Joan Mercado Joan K. Mercado

First post: Feb 17, 2019 Latest post: Mar 11, 2019
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Joan Kinard Mercado moved to Virginia in 2016 at age 82 to begin "retirement" near her daughter Diana's family.  She had been living in Houston since 1983, first with her husband Ed, then after their divorce in an apartment there.  She had been active in her church, First Presbyterian Church of Houston, doing choir, Adult Plus, and many other volunteer activities involving music.  She loved to sing and/or play piano whenever she could!

After living with Diana's family from May 2016 through July 2017, she moved into Westminster Lake Ridge, a retirement community.  Her new apartment was lovely, on the 4th floor overlooking tall trees, which were beautiful in the fall and spring.  She immediately became involved in music and other activities and enjoyed making many new friends!  

In October 2018, Joan was having some pain in her side, especially after eating.  She went to her primary physician, and the ultrasound indicated some thickening in the gallbladder wall.  A CT scan indicated a rather large cancerous growth, and she was scheduled for surgery at Inova Fairfax in the next week.  After surgery, she developed several infections at the surgical site, as well as in the liver drain area, which made any treatment difficult.  In November, it was determined that she would try chemo in a pill form that had a chance to slow the cancer's progress.  At that time, she decided to wait until her concert with New Dominion Choraliers in the first weekend of December before starting the chemo.  She was being treated with a variety of vitamins and some dietary changes during that time.

By Christmas time, she had been dealing with more pain, and a CT scan after Christmas indicated the cancer's progress across her liver and down her right side.  As we dealt with pain issues, we tried some nerve block therapy and the ultrasound indicated cancer spreading across  her abdomen and causing pain, swelling, and other issues.  At this point, we aimed for more pain control and tried to improve her life quality.  

In the weeks before she died,  she was having trouble tracking events, and her mind had certainly been impacted.  She was losing the ability to walk without assistance, and used a walker at times.  She cut way back on her food and water intake even with constant encouragement to eat for strength.  Diana took her to an appointment on Wednesday, and she had friends visit in the late afternoon.  That night, she was even more confused and Diana stayed overnight with her, having to provide medication for the pain.  We had to provide oxygen during the night, but by morning, she was clearly slowing down.  She seemed to recognize people in a vague way but was mostly out of touch and uncomfortable and restless.  By evening, Diana's family and her sister Gail were with her as she faded.  At 8:58 pm, she breathed her last, and passed into the arms of her Heavenly Father.

We are grateful for all the prayers people sent to God for her healing, and we rejoice in her life and her impact on so many.  We look forward to seeing her in Heaven.

Thanks for love and care.  

Do not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Celebration of Life service set for 14 March 2019, 1-2:30 pm in the Potomac Room at Westminster Lake Ridge, 12191 Clipper Drive,  22192.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to two of her favorite groups:  New Dominion Choraliers of Prince William County or the Houston Symphony.

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