PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - The wait for Mitch Maclean to come home to Prairieville is intense.
"I don't know if there's a way to describe it," his mother, Schelle Maclean said. "You just live it, learn from it and hopefully we don't repeat it."
What his mother initially thought was allergies turned into Mitch battling Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma of the brain for the past year.
"7 hours after we walked into the walk-in clinic, they were doing his first neurosurgery," Schelle explained.
Mitch was just 3 weeks shy of graduating from Woodlawn High School and attending the University of his dreams in April 2017 when his journey began.
"They told us he had a tumor in his brain," Schelle said. "He had hydrocephalus where the brain fluid was not leaving and going down his spinal column like it should."
The teen was rushed to St. Jude where he spent the better part of 2017, facing brain surgeries and chemotherapy, but Mitch is a fighter. Mitch said despite the circumstances he was content.
"Eventually this will be over and regardless if this goes south or north. It means I don't have to deal with the pain anymore," Mitch said.
He graduated from high school and beat cancer, but coming home was pushed a little further away when he developed Posterior Fossa Syndrome.
"He wasn't able to talk for 6 months," his mother said. "He couldn't move, lift his hand up off the bed. Nothing on his right side."
Schelle was questioning at that point whether she'd hear her son's voice again, but she quickly chose to live in the moment to help her push through. Mitch was transferred to a rehabilitation center in Atlanta.
"By living in the here and now with just get up each day, do what we have to do that day…368 days later he's walking and talking," Schelle said excitedly.
So watching Mitch come home Saturday afternoon, was not only emotional but a clear sign that despite living day by day, Mitch kept his goal in sight.
"I'm going to finish college and eventually become a game designer," Mitch said. " When you have a bad thing come to you and it takes a while, just stay positive. That's all I can say honestly. Just stay as positive as you can."
Now that Mitch is home he will undergo physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.