When I heard about Dr. Laura Katz’s book party and the launch 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 doctor, her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the book she wrote, “OK, it’s my turn now: A doctor’s journey through cancer,” giving advice and tips to other cancer patients.
Fast forward seven months, and the wife and mother of two have written 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 a writers’ meeting where she took the time to talk to guests before reading excerpts from her book and signing autographs.
Last year, LaHote started Ribbons of Monroe, a 501 nonprofit located at 15195 S. Dixie Hwy., To provide support and services to Monroe County residents battling cancer. LaHote met Katz after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Three months later, Katz became a board member of Ribbons. The organization’s goal is to provide information, education, technology, and support to help cancer patients and their families as they enter unfamiliar territories.
When I arrived at the book party, LaHote introduced me to Dr. Katz. I was immediately attracted to her positive energy and her tattoos.
When I looked at this woman, dressed in a black and red floral dress, with a vibrant personality and zest for life, I would never have known that she had recently struggled with the ugliness of cancer.
She was hot. She was funny. She was someone I liked right away. I noticed that 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 eager to start on the second.”
As a woman with many years of experience with OB / GYN visits, I must admit that I was really curious to find out what secrets were bound in the book that captured Katz’s image on the cover.
Eager to flip through the book and read what stories she had shared, I tried to be unobtrusive while sitting and 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.”
I leaned over to my daughter and photographer Kennedy and whispered, “Oh, this chapter must be good. It’s about older women and their delights.” This is how my son mentions lingerie, and it always makes us laugh.
Blushing, Kennedy giggled, trying to ignore his mother’s enthusiasm.
Sitting at a table adorned with elegant food trays and drinks and surrounded by her husband, Monroe doctor Jonathan Pasko and their daughters, Maggie, 20, and Katy, 18, Katz began talking about her book before reading a few excerpts.
“I’ve never been a doctor with white fur,” Katz told her audience as Katy recorded her reading about wearing pigtails to combat hot temperatures in the operating room and the time she secretly had birth.
“Seriously, you can not come up with this!” 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 out of the pages. I was not surprised to find out that she still has a notebook from sixth grade that collects her early writings and poems.
When Kennedy and I got home, she uploaded her pictures to the computer, and I snuggled in a corner of the couch to read.
Katz’s new book is not just a quick read; it’s good reading. Packed with mini-stories, some serious and some humorous, it gives an insight into what it looks like to practice medicine for more than 20 years.
The Monroe writer talks about starting a solo practice and singing “Happy Birthday” to every newborn she has given birth to. She shares experiences she has learned and even admits that there is such a thing as an ugly baby. Must love that honesty.
Katz keeps her books short for people who usually do not have time to read, and she writes in a conversational style that creates a kind of intimacy with her readers.
If we are lucky, she will share more office anecdotes and stories about her family in her next book. And if we’m really lucky, Katz will make audiobooks. So we multitaskers can listen to her wisdom and witty sense of humor without having to stop what we are doing to turn a page.
For more information about Dr. Katz and her books, log on to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurakdoc or https://laurakatzmdpc.com.