I don't at all regret having my ileostomy reversed- nearly two months out now. I've started taking 1/2 immodium pill in the morning and that coupled with the metamucil I'm taking still, is seeming to keep things somewhat "regular." Maybe minor LARS, but I basically go in the morning after eating breakfast/getting up (~30 minutes of back and forth to toilet) and something similar in the evening. Occasional toilet trip during the day, but not anything big. This has allowed me to start back swimming ~1000-2000 yds for 25-40 minutes without worrying about accidents, and basically all other normal stuff. I am not at all keeping track of what I eat w/respect to how it impacts my bowel function- my philosophy after all the crap I've been through for treatment, etc. is to enjoy food at this point
. I anticipate also being able to hike, camp in a tent in wilderness situations, etc. Traveled on a plane (~3.5 hrs) and back for a professional conference three weeks ago and that was a huge mental step forward- no major issues on that trip, so looking forward to traveling again also. The first few weeks were rough, but like del mentioned, things are getting better.
My tumor was ~6cm from the verge, but don't remember for sure (~24 cm of rectum/sigmoid was removed so lots of rectum). Kegels probably did help before the reversal and I believe my surgeon did a great job too keeping things as intact as possible. Was worried reading prior to the reversal about whether I would need a permanent ostomy, but in all reality, you really will not know how things are until you are dealing with the recovery. At this point, looking back, I would not do anything different either (a permanent colostomy would have been fine too).