Kye Robertson felt cheated.
At just 29 years old, the Harker Heights assistant baseball and football coach was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, altering his lifestyle in unimaginable ways.
For 10 months, Robertson was removed from his home and family to take up residence in a Houston hospital, where he would undergo numerous procedures.
While the physical pain was immeasurable, initially, nothing was more grueling than the emotional anguish.
“At first,” Robertson said, “I would just question why me, because people are out there just throwing their lives away and going to prison. I couldn’t understand why something like this wouldn’t happen to them.
“I know that is stupid to say, but in your head when you are sick, you think of those things.”
But Robertson endured.
Despite having tumors removed and blood transfused, the former Knights standout baseball player maintained his faith while suffering through weeks at a time without seeing his two children.
Recently, however, Robertson’s patience paid off as doctors declared him cancer free, allowing him to begin resuming normality at home.
Although the disease robbed him of a lot, Robertson admits it also provided something of equal value — a new perspective on life.
“Before I got sick,” he said, “I was in great shape, I was working out with all the kids, life was good, and I was just kind of going through the motions. But once I got really sick, I started to realize things, like how much I put work in front of my family, because I just love Harker Heights High School so much and am proud to work where I came from.
“Everybody understood, but this made me realize that before I know it, my kids are going to be teenagers. Then, they’ll be off to college, and I’m going to miss it.
“This process really opened my heart to exactly how much I love my family.”
Cancer has not completely released its grasp on Robertson yet.
One of the multiple tumors removed deteriorated his left hip to the point it must be replaced, weekly voyages to Houston for evaluations are scheduled for the foreseeable future and he regularly ingests a laundry list of prescriptions.
Additionally, there is always a chance the cancer could resurface, but Robertson is not complaining.
“I’ve basically been living in a Houston hospital since September of last year,” the class of 2005 graduate said. “So, just to be home in Central Texas, where I grew up, and to be with my family feels so good.”
The special education teacher intends to return to work in the classroom this fall with his coaching duties slowly increasing over time.
In some ways, though, Robertson never truly left.
During his battle, the community rallied with fundraisers and sold cancer awareness T-shirts and bracelets. Rival coaches, players and fans would show support during games and a “Team Kye” Facebook page was created and quickly inundated with messages of encouragement.
Although he initially felt cheated by cancer, Robertson emerges from the ordeal with something completely unexpected — appreciation.
“I received so much love through all of this,” he said. “I’m still getting calls and texts from kids at school, and I can’t believe some of the words they are using, talking about how much they love me and pray for me.
“It’s just phenomenal to see these kids’ reactions, and so maybe this was a good thing because they are willing to put down their guard in order to let me know they care. It’s just amazing.”