When I heard about Dr. Laura Katz’s book party and the launching of her new book, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! Tales of An OBGYN,” I knew I had to go.
I remember reading in The Monroe News about the physician, her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the book she wrote, “OK, It’s My Turn Now: A Doctor’s Journey Through Cancer,” offering advice and tips for other cancer patients.
Fast forward seven months and the wife and mother of two has penned a new book. This one shares “behind the scenes” stories in a solo OB/GYN practice.
With the help and support of Mike LaHote, owner of Ribbons of Monroe, Katz recently hosted an author meet-and-greet where she took time to speak with guests before reading excerpts from her book and signing autographs.
Last year, LaHote started Ribbons of Monroe, a 501 non-profit located at 15195 S. Dixie Hwy., to offer items of support and services for Monroe County residents battling cancer. LaHote met Katz after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Three months later, Katz became a board member at Ribbons. The organization’s goal is to provide information, education, technology, and support in order to help cancer patients and their families as they enter unchartered territories.
When I arrived at the book party, LaHote introduced me to Dr. Katz. I was immediately drawn to her positive energy and her tattoos.
Looking at this woman, clad in a black and red floral dress, with a vibrant personality and zest for life, I would have never known she had recently struggled with the ugliness of cancer.
She was warm. She was funny. She was someone I liked immediately. I noticed Alison Ramage-Campeau liked her, too. For the past six months, the Trenton resident and cancer patient has been following Katz’s Chemo Peeps, an online support group.
“I drove from Downriver because I really wanted to meet Dr. Katz. I’ve been following her on Facebook,” she said. “I’ve read her first book and I’m anxious to start the second one.”
As a woman with many years’ experience of OB/GYN visits, I have to admit I was really curious to find out what secrets were bound in the book that captured Katz’s image on its cover.
Eager to thumb through the book and read what stories she had shared, I tried to be inconspicuous as I sat waiting for the good doctor to begin.
I quickly read some of the chapter titles like “The Singing Surgeon” and “The Old Ladies and The Underwear.”
Leaning over to my daughter and photographer, Kennedy, I whispered, “Oh, this chapter has got to be good. It’s about older women and their dainties.” That’s how my son refers to ladies’ undergarments and it always makes us laugh.
Blushing, Kennedy giggled and tried to ignore her mother’s excitement.
Sitting at a table adorned with elegant food trays and beverages and surrounded by her husband, Monroe physician Jonathan Pasko and their daughters, Maggie, 20, and Katy, 18, Katz began to talk about her book before reading a few excerpts.
“I’ve never been a white-coat type of doctor,” Katz shared with her audience as Katy recorded her reading about wearing pigtails to combat warm temperatures in the operating room and the time she was secretly in labor.
“Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!” she announced.
Katz admits she was a writer and musician before she became a doctor, which is evident in the way her words harmoniously flow off the pages. I wasn’t surprised to find out she still has a notebook from the sixth grade that garners her early writings and poems.
When Kennedy and I arrived home, she uploaded her photos onto the computer and I nestled in a corner of the couch to read.
Katz’s new book is not only a quick read; it’s a good read. Chock-full of mini stories, some serious and some humorous, it provides a glimpse of what practicing medicine for more than 20 years looks like.
The Monroe author talks about starting a solo practice and singing “Happy Birthday” to every newborn she has delivered. She shares lessons she learned and even admits there is such a thing as an ugly baby. Got to love that honesty.
Katz keeps her books brief for people who don’t normally have time to read and she writes in a conversation style that creates a kind of intimacy with her readers.
If we’re lucky, she’ll share more office anecdotes and stories about her family in her next book. And, if we’re really lucky, Katz will make audio books. So, us multitaskers can listen to her wisdom and witty sense of humor without having to stop what we’re doing to turn a page.
For more information about Dr. Katz and her books, log onto to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurakdoc or https://laurakatzmdpc.com.