you'll be able to get back into banking.You broke into banking and that can be one of the hardest parts.Take time and be with them, trust me. I did this and I was able to get back in, you can't get time with loved ones back, soak it up, cherish it, then come back.

And sending best wishes

Jun 21, 2022 - 1:30am
nychimp99, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Terrible to hear this - and I'm sorry. As many people have said, not even a question - I hope you spend time with them, and prioritize them. Banking (like any other job) can wait. You can make another mil, maybe another $5M, but what would that money mean to you, if you miss all your last few days with your loved ones?

Time waits for no-one. You probably do not want to be remembered as the person that closed 15 deals (and no one in your bank will remember you either for that as much as you'd like to believe) but was not around for their parents.

Do what you love, & spend time around those who you love and care for.

Jun 22, 2022 - 11:00pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 23, 2022 - 11:51am
UFOinsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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