Big hug to you from me also!
I agree that it is kind of odd to just be told 1200 calories and that's it. I agree that is low also to start with. I can't tell you an exact number but I would at least ease into 1200.
I love My Fitness Pal. It has so many foods in there and it is easy to add what you eat. Even if you eat way too much and go over, still enter what you ate because you will soon discover that going over doesn't mean you have blown your diet. When I started back in July the first three days I first was eating just my normal junk food and I posted that just to get used using MFP. Then I started cutting back and within a week I was around 1400 and eventually lowered to 1200.
This website has helped keep me motivated also. Besides all the amazing people that share their diet successes and frustrations, there is also a great recipe section that lists calories. I found a few that I use over and over.
One thing I had to come to grips with is, it is okay to be hungry. In the past I was a big snacker because I thought "I can't let myself get hungry!!!" Now I realize it is okay to be hungry, not to the point of shaking or passing out of course, but the feeling of hunger is allowed!
Good luck and keep us posted!
Hit goal on 2/21/2014.